Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 5, 2005


1. Task Force Expands HIV Screening Recommendations to Include All Pregnant Women

(Clinical Guidelines, p. 32. These recommendations are the subject of a separate news release and a video news release. Call for news release, VNR script and coordinates.)

2. Soybean Protein May Lower Blood Pressure, New Study Finds

A new 12-week study of 302 adults with high-normal or mildly elevated blood pressure found that those who ate special cookies containing 40 grams of soybean protein had significantly larger decreases in pressure levels compared to those who ate similar cookies made of complex wheat carbohydrate (Article, p. 1).

The soybean group had net reduction of 4.3 mm Hg systolic and 2.1 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure at the end of the study. Neither group reported significant side effects.

Editorial writers say, "We should require good evidence of benefit and safety before recommending soybean protein to the much larger population that is at risk for hypertension," (Editorial, p. 74).

The writers say that 40 grams of soybean protein amounts to about one 'soy burger' plus one to two cups of soy milk. Many people may not be able to consume this much soy protein every day and no one knows if that amount is safe, the writers say.

Both the study authors and the editorial writers cite some evidence of an association between soy protein and increased risk for bladder cancer.

Might a mixed vegetable protein product have the same blood pressure lowering effect without the risk for bladder cancer? the editorial writers ask. A major study to be released later in 2005 may answer some of these questions.

3. Study: Acupuncture No Better for Fibromyalgia than Sham Acupuncture

A 12-week study of 100 people with fibromyalgia compared true acupuncture therapy with three forms of sham or fake acupuncture and found that patients who received true acupuncture had no better pain relief than those who received the sham therapies (Article, p. 10).

The sham acupuncture included needles inserted at points for treating another condition, needles inserted at points that are not acupuncture points, and use of special needle-like devices that did not pierce the skin.

Participants were allowed to continue other treatments they had been using for fibromyalgia or other physical ailments.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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