SOURCE: World Initiative for Soy in Human Health; The Solae Company

December 01, 2006 03:02 ET

New Research to Examine Effect of Protein in HIV/AIDS Patients

WISHH, Solae Company and University of Stellenbosch Announce Unique Nine-Month Partnership

ST. LOUIS, MO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 1, 2006 -- An international team of corporate and non-profit partners today announced the commencement of a unique study to evaluate the efficacy of protein supplementation for people with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

To date, no one has taken a systematic look at the value of protein supplementation in under-served populations. This research, which will take place in South Africa, aims to determine the effects of high-quality protein supplementation on the health and nutrition of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Researchers will compare the effect(s) of a micronutrient-fortified beverage containing soy protein isolate to a product with equal calories and micronutrients, but without supplemental protein. Evaluation should be completed by fall 2007 and entered into the scientific literature as a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Poor nutrition increases the risk for poor outcomes and progression of disease, which in turn increases the likelihood of malnutrition. In this project, the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) and The Solae Company will collaborate with researchers at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa to fill a void in data concerning the role of protein supplementation for people living with HIV/AIDS.

"There are important benefits that may follow research of this nature based on the power of its findings," said Roy Kennedy, a University of Stellenbosch faculty member who will serve as the project's principal investigator. Such benefits could include a better understanding of the role of high-quality protein in the health of people living with AIDS. The findings could also lead to development of commercial products tailored to needs and the use of appropriately specifically designed rations for food distribution programs.

The Solae Company, an international food innovation and ingredient manufacturing organization, is the largest industry representative and contributor to the research partnership. Because the company holds extensive expertise in the areas of protein nutrition, application and global food trends, it will play a key role in the project.

"WISHH is pleased to partner on this project that has the potential to improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS," said WISHH Program Director Jim Hershey. "With improved nutrition, people can have a far better quality of life as well as contribute more to their families and the economies of their countries. U.S. soy has much to offer people with HIV/AIDS."

Many recommended calorie-containing nutritional supplements in the United States contain soy ingredients for optimum nutrition for people with HIV/AIDS. As a source of high-quality protein and antioxidants, soy can also help prevent nutrition-related immune deficits, which can help to ward off opportunistic and other infections. HIV nutrition adviser Cade Fields-Gardner has completed a compendium of nutrition research that is available on the HIV page of www.wishh.org.

Announcement Coincides with December 1 World AIDS Day

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates more than 39 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. Although the virus is a formidable threat to men, women and children all around the world, some 95 percent of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations.

Established in 1988, World AIDS Day focuses global attention on the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The observance aims to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education around the world, reminding people that HIV/AIDS has not gone away and that there is much work to be done.

About WISHH, The Solae Company

Headquartered at the American Soybean Association in St. Louis, the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) is at work in 23 countries, ranging from Africa to Asia to Latin America, to improve diets as well as encourage growth of food industries. For more information about WISHH, see www.wishh.org.

The Solae Company is a food innovation and ingredient manufacturing organization. Formed through an alliance between DuPont (NYSE: DD) and Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG), the St. Louis, Missouri-based company provides food manufacturers across the world with Better Ingredients for Better Living ™. For more information, see www.solae.com.

Contact Information

  • CONTACTS:

    Karen Edwards
    World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH)
    +1 703/281-7600
    Email Contact

    Andrew Shea
    The Solae Company
    +1 314/659-3379
    Email Contact