Previous studies on the effect of soy isoflavones on bone health have been disappointing. So, a positive response to soy isoflavones on the bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and femoral neck is of interest.
In this study, 90 early postmenopausal women aged 45 to 60 years were randomly assigned to daily doses of 84 or 126 mg of isoflavone, or placebo. After 6 months of treatment there was a significant dose-dependent relationship between the supplemental isoflavones and percent changes of BMD at the spine and femoral neck. In other words, taking isoflavone stopped bone lose.
This is a relatively small population treated for a short time. By comparison, the Osteoporosis Prevention Using Soy (OPUS) study is a multi-site, two-year research study on the use of soy isoflavones to prevent bone loss. All 400 postmenopausal women have been recruited, and the first publications should appear later this year.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.