Dietary inclusion of whole soy foods results in significant reductions in clinical risk factors for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease in normal postmenopausal women.


Scheiber MD, Liu JH, Subbiah MT, Rebar RW, Setchell KD.






OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of dietary inclusion of soy foods on clinical markers for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and osteoporosis in normal postmenopausal women. DESIGN: This was a single open-group prospective clinical intervention. Forty-two normal postmenopausal women consumed three daily servings for 12 consecutive weeks of whole soy foods containing approximately 60 mg/d of isoflavones. Blood and urine specimens were obtained at baseline and after 12 weeks of dietary intervention. RESULTS: Serum and urine levels of individual and total isoflavones increased significantly (7-19 fold, p < 0.001) from baseline. A significant increase (9.3%, p < 0.05) in the mean lag-time of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol oxidation was seen and was positively correlated with serum phytoestrogens (p < 0.05). Significant increases were found in mean levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc) (3.7%, p < 0.05) and serum osteocalcin (10.2%, p < 0.025). Significant decreases were observed in total cholesterol:HDLc ratios (5.5%, p < 0.006) and mean urinary N-telopeptide excretion (13.9%, p < 0.02). Urinary excretion of total isoflavones was negatively correlated with very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol:HDLc ratios (p < 0.04). No significant changes from baseline in HDLc peroxidation, total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, follicle-stimulating hormone, or estradiol levels were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Dietary inclusion of whole soy foods containing 60 mg/d of isoflavones results in significant serum levels of phytoestrogens and reductions in several key clinical risk factors for CVD and osteoporosis in normal postmenopausal women. Long-term, placebo-controlled clinical trials are needed to evaluate the effect of phytoestrogens on the clinical endpoints of CVD and osteoporosis in this population.