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      Soy protein supplementation does not cause lymphocytopenia in postmenopausal women

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          The health benefits of soy isoflavones have been widely investigated; however, there are some concerns as to whether soy isoflavones, similar to ipriflavone, a synthetic isoflavone, cause lymphocytopenia in postmenopausal women. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which 12-month supplementation of 25 g soy protein containing 60 mg isoflavones alters lymphocyte counts or other hematological parameters in postmenopausal women who were not on hormone replacement therapy.


          Eighty-seven postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to receive either soy protein or an equivalent amount of control protein devoid of isoflavones. Fasting venous blood was collected at baseline and at the end of twelve month study period for complete blood count analyses.


          Between the two treatment groups, the percent changes in hematological parameters, including lymphocytes, were not different. While women consuming the soy supplement had an increase in mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and red cell distribution width index (RDW; a marker of reticulocytes), women consuming the control diet had higher percentage of only MCHC.


          Overall, the results of the present study indicate that consumption of 25 g soy protein containing 60 mg isoflavones daily for one year does not cause lymphocytopenia.

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          Effects of genistein and hormone-replacement therapy on bone loss in early postmenopausal women: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study.

          The natural isoflavone phytoestrogen genistein has been shown to stimulate osteoblastic bone formation, inhibit osteoclastic bone resorption, and prevent bone loss in ovariectomized rats. However, no controlled clinical trial has been performed so far to evaluate the effects of the phytoestrogen on bone loss in postmenopausal women. We performed a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study to evaluate and compare with hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) the effect of the phytoestrogen genistein on bone metabolism and bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women. Participants were 90 healthy ambulatory women who were 47-57 years of age, with a BMD at the femoral neck of <0.795 g/cm2. After a 4-week stabilization on a standard fat-reduced diet, participants of the study were randomly assigned to receive continuous HRT for 1 year (n = 30; 1 mg of 17beta-estradiol [E2] combined with 0.5 mg of norethisterone acetate), the phytoestrogen genistein (n = 30; 54 mg/day), or placebo (n = 30). Urinary excretion of pyridinoline (PYR) and deoxypyridinoline (DPYR) was not significantly modified by placebo administration either at 6 months or at 12 months. Genistein treatment significantly reduced the excretion of pyridinium cross-links at 6 months (PYR = -54 +/- 10%; DPYR = -55 +/- 13%; p < 0.001) and 12 months (PYR = -42 +/- 12%; DPYR = -44 +/- 16%; p < 0.001). A similar and not statistically different decrease in excretion of pyridinium cross-links was also observed in the postmenopausal women randomized to receive HRT. Placebo administration did not change the serum levels of the bone-specific ALP (B-ALP) and osteocalcin (bone Gla protein [BGP]). In contrast, administration of genistein markedly increased serum B-ALP and BGP either at 6 months (B-ALP = 23 +/- 4%; BGP = 29 +/- 11%; p < 0.005) or at 12 months (B-ALP = 25 +/- 7%; BGP = 37 +/- 16%; p < 0.05). Postmenopausal women treated with HRT had, in contrast, decreased serum B-ALP and BGP levels either at 6 months (B-ALP = -17 +/- 6%; BGP = -20 +/- 9%; p < 0.001) or 12 months (B-ALP = -20 +/- 5%; BGP = -22 +/- 10%; p < 0.001). Furthermore, at the end of the experimental period, genistein and HRT significantly increased BMD in the femur (femoral neck: genistein = 3.6 +/- 3%, HRT = 2.4 +/- 2%, placebo = -0.65 +/- 0.1%, and p < 0.001) and lumbar spine (genistein = 3 +/- 2%, HRT = 3.8 +/- 2.7%, placebo = -1.6 +/- 0.3%, and p < 0.001). This study confirms the genistein-positive effects on bone loss already observed in the experimental models of osteoporosis and indicates that the phytoestrogen reduces bone resorption and increases bone formation in postmenopausal women.
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            Isoflavone-rich soy protein isolate attenuates bone loss in the lumbar spine of perimenopausal women.

            No published studies have directly examined the effect of soy protein with isoflavones on bone or bone turnover in perimenopausal women. Our objective was to determine the effects of 24 wk of consumption of soy protein isolate with isoflavones (80.4 mg/d) in attenuating bone loss during the menopausal transition. Perimenopausal subjects were randomly assigned, double blind, to treatment: isoflavone-rich soy (SPI+; n = 24), isoflavone-poor soy (SPI-; n = 24), or whey (control; n = 21) protein. At baseline and posttreatment, lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) were measured by using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. At baseline, midtreatment, and posttreatment, urinary N:-telopeptides and serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) were measured. The percentage change in lumbar spine BMD and BMC, respectively, did not differ from zero in the SPI+ or SPI- groups, but loss occurred in the control group (-1.28%, P: = 0.0041; -1.73%, P: = 0.0037). By regression analysis, SPI+ treatment had a positive effect on change in BMD (5.6%; P: = 0.023) and BMC (10.1%; P: = 0.0032). Baseline BMD and BMC (P: < or = 0.0001) negatively affected the percentage change in their respective models; baseline body weight (P: = 0.0036) and bone-free lean weight (P: = 0.016) contributed positively to percentage change in BMD and BMC, respectively. Serum BAP posttreatment was negatively related to percentage change in BMD (P: = 0.0016) and BMC (P: = 0.019). Contrast coding using analyses of covariance with BMD or BMC as the outcome showed that isoflavones, not soy protein, exerted the effect. Soy isoflavones attenuated bone loss from the lumbar spine in perimenopausal women.
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              Soy protein and isoflavones: their effects on blood lipids and bone density in postmenopausal women.

              The effects of soy protein (40 g/d) containing moderate and higher concentrations of isoflavones on blood lipid profiles, mononuclear cell LDL receptor messenger RNA, and bone mineral density and content were investigated in 66 free-living, hypercholesterolemic, postmenopausal women during a 6-mo, parallel-group, double-blind trial with 3 interventions. After a control period of 14 d, during which subjects followed a National Cholesterol Education Program Step I low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, all subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 dietary groups: Step I diet with 40 g protein/d obtained from casein and nonfat dry milk (CNFDM), Step I diet with 40 g protein/d from isolated soy protein containing 1.39 mg isoflavones/g protein (ISP56), or Step I diet with 40 g protein/d from isolated soy protein containing 2.25 mg isoflavones/g protein (ISP90). Total and regional bone mineral content and density were assessed. Non-HDL cholesterol for both ISP56 and ISP90 groups was reduced compared with the CNFDM group (P < 0.05). HDL cholesterol increased in both ISP56 and ISP90 groups (P < 0.05). Mononuclear cell LDL receptor mRNA was increased in subjects consuming ISP56 or ISP90 compared with those consuming CNFDM (P < 0.05). Significant increases occurred in both bone mineral content and density in the lumbar spine but not elsewhere for the ISP90 group compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Intake of soy protein at both isoflavone concentrations for 6 mo may decrease the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. However, only the higher isoflavone-containing product protected against spinal bone loss.

                Author and article information

                Nutr J
                Nutrition Journal
                BioMed Central (London )
                11 April 2006
                : 5
                : 12
                [1 ]Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
                [2 ]Department of Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
                [3 ]The Solae Company, St. Louis, MO, USA
                Copyright © 2006 Soung et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Nutrition & Dietetics


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