Antiresorptive effects of phytoestrogen supplements compared with estradiol or risedronate in postmenopausal women using 41Ca methodology

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Reduction of ovarian estrogen secretion at menopause increases net bone resorption and leads to bone loss. Isoflavones have been reported to protect bone from estrogen deficiency, but their modest effects on bone resorption have been difficult to measure with traditional analytical methods. Methods: In this randomized-order, crossover, blinded trial in 11 healthy postmenopausal women, wecompared four commercial sources of isoflavones from soy cotyledon, soy germ, kudzu, and red clover and a positive control of oral 1 mg estradiol combined with 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone or 5 mg/d oral risedronate (Actonel®) for their antiresorptive effects on bone using novel 41Ca methodology. Results: Risedronate and estrogen plus progesterone decreased net bone resorption measured by urinary 41Ca by 22 and 24%, respectively (P<0.0001). Despite serum isoflavone profiles indicating bioavailability of the phytoestrogens, only soy isoflavones from the cotyledon and germ significantly decreased net bone resorption by 9% (P = 0.0002) and 5% (P = 0.03), respectively. Calcium absorption and biochemical markers of bone turnover were not influenced by interventions. Conclusions: Dietary supplements containing genistein-like isoflavones demonstrated a significant but modest ability to suppress net bone resorption in postmenopausal women at the doses supplied in this study over a 50-d intervention period. Copyright © 2009 by The Endocrine Society.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Weaver CM; Martin BR; Jackson GS; McCabe GP; Nolan JR; McCabe LD; Barnes S; Reinwald S; Boris ME; Peacock M
  • Start Page

  • 3798
  • End Page

  • 3805
  • Volume

  • 94
  • Issue

  • 10