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Osteoporos Int. 2000;11(8):721-4.

Effect of soy protein on bone metabolism in postmenopausal Japanese women.

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Department of Endocrinology, Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital, Japan.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of the effects of soybean protein intake on bone mineral density and biochemical markers in 85 postmenopausal Japanese women. Nutrients in the diet of postmenopausal Japanese women visiting the osteoporosis unit, including subjects with normal lumbar spine bone mineral density (L2-4 BMD), were investigated by questionnaire, and the calculated daily energy, protein, soy protein and calcium intake were obtained. L2-4 BMD was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and assays done of serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and serum intact osteocalcin (IOC) as bone formation markers and urinary pyridinoline (UPYR) and urinary deoxypyridinoline (UDPYR) as bone resorption markers. Soy protein intake was significantly associated with the Z-score for L2-4 BMD (r = 0.23,p = 0.038) and UDPYR (r = -0.23, p = 0.034). Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that soy protein intake is significantly associated with the Z-score for L2-4 BMD (beta = 0.225, p = 0.04) and UDPYR (beta = -0.08, p = 0.03) among four nutritional factors. These results suggest that high soy protein intake is associated with a higher bone mineral density and a lower level of bone resorption, but further studies are needed to confirm the causal dynamic mechanisms.

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