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Biofactors. 2004;22(1-4):221-8.

Effects of isoflavone supplements on bone metabolic markers and climacteric symptoms in Japanese women.

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  • 1Laboratory of Nutritional Science, Department of Applied Bioscience, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan.


A double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study on the effects of 40~mg/d isoflavone supplements was carried out by 58 climacteric Japanese women. A questionnaire and an interview concerning climacteric symptoms, health status, dietary and exercise habit, and medical history were carried out, and the physical check-up and biochemical tests including sex-hormone analysis were made at baseline and after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. Urinary isoflavones were separately measured from the frozen samples. Isoflavone treatment did not cause any adverse effects on anthropometric measures or blood chemistry. Urinary deoxypyridinoline, a marker of bone resorption decreased significantly with isoflavone treatment. This tendency was remarkable among equol producers. Plasma osteocalcin and bone mineral density did not change by the four-weeks treatment. As for climacteric symptoms, hot flash decreased significantly. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure of hypertensive participants decreased significantly after isoflavone treatment compared with baseline and the placebo treatment. Isoflavone supplementation offers benefits to reduce effectively on bone resorption enhanced by menopause. The treatment also showed an improvement of climacteric hot flash and hypertension. Equol producers showed better results.

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