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Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24 Suppl 2:S168-74. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3060.

Effects of isoflavones equol and genistein on bone quality in a rat osteopenia model.

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Department of Trauma Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

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  • Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24 Suppl 2:S233-4.


Phytoestrogens might be an alternative medication in prophylaxis and treatment of osteoporosis. In this study, the osteoprotective effects of genistein (GEN) and equol (EQO) were evaluated. After ovariectomy, 44 rats received soy-free food (Control, C) and developed substantial osteoporosis over the course of two months. After that period, the rats were divided into different groups and fed estradiol (E), GEN or EQO for 35 days. To analyze the osteoprotective effects of the tested substances, bone biomechanical properties and histomorphometric changes of the lumbar vertebrae were evaluated. In analyzing the vertebral body compression strength, we found that the EQO (103.8%) and GEN (96.8%) groups reached similar levels relative to the E group, while the C group reached 77.7% of the biomechanical properties of the E group. EQO was significantly superior to C. The histomorphometric evaluation demonstrated an increased number of nodes in EQO- and E-treated rats compared to GEN- and C-treated rats. E led to an improvement of cortical as well as trabecular bone, an advantage that was only partly seen in the other groups. Treatment with phytoestrogens induced improved bone quality. EQO and GEN might be alternatives for hormone replacement therapy, although further studies are needed to elucidate possible side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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