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Mymensingh Med J. 2011 Apr;20(2):219-25.

Phytoestrogen intake and cardiovascular risk markers in Bangladeshi postmenopausal women.

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Department of Community Nutrition, Bangladesh Institute of Health Sciences, 125/1 Darus Salam, Mirpur, Dhaka-1216, Bangladesh.


Menopause is the transitional event of female life creating a considerable degree of clinical and psychological as well as social problem and it is known to affect the risk markers of cardiovascular diseases. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was though to be a cornerstone in the management of menopause, but evidences accumulated in the recent past have raised serious questions regarding its safety and usability. In this context, phytoestrogens are getting increasingly more attention for therapeutic (as an alternate of HRT) and dietary interventions. Menopause is a special problem for women in developing countries and intake of phytoestrogens can be highly useful also from the economic point of views. The nutraceuticals of specific vitamins, minerals and especially phytoestrogens supplementations are a vital component of the strategy to reduce health problem. The present study was aimed to assess the association of phytoestrogens and risk markers of cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women. A total of 111 postmenopausal subjects [age, (years, M±SD) 52±5.35] were studied. The dietary intake of phytoestrogens by study subjects was calculated by a specific food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Serum fasting homocysteine was measured by AxSYM system. Serum glucose was estimated by glucose-oxidase method. Serum total cholesterol, triglyceride and HDL-C were estimated by enzymatic-colorimetric method LDL-C was estimated by the Friedewald's formula. The intake of total phytoestrogens, isoflavones and lignans (mean±SD, mg/day) were 7.65±3.33, 0.32±0.16, 7.32±3.28 respectively in postmenopausal women. The intake of diadzein, genistein, formononetin, biochanin A (mean±SD, mg/day) were 0.085±0.035, 0.168±0.101, 0.074±0.052 and 0.001±0.0008 respectively. The intake of matairesinol and secoisolaiciresinol (SILR) (mean±SD, mg/day) were 0.022±0.006 and 7.30±3.28 respectively. The total phytoestrogens (r=-0.19, p=0.03) and SILR, one specific type of lignans (r=-0.19, p=0.04) consumption in this study were inversely significantly associated with serum glucose level. The dietary formononetin, one specific type of isoflavones was negatively significantly associated with LDL-cholesterol (r=-0.18, p=0.04). There was no significant relationship found between phytoestrogen intake and serum homocysteine level (r=-0.11, p=0.23). Phytoestrogens containing food intake should be encouraged for reducing risk markers of cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women.

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