19 August 2011
Soy supplements are unlikely to play a role in preventing osteoporosis in women after the menopause, US researchers have found (Arch Intern Med 2011; 171: 1363-9).
A 200 mg tablet of soy isoflavone taken daily did not reduce bone loss or menopause symptoms in menopausal women after 2 years.
The study found no significant differences in the bone mineral density of the spine, total hip or femoral neck between women who took the soy tablets and women who took placebo ('dummy') tablets.
A total of 248 women aged 45-60 years within the first 5 years of menopause took part in the study.
The 200 mg dosage of soy was equivalent to the highest intake of soy through food sources in a typical Asian diet.
The study followed the Women's Health Initiative trial that found the risks might outweigh the benefits of oestrogen therapy with or without progesterone.
It was conducted to overcome the limitations of many other trials of soy products, which include poor design, small sample size and short duration.
Last Reviewed: 19 August 2011