Effect of soy isoflavones supplement on climacteric symptoms, bone biomarkers, and quality of life in Korean postmenopausal women: a randomized clinical trial

  • Lee, Hansongyi (Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Choue, Ryowon (Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Lim, Hyunjung (Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University)
  • Received : 2016.11.02
  • Accepted : 2017.02.27
  • Published : 2017.06.01


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Soy isoflavones are expected to improve menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis in women. However, their efficacy is still inconclusive, and there was limited data for postmenopausal women in South Korea. We examined the effects of soy isoflavones on climacteric symptoms, bone biomarkers, and quality of life in Korean postmenopausal women. SUBJECTS/METHODS: A randomized, double-blind study design was used. Eighty-seven participants who had undergone natural menopause were randomly administered either 70 mg/day isoflavones (n = 43) or placebo (n = 41) for 12 weeks. We assessed the Kupperman index for climacteric symptoms and the menopause-specific quality of life (MENQOL) questionnaire for quality of the life. Biomarkers of bone metabolism were also measured in serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BALP), osteocalcin (OC), N- and C-terminal cross-linking telopeptides of type Ι collagen (NTx, CTx), and urine-deoxypyridinolin (u-DPD). RESULTS: Scores of the Kupperman index were decreased in both the isoflavones group ($-7.0{\pm}15.8$, P = 0.0074) and placebo group ($-6.3{\pm}14.6$, P = 0.0064) during the intervention, but no significant difference was noted between the groups. Regarding the bone formation markers, the level of serum BALP increased by $6.3{\pm}4.1%$ (P = 0.004) and OC increased by $9.3{\pm}6.2%$ (P < 0.001), meanwhile those of the placebo were not changed. For the bone resorption markers, NTx, CTx, and u-DPD were not significantly different in either group. MENQOL was significant decreased in the isoflavone group ($-0.6{\pm}0.5$) and placebo group ($-0.6{\pm}0.4$), with a significant difference between groups (P = 0.0228). CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that 70 mg isoflavones supplement has beneficial effects on bone formation markers; however, it showed no benefit compared to the placebo on climacteric symptoms or quality of life.


Supported by : Korea Food Research Institute(KFRI)


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