Effects of soy protein isolate on bone mineral density and physical performance indices in postmenopausal women - A 2-year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Phani M. Vupadhyayula, J. C. Gallagher, Thomas Templin, Susannah M. Logsdon, Lynette M Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Objective: Postmenopausal decreases in body composition, physical performance, and bone mass have been shown to be reversed by estrogen, but given the concerns regarding its use, women are looking for alternatives such as soy isoflavones. Most studies on the effects of soy on bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women have been short-term, that is, 3 to 6 months, and failed to provide conclusive evidence. There is no evidence of its effects on physical performance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of soy plus isoflavones on BMD and physical performance in postmenopausal women. Methods: This was a 2-year randomized controlled trial. A total of 203 healthy postmenopausal women were given either 25 g of soy protein without isoflavones, 25 g of soy protein with 90 mg of isoflavones, or 25 g of milk protein (casein and whey) as a control agent for 24 months. Women were followed every 6 months with BMD and physical performance measurements for 2 years. Primary analysis was intent-to-treat analysis. Analysis of variance, X 2 and Fisher's exact tests, and analysis of covariance were used. Results: There was a significant decrease in the BMD of the lumbar spine and femoral neck in those who completed the study in all groups. Soy isoflavones prevented major bone loss from baseline at the femoral trochanter with no between-group significance. Physical performance measurements decreased in all the groups. Conclusions: Twenty-five grams of soy protein with 90 mg of isoflavones has no added benefit in preventing bone loss or improving physical performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-328
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2009



  • Bone mineral density
  • Isoflavones
  • Physical performance
  • Postmenopausal
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Soy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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