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Osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and how soy can counteract its harmful effects

Review on January 19, 2010

Osteoporosis soy

Osteoporosis to varying degrees is commonplace in men and women at midlife. Most lose between 0.3-0.5% bone at midlife and this risk rises considerably for women at a postmenopausal stage of life. Many turn to hormone therapy to halt the loss of bone density caused by the symptoms of ageing. Due to its side effects however many women choose to use a natural approach to stop the spread of osteoporosis. The components in soy are capable of fulfilling this role by replacing lost human estrogen with plant-like estrogen.

Studies carried out to monitor the effectiveness of soy in combating the effects of osteoporosis function on the fact that the mammalian estrogen (17 -estradiol) found in soy operates as an antagonist against specific estrogen receptor modulators. Vitro studies have proven that soy can work against the spread of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Clinical studies have shown soy to work in this regard in two different ways. This is achieved firstly, by the pyhtoestrogens in soy preventing oophorectomy-induced bone loss. Secondly soy while taken over long periods in the diets of postmenopausal women has shown that the chemicals found within soy boost mineral density.

osteoporosis degree

In a study in which a sample group of postmenopausal women were consuming 8.5 mg of soy protein per day, results showed soy intake to conclusively link to a lower chance of bone fracture. The results of the study differed between women based on other untested elements, which would aid in the support of bone density. Such differential points such as physical exercise and the amount of non-soy protein taken by subjects could considerably compound on existent beneficial results.

Other studies of osteoporosis and its regulation through the consumption of soy have proven to be significantly less conclusive. Such a conclusion refers to the first human based study which monitored the ability of soy supplements to counteract the symptoms of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Such a study had positive effects on some but absolutely none in others. In addition to this the study showed that soy was capable of halting any future erosion of bone density but incapable of reversing any bone loss that had already occurred.


Sources:
  • JAMA - The Journal of the American Medical Association Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:1890-1895.