Daidzein together with high calcium preserve bone mass and biomechanical strength at multiple sites in ovariectomized mice.Bone. 2004 Aug; 35(2):489-97.BONE
As the prevalence of osteoporosis is increasing, and the adverse effects of hormone replacement therapy are evident, women are searching for natural alternatives such as soy isoflavones to help prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. Daidzein is one of the most abundant isoflavones present in soy and it is unique as it can be further metabolized to equol, a compound with greater estrogenic activity than other isoflavones. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of purified daidzein in combination with high calcium (Ca) on preserving femur and lumbar vertebrae (LV1-LV4) bone mineral density (BMD) and biomechanical bone strength at three different sites (femur midpoint, femur neck and LV3) in ovariectomized mice. Sham (SH) mice (n = 12) received control diet (AIN93G) containing 2 g Ca/kg diet and ovariectomized mice were randomized to 1 of 6 groups (n = 12/group): OVX (2 g Ca/kg diet), HCa (25 g Ca/kg diet), HD (2 g Ca + 200 mg daidzein/kg diet), HDCa (25 g Ca + 200 mg daidzein/kg diet), LD (2 g Ca + 100 mg daidzein/kg diet) or LDCa (25 g Ca + 100 mg daidzein/kg diet) for 12 weeks. HDCa preserved femur and vertebrae BMD and biomechanical bone strength (at all three sites) compared to the OVX group, however, only femur yield load (at midpoint) was preserved to a level that was greater (P < 0.05) than HCa alone. Mice fed HD diet had greater (P < 0.05) femur BMD than OVX group, however, daidzein alone (HD) did not appear to preserve trabecular bone (i.e., vertebrae BMD and vertebra peak load). All mice fed daidzein produced equol and there were no uterotrophic effects of daidzein at either dose. Both daidzein and Ca attenuated the increase in serum IL-1beta observed in the OVX group. The results from this study suggest that the combination of daidzein and high Ca favorably affect cortical and trabecular bone as indicated by femur and lumbar vertebrae BMD and biomechanical strength but much of this effect is mediated by the high Ca diet. Further investigation is required to determine optimal dietary levels of daidzein and Ca with the long-term goal of developing a dietary strategy to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis and related fragility fractures.