Isoflavone supplement composition and equol producer status affect gene expression in adipose tissue: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial in postmenopausal women.Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Nov; 100(5):1269-77.AJ
Isoflavone supplements, consumed by women experiencing menopausal symptoms, are suggested to have positive effects on menopause-related adiposity and cardiovascular disease risk profile, but discussions about their safety are still ongoing.
The objective was to study the effects of an 8-wk consumption of 2 different isoflavone supplements compared with placebo on whole-genome gene expression in the adipose tissue of postmenopausal women.
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover intervention consisted of 2 substudies, one with a low-genistein (LG) supplement (56% daidzein + daidzin, 16% genistein + genistin, and 28% glycitein + glycitin) and the other with a high-genistein (HG) supplement (49% daidzein + daidzin, 41% genistein + genistin, and 10% glycitein + glycitin). Both supplements provided ∼ 100 mg isoflavones/d (aglycone equivalents). After the 8-wk isoflavone and placebo period, whole-genome arrays were performed in subcutaneous adipose tissue of postmenopausal women (n = 26 after LG, n = 31 after HG). Participants were randomized by equol-producing phenotype, and data analysis was performed per substudy for equol producers and nonproducers separately.
Gene set enrichment analysis showed downregulation of expression of energy metabolism-related genes after LG supplementation (n = 24) in both equol-producing phenotypes and oppositely regulated expression for equol producers (down) and nonproducers (up) after HG supplementation (n = 31). Expression of inflammation-related genes was upregulated in equol producers but downregulated in nonproducers, independent of supplement type. Only 4.4-7.0% of the genes with significantly changed expression were estrogen responsive. Body weight, adipocyte size, and plasma lipid profile were not affected by isoflavone supplementation.
Effects of isoflavones on adipose tissue gene expression were influenced by supplement composition and equol-producing phenotype, whereas estrogen-responsive effects were lacking. LG isoflavone supplementation resulted in a caloric restriction-like gene expression profile for both producer phenotypes and pointed toward a potential beneficial effect, whereas both supplements induced anti-inflammatory gene expression in equol producers. The study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01556737.