Soy isoflavones prevent bone resorption and loss, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020; 60(14):2327-2341.CR
Osteoporosis is a common bone disease characterized by reduced bone mass resulting from continuous bone resorption.
PubMed, Scopus, and Embase were searched to find published trials on the effect of soy isoflavones on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover markers (bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, osteocalcin, osteoprotegerin, pyridinoline, deoxypyridinoline, C-telopeptide, and N-telopeptide). Random-effects inverse-variance model was used to calculate the pooled effects.
A total of 5313 articles were found, screened, and assessed for eligibility, and finally 52 trials were included in the meta-analysis. Consumption of soy isoflavones caused significant improvement in BMD of lumbar spine (mean difference (MD) = 0.76%; 95% CI: 0.09, 1.42%; p = 0.03), hip (MD = 0.22%; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.42%; p = 0.04), and femoral neck (MD = 2.27%; 95% CI: 1.22, 3.31%; p < 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed that in all 3 sites, the improvement was significant in normal weight subjects and interventions longer than a year, although trial location and dosage were also factors influencing isoflavones' impact on BMD. Among markers of bone turnover, osteoprotegerin (MD = 5.79; 95% CI: 3.08, 8.51 pg/ml; p < 0.001), pyridinoline (MD = -5.13; 95% CI: -7.76, -2.50 nmol/mmol; p < 0.001), and C-telopeptides (MD = -0.08; 95% CI: -0.16, -0.00 ng/ml; p = 0.04) were favorably affected by isoflavones while osteocalcin and bone alkaline phosphatase did not change. Subgroup analysis of bone markers showed that in overweight/obese individuals and dosages <90 mg/day, isoflavones are more effective.
Soy isoflavones prevent osteoporosis-related bone loss in any weight status or treatment duration. They increase BMD in normal weight subjects and diminish bone resorption in overweight/obese individuals. Although bone resorption may be decelerated over short-term isoflavone consumption, periods longer than a year are probably needed to affect BMD. Isoflavones also appear benefits on bone in any dose or subjects' ethnicity.