The effect of isoflavone on endothelial function in postmenopausal women is controversial.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of oral isoflavone supplementation on endothelial function, as measured by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), in postmenopausal women.
A meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials was conducted to evaluate the effect of oral isoflavone supplementation on endothelial function in postmenopausal women. Trials were searched in PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library database, and reviews and reference lists of relevant articles. Summary estimates of weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% CIs were obtained by using random-effects models. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses were performed to identify the source of heterogeneity.
A total of 9 trials were reviewed in the present meta-analysis. Overall, the results of the 9 trials showed that isoflavone significantly increased FMD (WMD: 1.75%; 95% CI: 0.83%, 2.67%; P = 0.0002). Meta-regression analysis indicated that the age-adjusted baseline FMD was inversely related to effect size. Subgroup analysis showed that oral supplementation of isoflavone had no influence on FMD if the age-adjusted baseline FMD was > or = 5.2% (4 trials; WMD: 0.24%; 95% CI: -0.94%, 1.42%; P = 0.69). This improvement seemed to be significant when the age-adjusted baseline FMD levels were <5.2% (5 trials; WMD: 2.22%; 95% CI: 1.15%, 3.30%; P < 0.0001), although significant heterogeneity was still detected in this low-baseline-FMD subgroup.
Oral isoflavone supplementation does not improve endothelial function in postmenopausal women with high baseline FMD levels but leads to significant improvement in women with low baseline FMD levels.