Soy protein may help prevent osteoporosis in menopausal women. A new study suggests that a soy-based diet can reduce the bone loss that occurs in the case of osteoporosis as the proteins and isoflavones contained by soy beans protect the integrity of bone health.
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes loss of bone density in people aged 50 and above. It particularly affects menopausal women, with about 80 percent of cases being diagnosed are female patients, primarily because of the loss of estrogen that these women experience when going through menopause.
The estrogen hormone is responsible for protecting the human bones and when reaching menopause, the female body loses significant amounts of the hormone. As such, the more dense a woman’s bones are when she reaches menopause, the better her chances are of losing less bone density and the lower her risk of developing osteoporosis.
How much bone density each woman loses also varies from case to case, as some women lose bone density faster than others. It is estimated that a woman can end up losing up to 20 percent of her bone density within the first 5 to 7 years after reaching menopause.
In the most recent study conducted at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, researchers found that women who took daily soy protein and isoflavone supplements showed lower levels of markers specifically associated with bone loss, such as the protein βCTX.
This means that women who take daily supplementary doses of soy proteins and isoflavones have a smaller rate of bone loss and thus reduce the risk they have of developing osteoporosis.
The study focused on 200 participants, all women in the early stages of menopause, and focused on adding a daily dietary supplement composed of soy protein and 66 mg of isoflavones in one case and of just soy protein in the second case. The supplement was included in the women’s daily diet for a period of six months.
The soy protein and isoflavones supplement option is, according to researchers, a safe and highly effective way to improve women’s bone health and that the effects of this type of diet mirror the ones of the conventional drugs prescribed for osteoporosis.
Supplementing the food we eat with isoflavones could also lead to a decreased risk of developing the disease and, so, to a lower number of women who are diagnosed with osteoporosis in the long run.
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