Journal Article

Dietary Soy Isoflavones and Bone Mineral Density: Results from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation

Gail A. Greendale, Gordon FitzGerald, Mei-Hua Huang, Barbara Sternfeld, Ellen Gold, Teresa Seeman, Sherry Sherman and MaryFran Sowers

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 155, issue 8, pages 746-754
Published in print April 2002 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online April 2002 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/155.8.746
Dietary Soy Isoflavones and Bone Mineral Density: Results from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation

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Isoflavones are naturally occurring selective estrogen receptor modulators, with potential bone protective effects. To study the relation between soy isoflavone intake and bone mineral density (BMD), the authors analyzed baseline data from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, a US community-based cohort study of women aged 42–52 years. Their 1996–1997 analysis included African-American (n = 497), Caucasian (n = 1,003), Chinese (n = 200), and Japanese (n = 227) participants. Genistein and daidzein intakes were highly correlated (r = 0.98); therefore, analyses were conducted by using genistein. Median intakes of genistein (measured in micrograms/day) by African Americans and Caucasians were too low to pursue relational analyses further. For Chinese and Japanese women, median genistein intakes were 3,511 and 7,151 μg/day, respectively. Ethnic-specific, linear models were used to predict BMD as a function of energy-adjusted tertile of intake, controlled for relevant covariates. For Chinese women, no association between genistein and BMD was found. Premenopausal, but not perimenopausal, Japanese women whose intakes were greater had higher spine and femoral neck BMD. Adjusted mean spinal BMD of those in the highest tertile of intake was 7.7% greater than that of women in the lowest tertile (p = 0.02); femoral neck BMD was 12% greater in the highest versus the lowest tertile (p < 0.0001).

Keywords: bone density; cohort studies; diet; genistein; isoflavones; menopause; soybeans; women; BMD, bone mineral density; FFQ, food frequency questionnaire; SWAN, Study of Women's Health Across the Nation

Journal Article.  6293 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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