News & Perspectives

Latest CAM Studies: Genistein in the news

Fresh Off The Press:
Genistein reduces bone loss in osteopenic postmenopausal women.

For years, the isoflavone genistein, present in high amounts in soy foods, has been studied for its potential to protect against hormone-related disorders such as breast cancer. By competing for the same receptor sites on cells that the body’s own estrogen uses, genistein may actually protect these cells from the sometimes negative influences of hormone stimulation.  

Scientists now have evidence that genistein may be better than placebo in preventing bone loss in postmenopausal women who suffer from osteopenia, offering hope in the prevention of osteoporosis. In a 2007 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Italy, 389 postmenopausal women ate a reduced-fat diet low in soy products. They were given either placebo or 54 mg of genistein daily for 24 months. Results show that the bone mineral density in patients who received genistein increased. Those who received placebo lost bone density. (1) 

Limitations of this study include:
1) no measurement of fractures
2) limited power to evaluate adverse effects 

More research is needed to clarify the potential of genistein to prevent bone loss before formal recommendations for its use are indicated.  

However, this is promising high quality data and it is fresh off the press! 


Marini H, Minutoli L, Polito F, et al. Effects of the phytoestrogen genistein on bone metabolism in osteopenic postmenopausal women: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2007 Jun 19;146(12):839-47.
Date Published: 08/02/2007
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