Supplements of soy isoflavones may help reduce body weight and improve the metabolism of glucose, according toa new meta-analysis of suitable studies with non-Asian women.
Data from nine randomized clinical trials indicated that, for doses
of soy isoflavones from 40 to 160 milligrams per day, supplementation
was associated with signficant reductions in body weight in both short
and longer term studies.
«Soy isoflavone supplementation could reduce body weight and improve glucose metabolism significantly with soy isoflavone supplementation compared with the placebo control group in non-Asian postmenopausal women,» said the researchers.
«Furthermore, shorter supplement duration could significantly reduce body weight, whereas longer supplement duration could reduce blood glucose remarkably. Moreover, it is more effective to reduce body weight and fasting insulin level with soy isoflavone supplementation in normal weight than obese women.»
Isoflavones are well known phytoestrogens – active substances derived from plants that have a weak estrogen-like action. Isoflavones from soy have been reported to provide a number of healths benefits, including the promotion of heart health and the maintenance of bone health in post-menopausal women.
They have also been studied for their role in cancer prevention and slowing down the aging process in perimenopausal women, and have proved to be a popular alternative to hormone replacement therapy for those wishing to control menopause symptoms without resorting to drugs.
In order to confirm the potential heart benefits of soy isoflavones, the researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of isoflavone supplementation on various cardiovascular disease risk factors, including body weight, and glucose and insulin levels in non-Asian postmenopausal women.