July 12, 2002 A National Institutes of Health research study about to get under way at Iowa State University could offer a partial alternative to hormone replacement therapy for women who want to prevent bone loss after menopause.
D. Lee Alekel, associate professor of nutrition and principal investigator on this multi-center trial, and project coordinator Oksana Matvienko, a post doctoral fellow, will expand upon a preliminary, short-term study in 69 perimenopausal women that showed isoflavone-rich soy protein reduced bone loss in the lumbar spine. Isoflavones are estrogen-like compounds found in soybeans.
In the three-year study, which will begin this fall, Alekel and Matvienko will study the effects of two doses of isoflavone-rich soy extract on bone in postmenopausal women who don't have osteoporosis.
"We believe this research will provide critical data about an acceptable and safe alternative to traditional hormone therapy in preventing osteoporosis, which is a major long-term consequence of menopause," Alekel says.
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