Study Looks at Supplement to Help Prevent Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women

Elderly woman pouring pills into her hand from a bottleTo help prevent osteoporosis, many postmenopausal women are looking for non-pharmaceutical options to try in place of hormone therapy. Researchers are studying soybean isoflavones—specifically the isoflavone genistein—for this reason.

In a study, researchers looked at early postmenopausal women and the effects that synthetic genistein in combination with other possible bone-protective nutrients had on bone mineral density (BMD).

Their findings were recently published online in the article “Effect of a combination of genistein, polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins D3 and K1 on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study.” The article will appear in the European Journal of Nutrition.

The research team designed a 6-month pilot trial, which included 70 women who were randomly assigned to take a daily calcium supplement (the placebo group) or a daily geniVida bone blend (GBB) supplement (the GBB group).

The GBB supplement included genistein (30 mg/day), vitamin D3 (800 IU/day), vitamin K1 (150 μg/day), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (which included 1 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids as ethyl ester: eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid ratio=~2:1).

Initially, there were 35 women in each of the groups; however, 6 women withdrew at various stages in the study, and 6 women were considered non-compliant, so they were excluded from the analysis.

Researchers evaluated markers of bone resorption and bone formation and BMD in several locations: the femoral neck, intertrochanter, lumbar spine, total hip, trochanter, Ward’s triangle, and whole body.

It was noted that the study participants in the GBB group (n=30) maintained their BMD in the femoral neck, but BMD significantly decreased (p=0.007) in the participants who were in the placebo group (n=28).

The researchers also noted a significant difference (p<0.05) in BMD in the Ward’s triangle between the groups—specifically, their findings were in favor of the participants in the GBB group.

They also found that in the GBB group, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and N-telopeptide significantly increased in comparison with the participants in the placebo group.

Additionally, the daily GBB supplement was well tolerated by the participants; and researchers did not observe any significant differences in adverse events between the groups.

At the end of the study, researchers determined that in postmenopausal women, GBB may help prevent osteoporosis and reduce fracture risk—at least in the hip. However, they concluded that larger and more long-term clinical trials are necessary to investigate this more deeply.

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