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Soy isoflavones, Mediterranean diet, and physical exercise in postmenopausal women with insulin resistance

Llaneza, Placido MD, PhD1; Gonzalez, Celestino PhD2; Fernandez-Iñarrea, Jose MD3; Alonso, Ana PhD2; Diaz-Fernandez, Maria J. PhD4; Arnott, Ignacio MD5; Ferrer- Barriendos, Javier MD, PhD5

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181ba56fa
Articles

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a standard dose of 40 mg of soy isoflavones prescribed in routine clinical practice for treatment of menopausal symptoms has some influence on glucose homeostasis in postmenopausal women with insulin resistance (IR).

Methods: A total of 116 postmenopausal women with IR were randomly assigned to a group of Mediterranean diet and physical exercise (control group) or a group of Mediterranean diet, physical exercise, and daily oral ingestion of 40 mg of soy isoflavones (soy isoflavones group). Anthropometric measures, Kupperman Index values, Cervantes Scale score, and blood samples for glucose, insulin, lipid profile, creatinine, uric acid, homocysteine, folic acid, vitamin B12, selenium, and estradiol were determined at baseline and at intervals of 6, 12, 18, and 24 months.

Results: Mean homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) values remained unchanged from the baseline in the control group but steadily decreased in the soy isoflavones group at 6 months (P = 0.042). There were no statistically significant differences between both groups in mean HOMA-IR scores at baseline, but statistically significantly lower values were found in the soy isoflavones group at 6 months (P = 0.009), 12 months (P = 0.011), 18 months (P = 0.018), and 24 months (P = 0.012). Changes in HOMA-IR values were also clearly related to body mass index (P < 0.001), abdominal circumference (P < 0.001), and treatment (P = 0.044) when a linear regression analysis was carried out.

Conclusions: Daily intake of 40 mg of soy isoflavones together with a Mediterranean diet and exercise reduced IR in postmenopausal women who had IR in the first place. It was significantly better than lifestyle changes alone. If corroborated, this may be a useful intervention for these women.

Daily intake of 40 mg of soy isoflavones together with a Mediterranean diet and exercise reduced insulin resistance in postmenopausal women who had insulin resistance in the first place. The reduction was significantly better than those seen with lifestyle changes alone.

From the 1Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Asturias Central University Hospital; 2Department of Functional Biology, Physiology Area, Oviedo University, Oviedo; 3Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Cabueñes Hospital, Gijón; 4Endocrinology Department, Valle del Nalon Hospital, Oviedo; and 5Asturias Central University Hospital, Oviedo, Spain.

Received June 30, 2009; revised and accepted July 30, 2009.

Funding/support: This study was supported by an Investigation Health Fund of Spanish Government grant (PI-O51616).

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Placido Llaneza, MD, PhD, Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Asturias Central University Hospital, C/ Celestino Villamil s/n, Oviedo 33006, Spain. E-mail: pllanezac@yahoo.es

©2010The North American Menopause Society