Background: Since current clinical evidence indicates that conventional estrogen hormone therapy (HT) increases cardiovascular risk, alternatives to estrogens are growing in popularity, especially among high-risk populations.
Objective: To determine the effect of Trifolium pratense-derived isoflavone supplementation on the lipid profile of postmenopausal women with increased body mass index (BMI).
Methods: Sixty postmenopausal women aged > 40 years, HT non-users, were randomly assigned to one of two groups: either two capsules of T. pratense (80 mg red clover isoflavones) daily for a 90-day period or placebo of equal design. After a 7-day washout period, medication was crossed-over for another 90 days. Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and lipoprotein A (LpA) levels were assessed at baseline, 90 and 180 days. Women were divided into two groups: those with increased BMI (>or=25 kg/m(2)) and those with BMI < 25 kg/m(2).
Results: Fifty-three women (88.3%) completed the trial. T. pratense isoflavone supplementation had a positive effect on the lipid profile of women with increased BMI, evidenced by a significant decrease in TC, LDL-C and LpA levels.
Conclusions: Isoflavones derived from T. pratense are an attractive alternative therapeutic option for high-risk populations such as postmenopausal women with increased BMI and abnormal lipid profile.