Background and aim: The effect of soy isoflavones on blood pressure is controversial. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary soy isoflavones on blood pressure.
Methods and results: Trials were searched in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase and references cited in related reviews and studies. A total of eleven trials were reviewed. Meta-analysis results showed a mean decrease of 2.5 mm Hg (95% CIs, - 5.35 to 0.34 mm Hg; P = 0.08) for systolic blood pressure and 1.5 mm Hg (95% CIs, - 3.09 to 0.17 mm Hg; P = 0.08) for diastolic blood pressure in the soy isoflavones-treated group compared to placebo. Meta-regression and subgroup analyses indicated that blood pressure status was a significant predictor of heterogeneity for the effect of soy isoflavones on blood pressure. Subgroup analysis of hypertensive subjects revealed that a greater blood pressure reduction was identified in the soy isoflavone-treated group compared to placebo (5 trials; SBP: - 5.94, 95% CIs [- 10.55, - 1.34] mm Hg, P = 0.01; DBP: - 3.35, 95% CIs [- 6.52, - 0.19] mm Hg, P = 0.04). In contrast, treatment with soy isoflavones did not lead to a significant reduction in blood pressure in normotensive subjects (6 trials; SBP: 0.29, 95% CIs [- 2.39, 2.97] mm Hg, P = 0.83; DBP: - 0.43, 95% CIs [- 1.66, 0.81] mm Hg, P = 0.50).
Conclusion: Soy isoflavones had an effect of lowering blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, but not in normotensive subjects. Larger trials need to be carried out to confirm the present findings.
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