Soy isoflavones improve cardiovascular disease risk markers in women during the early menopause

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 Jul;28(7):691-697. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2018.03.007. Epub 2018 Apr 10.


Background: Hormone replacement therapy may be beneficial for cardiovascular disease risk (CVR) in post-menopausal women. Soy isoflavones may act as selective estrogen receptor modulators. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether soy isoflavones had an effect on CVR markers.

Methods: The expected 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality were calculated as a secondary endpoint from a double blind randomised parallel study involving 200 women (mean age 55 years, Caucasian, Hull, UK, 2012) in the early menopause who were randomised to 15 g soy protein with 66 mg isoflavone (SPI) or 15 g soy protein alone (depleted of all isoflavones; SP) given as a snack bar between meals daily for 6 months. Age, diabetes, smoking, blood pressure and lipid profiles were used to calculate CVR using the Framingham CVR engine.

Results: SPI treatment resulted in a significant reduction in the metabolic parameters and systolic blood pressure compared to SP (p < 0.01). There were no changes in fasting lipid profile and diastolic blood pressure with either treatment. At 6 months, changes in these parameters with SPI treatment were reflected in a calculated 27% (p < 0.01) reduction in 10 year coronary heart disease risk, a 37% (p < 0.01) reduction in myocardial infarction risk, a 24% (p < 0.04) reduction in cardiovascular disease and 42% (p < 0.02) reduction in cardiovascular disease death risk.

Conclusions: Supplementation with soy protein with isoflavones for 6 months significantly improved CVR markers and calculated CVR at 6 months during early menopause compared to soy protein without isoflavones.

Isrctn registry: ISRCTN34051237.

Keywords: Cardiovascular death; Cardiovascular disease; Cardiovascular risk; Isoflavones; Postmenopausal; Soy; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / ethnology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • England / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / administration & dosage*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Menopause* / blood
  • Menopause* / ethnology
  • Middle Aged
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / ethnology
  • Soybean Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • White People


  • Biomarkers
  • Isoflavones
  • Lipids
  • Soybean Proteins