Soy protein helps strengthen bones

Postmenopausal women who consumed high daily levels of soy protein had reduced risk of bone fracture, according to a new study. Xianglan Zhang, MD, MPH, from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine examined the relationship between soy food consumption and bone fractures in 24,403 postmenopausal women. The women were part of the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, a study of approximately 75,000 Chinese women aged 40 to 70 years. Participants’ usual dietary intake was assessed once at the beginning of the study and then during follow-up, approximately two to three years later. The average age was 60 years.

The researchers found that soy consumption may reduce the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women, especially among those in the early years following menopause. Those in the highest soy protein intake group had a 37% reduced relative risk for fracture compared to the lowest intake group.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals, Sept 12, 2005