University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

  • Manja Reimann
  • Jutta Dierkes
  • Anja Carlsohn
  • Duncan Talbot
  • Marika Ferrari
  • Jesper Hallund
  • Wendy L Hall
  • Katerina Vafeiadou
  • Ulrich Huebner
  • Francesco Branca
  • Susanne Bugel
  • Christine M Williams
  • H-J Franz Zunft
  • Corinna Koebnick
View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


Postmenopausal women are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease because many risk factors are aggravated by menopause. Phytoestrogens may modulate risk factors favorably, involving mechanisms similar to estrogen. The effect of phytoestrogens on the atherogenic amino acids homocysteine and asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) was investigated in a controlled intervention study in healthy postmenopausal women. A multicenter, double-blind, crossover intervention trial in 89 postmenopausal women from Denmark, Germany, and the UK was performed. Subjects consumed fruit cereal bars with or without soy isoflavones (50 mg/d) for 8 wk each with an 8-wk washout period in between. Urinary phytoestrogens increased significantly after isoflavone intervention (P <0.001). Isoflavone supplementation did not affect plasma total homocysteine or ADMA. For homocysteine, changes from baseline were 0.32 micromol/L (range: -0.31-0.92; 95% CI 0.13-0.72), and 0.29 micromol/L (range: -0.45-1.09; 95% CI 0.01-0.63, P = 0.286) for isoflavone treatment and placebo, respectively. For ADMA concentrations, changes from baseline were -0.02 micromol/L (range: -0.08-0.03; 95% CI -0.04-0.01, and 0.00 micromol/L (range: -0.05-0.03; 95% CI -0.03-0.01, P = 0.397) for isoflavone treatment and placebo, respectively. There was no association between plasma total homocysteine and ADMA. Changes from baseline in plasma ADMA and folate were negatively correlated (r = -0.18, P = 0.017). These results challenge the overall health effect of isoflavone supplementation in healthy postmenopausal women.

ID: 2234693