Soy May Strengthen Women's Bones

September 14, 2005-- Posted at 2:40 PM CDT

(HealthDay News) -- Soy may help older women reduce their risk of bone fractures, a new study finds.

"We found that soy food consumption was associated with a significantly lower risk of fracture, particularly among women in the early years following menopause," conclude researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.

Soy contains isoflavones -- natural, plant-based estrogen-like compounds that experts believe might help strengthen bones.

Reporting in the Sept. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers studied associations between soy consumption and bone fractures in more than 24,000 postmenopausal Chinese women averaging 60 years of age.

The women were divided into five groups, according to their soy intake. Those in the lowest-intake group consumed less than 5 grams of soy per day while those in the highest-intake group consumed 13 grams or more per day.

The study found that the women in the highest-soy intake group were at a 35 percent to 37 percent reduced risk of fractures than women in the lowest-intake group.

"The potential impact of timing on the skeletal effects of soy needs to be further addressed in future studies," the researchers noted.

More information

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers tips on how to tone your bones ( ).

 -- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Sept. 12, 2005

Copyright © 2005 ScoutNews LLC. All rights reserved.