Soy may strengthen bones before and after menopause

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(Sheena Rice-Missouri/ Futurity) — Soy protein in food might be a way to counter the negative effects of menopause on bone health—and may also have benefits for women who haven’t yet reached menopause, a study with rats shows.

Osteoporosis, decreased physical activity, and weight gain are serious health concerns for postmenopausal women, researchers say.

“The findings suggest that all women might see improved bone strength by adding some soy-based whole foods, such as tofu and soy milk, to their diet,” says Pamela Hinton, professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri. “We also believe that soy-based diets can improve metabolic function for postmenopausal women.”

For a new study, which appears in Bone Reports, researchers looked at the effects of soy versus corn-based diets on rats selectively bred to have low fitness levels. They again divided rats between those with and without ovaries to mimic effects of menopause. They compared the impact of the soy diet on bone strength and metabolic function to rats fed a corn-based, soy-free diet. (…)

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