Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Six months of isoflavone supplement increases fat-free mass in obese–sarcopenic postmenopausal women: a randomized double-blind controlled trial



The aim of this study was to verify if six months of isoflavone supplementation could increase fat-free mass (FFM) and muscle mass index (MMI=appendicular FFM/height2) in obese–sarcopenic postmenopausal women.


Double-blind randomized study.


Eighteen sarcopenic–obese women completed the study (12 on isoflavones and six on placebo). Body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Subjects ingested 70 mg of isoflavones per day (44 mg of diadzein, 16 mg glycitein and 10 mg genestein) or a placebo for 24 weeks.


The isoflavone group increased significantly appendicular (P=0.034), leg (P=0.016) FFM and MMI (P=0.037), but not the placebo group.


Six months of isoflavone supplementation increased FFM and MMI in obese–sarcopenic postmenopausal women.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  • Aubertin-Leheudre M, Audet M, Goulet ED, Dionne IJ (2005). HRT provides no additional beneficial effect on sarcopenia in physically active postmenopausal women: a cross-sectional, observational study. Maturitas 51, 140–145.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baumgartner RN, Wayne SJ, Waters DL, Janssen I, Gallagher D, Morley JE (2004). Sarcopenic obesity predicts instrumental activities of daily living disability in the elderly. Obes Res 12, 1995–2004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baumgartner RN, Koehler KM, Gallagher D, Romero L, Heymsfield SB, Ross RR et al. (1998). Epidemiology of sarcopenia among the elderly in New Mexico. Am J Epidemiol 147, 755–763.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Beaufrere B, Morio B (2000). Fat and protein redistribution with aging: metabolic considerations. Eur J Clin Nutr 54 (Suppl 3), S48–S53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crisafulli A, Altavilla D, Marini H, Bitto A, Cucinotta D, Frisina N et al. (2005). Effects of the phytoestrogen genistein on cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women. Menopause 12, 186–192.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dragan I, Stroescu V, Stoian I, Georgescu E, Baloescu R (1992). Studies regarding the efficiency of Supro isolated soy protein in Olympic athletes. Rev Roum Physiol 29, 63–70.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fox AA, Thompson JL, Butterfield GE, Gylfadottir U, Moynihan S, Spiller G (1996). Effects of diet and exercise on common cardiovascular disease risk factors in moderately obese older women. Am J Clin Nutr 63, 225–233.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greeves JP, Cable NT, Reilly T, Kingsland C (1999). Changes in muscle strength in women following the menopause: a longitudinal assessment of the efficacy of hormone replacement therapy. Clin Sci (Lond) 97, 79–84.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haarbo J, Marslew U, Gotfredsen A, Christiansen C (1991). Postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy prevents central distribution of body fat after menopause. Metabolism 40, 1323–1326.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hermansen K, Sondergaard M, Hoie L, Carstensen M, Brock B (2001). Beneficial effects of a soy-based dietary supplement on lipid levels and cardiovascular risk markers in type 2 diabetic subjects. Diabetes Care 24, 228–233.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hsu CS, Shen WW, Hsueh YM, Yeh SL (2001). Soy isoflavone supplementation in postmenopausal women. Effects on plasma lipids, antioxidant enzyme activities and bone density. J Reprod Med 46, 221–226.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Janssen I, Heymsfield SB, Ross R (2002). Low relative skeletal muscle mass (sarcopenia) in older persons is associated with functional impairment and physical disability. J Am Geriatr Soc 50, 889–896.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lemoine S, Granier P, Tiffoche C, Rannou-Bekono F, Thieulant ML, Delamarche P (2003). Estrogen receptor alpha mRNA in human skeletal muscles. Med Sci Sports Exerc 35, 439–443.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moeller LE, Peterson CT, Hanson KB, Dent SB, Lewis DS, King DS et al. (2003). Isoflavone-rich soy protein prevents loss of hip lean mass but does not prevent the shift in regional fat distribution in perimenopausal women. Menopause 10, 322–331.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rossouw JE, Anderson GL, Prentice RL, LaCroix AZ, Kooperberg C, Stefanick ML et al. (2002). Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 288, 321–333.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Skelton DA, Phillips SK, Bruce SA, Naylor CH, Woledge RC (1999). Hormone replacement therapy increases isometric muscle strength of adductor pollicis in post-menopausal women. Clin Sci (Lond) 96, 357–364.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sowers MR, Crutchfield M, Richards K, Wilkin MK, Furniss A, Jannausch M et al. (2005). Sarcopenia is related to physical functioning and leg strength in middle-aged women. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 60, 486–490.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tanko LB, Movsesyan L, Mouritzen U, Christiansen C, Svendsen OL (2002). Appendicular lean tissue mass and the prevalence of sarcopenia among healthy women. Metabolism 51, 69–74.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • van der Schouw YT, Kreijkamp-Kaspers S, Peeters PH, Keinan-Boker L, Rimm EB, Grobbee DE (2005). Prospective study on usual dietary phytoestrogen intake and cardiovascular disease risk in Western women. Circulation 111, 465–471.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walker HA, Dean TS, Sanders TA, Jackson G, Ritter JM, Chowienczyk PJ (2001). The phytoestrogen genistein produces acute nitric oxide-dependent dilation of human forearm vasculature with similar potency to 17beta-estradiol. Circulation 103, 258–262.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wu J, Wang X, Chiba H, Higuchi M, Nakatani T, Ezaki O et al. (2004). Combined intervention of soy isoflavone and moderate exercise prevents body fat elevation and bone loss in ovariectomized mice. Metabolism 53, 942–948.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to I J Dionne.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Aubertin-Leheudre, M., Lord, C., Khalil, A. et al. Six months of isoflavone supplement increases fat-free mass in obese–sarcopenic postmenopausal women: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, 1442–1444 (2007).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • menopause
  • sarcopenia
  • muscle mass
  • phytoestrogens
  • appendicular fat-free mass
  • muscle mass index

Further reading


Quick links