Effect of high-dose isoflavones on cognition, quality of life, androgens, and lipoprotein in post-menopausal women
ABSTRACT Recent interventional studies indicate that post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality and breast cancer. Isoflavones, a class of plant estrogens, have structural similarities to estradiol. Hence, isoflavones may exert beneficial estrogenic health effects in postmenopausal women with fewer adverse effects.
To evaluate the effect of high-dose isoflavones on self-reported quality of life (QOL), cognition, lipoproteins and androgen status in post-menopausal women.
Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, 12-week trial of 93 healthy, ambulatory, post-menopausal women (mean age 56 yr). The study was conducted at a tertiary care center in the United States.
Participants were randomly assigned to receive 20 g of soy protein containing 160 mg of total isoflavones vs taste-matched placebo (20 g whole milk protein). Both soy and the placebo were provided in the form of a powder to be mixed with beverages.
QOL was judged by the Menopause-specific Quality of Life (MENQOL) questionnaire while cognitive function was assessed with standard instruments. Total, free, and bioavailable testosterone, gonadotropins, SHBG, and fasting lipids were measured.
Eighty-four women (90%) completed the study (active=38, placebo=46). There was a significant improvement in all 4 QOL subscales (vasomotor, psychosexual, physical, and sexual) among the women taking isoflavones, while no changes were seen in the placebo group. No significant changes in cognition, serum androgens or plasma lipids were seen within any of the groups. However, at the end of the study, a group-by-time interaction was observed such that total testosterone and HDL levels were significantly lower in the isoflavones compared to placebo groups.
High-dose isoflavones is associated with improved QOL among women who have become menopausal recently. Hence, the timing of isoflavone supplementation with regards to the onset of menopause appears to be important. The use of isoflavones, as an alternative to estrogen therapy, may be potentially useful and seemingly safe in this group of women who are looking for relief from menopausal symptoms.
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ABSTRACT: Flavonoids and other polyphenols are ubiquitous plant chemicals that fulfill a range of ecologic roles for their home plant, including protection from a range of biotic and abiotic stressors and a pivotal role in the management of pathogenic and symbiotic soil bacteria and fungi. They form a natural part of the human diet, and evidence suggests that their consumption is associated with the beneficial modulation of a number of health-related variables, including those related to cardiovascular and brain function. Over recent years, the consensus as to the mechanisms responsible for these effects in humans has shifted away from polyphenols having direct antioxidant effects and toward their modulation of cellular signal transduction pathways. To date, little consideration has been given to the question of why, rather than how, these plant-derived chemicals might exert these effects. Therefore, this review summarizes the evidence suggesting that polyphenols beneficially affect human brain function and describes the current mechanistic hypotheses explaining these effects. It then goes on to describe the ecologic roles and potential endogenous signaling functions that these ubiquitous phytochemicals play within their home plant and discusses whether these functions drive their beneficial effects in humans via a process of “cross-kingdom” signaling predicated on the many conserved similarities in plant, microbial, and human cellular signal transduction pathways.Advances in Nutrition 09/2014; 5(5):515-33. DOI:10.3945/an.114.006320 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tofu is a soy product which is commonly consumed in Asian countries, such as China and Indonesia. Several studies found negative associations of high tofu consumption with cognitive function in older Asian populations. However, the effect of tofu on cognitive function remains disputed as it was not found in Western populations. In the present study, the effect of weekly tofu intake on cognitive performance was investigated in an observational cross sectional study of 517 Chinese elderly from Shanghai. Similar to earlier studies, results showed that a higher weekly intake of tofu was associated with worse memory performance using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (β = -0.10, p = 0.01) after controlling for age, gender, education, being vegetarian, and weekly intake of fruit/juice, green vegetables, and orange/red vegetables. Furthermore, among older elderly (≥68 years of age), high tofu intake increased the risk of cognitive impairment indicative of dementia (OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 0.99-1.64, p = 0.04), after adjusting for all covariates. Consumption of meat and green vegetables independently also reduced risk of dementia. To conclude, high intake of tofu was negatively related to cognitive performance among community-dwelling elderly in China. Similar findings were reported in Indonesia and in Japanese Americans in the US. These findings suggest that the effect of tofu on cognition in elderly should be further investigated.Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 08/2014; DOI:10.3233/JAD-141593 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Literature reviews suggest flavonoids, a sub-class of polyphenols, are beneficial for cognition. This is the first review examining the effect of consumption of all polyphenol groups on cognitive function. Inclusion criteria were polyphenol vs. control interventions and epidemiological studies with an objective measure of cognitive function. Participants were healthy or mildly cognitively impaired adults. Studies were excluded if clinical assessment or diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, or cognitive impairment was the sole measure of cognitive function, or if the polyphenol was present with potentially confounding compounds such as caffeine (e.g. tea studies) or Ginkgo Biloba. 28 studies were identified; 4 berry juice studies, 4 cocoa studies, 13 isoflavone supplement studies, 3 other supplement studies, and 4 epidemiological surveys. Overall, 16 studies reported cognitive benefits following polyphenol consumption. Evidence suggests that consuming additional polyphenols in the diet can lead to cognitive benefits, however, the observed effects were small. Declarative memory and particularly spatial memory appear most sensitive to polyphenol consumption and effects may differ depending on polyphenol source. Polyphenol berry fruit juice consumption was most beneficial for immediate verbal memory, whereas isoflavone based interventions were associated with significant improvements for delayed spatial memory and executive function. Comparison between studies was hampered by methodological inconsistencies. Hence, there was no clear evidence for an association between cognitive outcomes and polyphenol dose response, duration of intervention, or population studied. In conclusion, however, the findings do imply that polyphenol consumption has potential to benefit cognition both acutely and chronically.