Soy protects the post-menopausal health of women
Researchers have now found that women should consume tofu regularly after their menopause. Foods that are rich in soy, such as bean sprouts, miso and edamame beans, strengthen the bones of women who are no longer fertile.
The University of Missouri scientists found in their current study that post-menopausal women should consume soy to strengthen their bones. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Bone Reports".
After menopause, the bone density decreases
Previous research has already suggested that women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone density in the years after menopause. This is due to menopause, which leads to a drop in estrogen levels. Such a decline means that bone cells are reabsorbed faster than they are produced, which puts 30 percent of older women at risk for osteoporosis, the experts explain.
Women should add soy to their diet
The current study shows that women can improve their bone strength by adding some soy-based whole foods to their diet, explains study author Professor Pamela Hinton from the University of Missouri. The results suggest that women don't even need to eat as much soy as is consumed in a typical Asian diet to benefit from tofu or other soy. Smaller amounts are already beneficial for strengthening the bones.
Hormonal effects of menopause have been mimicked
For their study, the researchers fed mice with a diet based on either soy or corn for a period of between 28 and 30 weeks. The mice were bred to be low in fitness. Some of the animals had their ovaries removed to mimic the hormonal effects of menopause, doctors say. At the age of 55 to 57 weeks, the rats were then euthanized so that their bone strength could be compared.
How do certain protein sources affect bone health
Previous research has shown that these animals are well suited for research. Understanding the effects of protein sources such as soy on metabolism and bone health in mice could help people understand how such a diet can affect health.
Does a soy-based diet improve metabolic function?
The current results show that mice fed with soy-based feed have stronger tibia bones (shin bones). Such animals are also significantly slimmer and have more stable blood sugar levels. All of these findings occur regardless of whether the rodents have their ovaries removed or not, the doctors explain. The results suggest that all women have improved bone strength when they add some soy-based whole foods like tofu and soy milk to their diet, says Professor Hinton. A soy-based diet could improve the metabolic function for postmenopausal women. (as)