Soy protein, a rich source of phytoestrogens, exhibit estrogen-type bioactivity. The purpose of this study was to determine if ingestion of isoflavones before ovariectomy can prevent bone loss following ovariectomy. Twenty-four nulliparous Wistar rats were randomly divided into four groups. In the normal diet groups, a sham operation was performed on Group A, while ovariectomy was performed on Group B. For Groups C and D, all rats were fed with an isoflavone-rich (25 mg/day) diet for one month, then bilateral ovariectomy were performed. In the rats in Group C, a normal diet was begun following the ovariectomy. The rats in Groups D continued to receive the isoflavone-rich diet for two additional months postoperatively. All rats were sacrificed 60 days after surgery. The weight of bone ash of the long bones and whole lumbar spine were determined. A histological study of cancellous bone was done and biochemical indices of skeletal metabolism were performed and analyzed. The markers of bone metabolism exhibited no significant changes. When compared with the sham-operated rats fed a normal diet, the bone mass of ovariectomized rats decreased significantly; pre-ovariectomy ingestion of an isoflavone-rich diet did not prevent bone loss. The bone mass of rats treated with an isoflavone-rich diet for three months was higher than controls two months after ovariectomy. Dietary isoflavones did not prevent the development of post-ovariectomy bone loss, but long-term ingestion of an isoflavone-rich diet increased the bone mineral contents after ovariectomy in young rats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine