Soy foods may protect older women from hip fracture

October 30, 2009

Postmenopausal women may lessen their chances of fracturing a hip by adding soy-based foods to their diet according to a study from Singapore . The women in the study were 21 to 36 percent less likely to fracture a hip when they reported eating a moderate amount of soy, Dr. Woon-Puay Koh, at the National University of Singapore states.

In the study, daily moderate soy intake was the equivalent of 50 grams of tofu.

Koh's team assessed dietary soy intake in more than 63,000 Chinese men and women who were 45 to 74 years old when, between 1993 and 1998, when they enrolled in the Singapore Chinese Health Study.

Follow-up through the end of 2006 showed 276 men and 692 women had fractured a hip. The men were about 71 years old and the women about 73 years old, on average, when they suffered the fracture, the investigators report in the American Journal of Epidemiology. As mentioned, moderate soy intake was associated with a reduced risk of hip fracture among women, but not among men. The current findings are consistent with those of a previous investigation in postmenopausal Chinese women in Shanghai who showed a 30 percent reduced risk for hip fracture among those consuming higher amounts of soy. Koh and his colleagues surmise that the bone-protective effects of soy isoflavones may play a critical role in the bone health of postmenopausal women.

They call for further investigations to confirm and clarify this association. The study is published in the October 1 st , 2009 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology .