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New study backs soy’s bone benefits

Research suggests that a regular intake of soy could help protect against bone loss in post-menopausal women. A new study, published in the December 2008 issue of Osteoporosis International, followed 438 peri-menopausal Chinese women, aged 45 to 55, for 30 months to investigate the effects of diet and lifestyle on bone mineral density. As expected, the study revealed that the fastest bone loss occurred in women undergoing menopause but, interestingly, a diet rich in soy protein appeared to slow these effects. 

This new study supports other research in the field, which attributes soy’s bone-supporting effects to special phytonutrients called isoflavones. These compounds are naturally present in soy foods, but become more potent when the soy is fermented. While these fermented soy foods form a natural part of the many Asian diets, they are much less common within Europe, so many women are turning to isoflavone-rich soya supplements as a convenient alt....

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