Skip to main content


Log in

Short-term effects of high soy supplementation on sex hormones, bone markers, and lipid parameters in young female adults

  • Published:
European Journal of Nutrition Aims and scope Submit manuscript



High intake of soy products has been suggested to prevent breast cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular diseases.

Aim of the study:

To investigate the effects of isoflavone-containing soy on circulating sex hormones, biomarkers of bone turnover, and lipoprotein profiles.


Fourteen young women received in a randomized crossover design 5 soy cookies (52 mg isoflavones) or 5 soy-free cookies (no isoflavones) per day for one menstrual cycle starting one week before menstruation. Serum and urine analyses were performed on day 3 after onset of menstruation (t1), 3 days before ovulation (t2), 3 days after ovulation (t3), during the midluteal phase (t4), and again 3 days after onset of the next menstruation (t5).


With the exception of higher progesterone levels at t2, soy supplementation did not affect the physiologic fluctuations in circulating sex hormones. The ratio of C-telopeptide (a bone resorption marker) to osteocalcin (a bone formation marker) was slightly higher at t4 during the soy period compared to t4 during the control period (P < 0.05), indicating an uncoupling of bone resorption and formation processes. Serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol were not influenced by soy intake.


High short-term isoflavone-containing soy intake slightly affects physiologic fluctuations in bone turnover, but has no significant effects on most circulating sex hormones and on lipoprotein parameters in young healthy women.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Armin Zittermann PhD.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zittermann, A., Geppert, J., Baier, S. et al. Short-term effects of high soy supplementation on sex hormones, bone markers, and lipid parameters in young female adults. Eur J Nutr 43, 100–108 (2004).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words