The Asian population whose soy intake is higher compared to Western populations shows a significantly lower
incidence of osteoporotic fracture. Several meta-analyses have revealed that supplementation of soy isoflavones improve
bone health status in women. This review examined the current evidence as to whether soy could exhibit similar bone protective
effects on the male population. In vivo studies revealed that supplementation of soy protein or soy isoflavones improved
bone health in both normal and osteoporotic male rodents. Cell culture studies showed that soy isoflavones influenced
osteogenesis and osteoclastogenesis through mechanisms such as estrogen receptor binding activity, antiinflammatory
activity and anti-parathyroid hormone activity. Soy isoflavones also affected calcium channel signaling and
might exhibit direct effects on the osteoblastogenesis modulator, core binding factor 1. However, limited clinical trials involving
soy intervention in males generally showed insignificant results. This could be attributed to the short duration of
intervention, characteristics of the subjects or method of bone health assessment. More well-planned clinical trials are required
to establish possible bone protective effects of soy in men.
Keywords: Isoflavones, men, osteoporosis, soy.
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