Isoflavones, the phytochemicals found in soy, are most well-known for their potential to reduce menopausal symptoms and decrease the risk of hormone-related cancers. However, osteoporosis prevention may end up being the crown jewel on the list of isoflavone’s health benefits. The Baby Boomer population is aging, and the National Institute of Health predicts that one out of every two women and one in four men over 50 will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.

Two very recent meta-analyses of controlled, clinical trials concluded that soy isoflavone supplementation (90mg/day) significantly inhibits bone resorption, stimulates bone formation and increases spine bone mineral density (BMD) in menopausal women.1,2 Three of the studies reviewed in these meta-analyses used SoyLife® as the isoflavone source (see chart). 3,4  Developed by Frutarom USA, the proprietary isoflavone source is a line of ingredients made exclusively from the soybean germ. Not only is SoyLife the highest natural source of isoflavones, its isoflavone ratio, which is higher in daidzein and glycitein, also differs from other isoflavone ingredients. This is important for bone health, as daidzein has been shown in animal studies to be more effective in preventing bone loss than other isoflavones. 5  

Positive results in the studies prompted the USDA to fund the OPUS study (Osteoporosis Prevention Using Soy), a two-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of over 400 post-menopausal women. This study combined the proprietary isoflavone source with 1,000mg of calcium carbonate and 400IUs of vitamin D. The results of the OPUS study were recently presented at the 7th International Soy Symposium and will soon be published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The OPUS study validated the previous research--a significant, protective effect on whole-body bone density can be achieved with daily isoflavone supplementation.

Based on these results, Frutarom has introduced Osteo-Life™, a proprietary blend of SoyLife, calcium carbonate and vitamin D. Laurent Leduc, vice president, business development and marketing for Frutarom USA, explains, “The New Osteo-Life blend was inspired by the OPUS study. This new blend reflects the exact dosage used by the group in the OPUS study showing the highest results.” Osteo-Life and SoyLife can be used in numerous applications, such as cereals, bars, dietary supplements and juices. At the suggested rates of 450mg/day for SoyLife or 1,500mg/day for the Osteo-Life blend, the flavor influence in functional foods is negligible. “Frutarom’s mission has always been to combine healthy and good-tasting solutions to our customers,” adds Leduc. NS
-- Ginny Bank, Contributing Editor

For more information:
Frutarom USA Inc. * North Bergen, N.J.
Jocelyn Mathern, R.D. * 952-920-7700 *

1 Ma DF, et al. 2008. Eur J Clin Nutr. 62:155-61.
2 Ma DF, et al.  2008. Clin Nutr. 27:57-64.
3 Chen Y, et al. 2003. J. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 88:4740-4747.
4 Chen Y, et al. 2004. Menopause. 11:246-254.
5 Pricherit C, et al.  2000. J Nutri. 130:1675-1681.