Does Supplement to Prevent Osteoporosis Work in the Spine?

To prevent osteoporosis, many postmenopausal women seek non-pharmaceutical options to try instead of hormone therapy. Because of this, soybean isoflavones—especially genistein—are being examined. In a study, researchers looked at the impact of synthetic genistein when combined with vitamin D3, vitamin K1, and polyunsatuared fatty acids (all possible protectors of bone health). They wanted to better understand its effect on bone mineral density (BMD)—including BMD in the lumbar spine.
Herbal supplements along with leaves, poured out from a glass jarTo prevent osteoporosis, many postmenopausal women seek non-pharmaceutical options to try instead of hormone therapy. Results of this 6-month study were published online in the article “Effect of a combination of genistein, polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins D3 and K1 on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study.” The article appears in an issue of the European Journal of Nutrition.

A total of 70 early postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to take either daily calcium only (the placebo group) or the geniVida bone blend (GBB) daily (the GBB group). The GBB supplement included a combination of nutrients: genistein (30 mg/day), vitamin D3 (800 IU/day), vitamin K1 (150 μg/day), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (1 g, which was comprised of ethyl ester: eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid ratio=~2:1).

Initially, there were 35 women in each group, but 6 women withdrew at various stages in the study and another 6 women were considered non-compliant; these women were eliminated from the analysis.

Researchers examined markers of bone resorption and formation and BMD in the following areas:

  • femoral neck
  • intertrochanter
  • lumbar spine
  • total hip
  • trochanter
  • Ward’s triangle
  • whole body

They found that the women who took GBB (n=30) maintained their BMD in the femoral neck; however, BMD significantly decreased (p=0.007) for the women in the placebo group (n=28).

In addition, the researchers found that there was a significant difference (p<0.05) in BMD in the Ward’s triangle between the 2 groups. Women in the GBB group maintained their BMD in this location.

Both bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and N-telopeptide increased significantly in the GBB group when compared with the women in the placebo group.

Researchers noted that GBB was well tolerated in the study participants; there were no significant differences in adverse events between the 2 groups.

Updated on: 03/09/18
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