Israeli company Solbar Plant Extracts (SPE) has released details of two sponsored clinical studies which it claims show the beneficial effects of soy isoflavones - and of its Solgen ingredient in particular - on type 2 diabetes and on memory function among post-menopausal women.
The diabetes study, carried out at the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology in affiliation with Hull University in the UK, focused on 32 post-menopausal women with diet-controlled type 2 diabetes.
The women were divided into groups and given either 30 grams a day of soy protein, 132mg/day of Solgen 40 (SPE's soy isoflavone extract) or a placebo (30g of cellulose per day) for a period of 12 weeks. The groups were then swapped over after a two-week washout period.
Solbar said that the group which had been supplemented with soy isoflavones showed significantly lower mean values for blood components associated with diabetes and cardiovascular risk profile, such as fasting insulin, insulin resistance, glycated haemoglobin, total cholesterol, low to high cholesterol density lipoprotein (LDL-C/HDL-C) ratio and free thyroxin. There was also no significant change in weight.
The memory function study was conducted in Kings College, University of London, and centred on 33 post-menopausal women receiving either 60mg/day of supplemented soy isoflavones, Solgen 40 (SPE isoflavones, given as a divided dose), or a coloured matched placebo, again for a 12 week period.
A cognitive test was performed prior to and at the end of the study, and the results showed that the group receiving the isoflavone supplements had significantly greater overall improvement in memory function compared to the placebo group.
Solbar said that these two studies were the latest in a number of SPE sponsored trials which had shown the health benefits of soy isoflavones for menopausal women (such as the treatment of hot flushes or osteoporosis) but without the added risks related to HRT.
The recent announcement on the discontinuation of the NIH HRT study due to intermediate results showing growing risk factors for cardiovascular disease and cancer caused confusion among millions of menopausal women, the company said, adding that this meant that women all over the world were interested now more than ever in alternative therapies for the relief of menopausal symptoms.
Natural Solgen soy isoflavone extracts, manufactured by SPE, are formulated in various concentrations (40, 30 and 20 per cent soy isoflavones) from a natural, non-GMO whole soybean, to provide significant benefits to women's overall health and prevent the more serious complications that can follow menopause, the company claims.