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Isoflavones for reducing risk of coronary heart disease among postmenopausal women

Contract number : QLK1-2001-00221
Contract type : Shared Cost Project
Total cost : € 2.573.771
EC contribution : € 2.263.046
Starting date : 1/01/2002
Duration : 36 Months
Scientific Officer : Barend Verachtert
Project website : not yet available
Susanne Højbjerg Bugel
The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University
Research Department of Human Nutrition
Rolighedsvej 30
1958 Frederiksberg C
Tel.: +45-35282470
Fax: +45 35 28 24 83

Prevalence and mortality of cardiovascular disease (CVD) increase in women after menopause. This has been attributed to the loss of the cardioprotective actions of oestrogen at menopause. Isoflavones are naturally occurring plant derived nonsteroidal oestrogen mimics. Animal and preliminary clinical evidence suggest that isoflavones could reduce risk of CVD. The objective of this project is to evaluate the potential health beneficial effects of soy isoflavone enhanced foods in a randomised controlled trial in postmenopausal women. A wide range of risk markers for CVD and new biomarkers for endothelial cell function will be measured. Genomic and proteomic techniques will be applied to identify biomarkers of physiological response. Consumer perspectives on isoflavone enhanced foods will be assessed.

  • To establish a multidisciplinary scientific basis for nutritionally enhanced food products designed to promote women's health.
  • To document the presumed health benefits of isoflavone enhanced foods consumed by older women as identified by positive changes of markers of cardiovascular disease risk.
  • To identify new biomarkers of potential beneficial response to isoflavones.
  • To provide benchmark results for soy isoflavones to be used for identifying alternative European produced sources of isoflavones.
  • To provide quantitative, qualitative and comparative documentation of social, cultural and socio-psychological factors that impact upon consumer acceptability of isoflavone enhanced foods among postmenopausal European women.
(expected) Results and achievements
  • Major milestones: selection of foods for intervention (mth 5); identification of biomarkers of endothelial cell function (mth 15); completion of intervention (mth 24); scientific papers and final reports (mth 36). The project will provide interdisciplinary scientific data for the potential cardioprotective role of soy isoflavones as well as for consumer perspectives on isoflavone enhanced foods. New biomarkers will be evaluated.


The University of Reading
School of Food Bioscience
Whiteknights, PO Box 226
RG6 6AP Reading
United Kingdom
Bornsesteeg 59
PO Box 17
6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands
Molecular and Nutritional Physiology Unit
Unilever Research
Colworth House
Bedford MK44 1LQ
United Kingdom
Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung
Abteilung für Interventionsstudien
Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116
14558 Bergholz-Rehbrücke
Technical University of Munich
Institute of Nutritional Sciences
Hochfeldweg 2
85350 Freising-Weihenstephan
Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione
Via Ardeatina, 546
00178 Roma

Fifth Framework Programme

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