A reduction of bone mineral density of less than 0.795g/cm3 is called osteopenia and is associated with increased spontaneous bone facture. This is found more frequently in post menopausal women.
The phytoestrogen genistein has been shown to significantly increase bone density in a trial reported in the BMJ 2007, vol 335, p 299 from the original paper ( Marini et al Effects of the phytoestrogen genistein on bone metabolism in osteopenic postmenopausal women : a randomised trial Ann Intern Med 2007; 146: 839-47).
The women in the trial took 54 mg of genistein each day, 20% withdrew because of gastrointestinal effects ( constipation and dyspepsia ) .
Bone metabolism improved in the women who took the genistein and bone mineral density improved by at least 20%.
Another example of the role that plant secondary metabolites can have in humans. However it would be better to find a low dose primary nutritional source eaten over a life time than a larger dose with unknown as yet potential complications ( maybe , maybe not)
- Martin Eastwood