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Soy protein supplementation does not cause lymphocytopenia in postmenopausal women

Do Y Soung2, Anagha Patade2, Dania A Khalil2, Edralin A Lucas2, Latha Devareddy1, Kathryn A Greaves3 and Bahram H Arjmandi1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

2 Department of Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA

3 The Solae Company, St. Louis, MO, USA

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2006, 5:12  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-5-12

Published: 11 April 2006



The health benefits of soy isoflavones have been widely investigated; however, there are some concerns as to whether soy isoflavones, similar to ipriflavone, a synthetic isoflavone, cause lymphocytopenia in postmenopausal women. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which 12-month supplementation of 25 g soy protein containing 60 mg isoflavones alters lymphocyte counts or other hematological parameters in postmenopausal women who were not on hormone replacement therapy.


Eighty-seven postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to receive either soy protein or an equivalent amount of control protein devoid of isoflavones. Fasting venous blood was collected at baseline and at the end of twelve month study period for complete blood count analyses.


Between the two treatment groups, the percent changes in hematological parameters, including lymphocytes, were not different. While women consuming the soy supplement had an increase in mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and red cell distribution width index (RDW; a marker of reticulocytes), women consuming the control diet had higher percentage of only MCHC.


Overall, the results of the present study indicate that consumption of 25 g soy protein containing 60 mg isoflavones daily for one year does not cause lymphocytopenia.