Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 11: Ipriflavone

This is part of our ongoing The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging spotlight. Each week, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging.

Today’s topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 11: Ipriflavone

In an effort to increase the effectiveness and acceptability of soy isoflavones, a modified isoflavone called ipriflavone was developed. When 600 mg of ipriflavone have been combined with 1000 mg of calcium daily, vertebral bone mass was enhanced in a group of postmenopausal women.21

Unfortunately, a shadow of doubt has been cast over the effectiveness of ipriflavone as a result of a misunderstanding of the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association22. The results of that study showed pretty conclusively that if 600 mg of ipriflavone daily was combined with a dramatically calcium deficient diet (only 500 mg daily!), postmenopausal women still lost bone mass. Obviously, if the diet isn’t sufficient in calcium, and therefore the body lacks calcium, bones are liable to be weak. Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? The correct message of this study is that if you want to improve bone health, no matter what you rely on to stimulate bone formation and slow resorption, enough calcium has to be available to make it work.

Next Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging topic:
Tips for Better Bone Building, Part 12: Vitamin K

21. Gennari C, Agnusdei D, Crepaldi G, Isaia G, Mazzuoli G, Ortolani S, Bufalino L, Passeri M. Effect of ipriflavone—a synthetic derivative of natural isoflavones—on bone mass loss in the early years after menopause. Menopause 1998;5:9-15.
22. Alexandersen P, Toussaint A, Christiansen C, Devogelaer JP, Roux C, Fechtenbaum J, Gennari C, Reginster JY; Ipriflavone Multicenter European Fracture Study. Ipriflavone in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2001;285:1482-1488.