Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Oral isoflavone supplementation on endometrial thickness: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials

Jie Liu, Feixiang Yuan, Jian Gao, Boer Shan, Yulan Ren, Huaying Wang and Ying Gao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:17369-17379. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7959

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Jie Liu1, Feixiang Yuan1, Jian Gao2, Boer Shan3, Yulan Ren3, Huaying Wang3 and Ying Gao1

1 Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

2 Nutrition Department, Affiliated Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China

3 Department of Female Tumor, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Ying Gao, email:

Keywords: isoflavone supplementation, endometrial thickness, meta-analysis, randomized controlled trials, Gerotarget

Received: January 25, 2016 Accepted: February 23, 2016 Published: March 07, 2016


Background: Isoflavone from soy and other plants modulate hormonal effects in women, and the hormone disorder might result in different caners including endometrial cancer. However, it’s effect on the risk of endometrial cancer is still inconclusive. We aimed to assess the effects of isoflavone on endometrial thickness, a risk factor of endometrial cancer in peri- and post-menopausal women.

Methods: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was conducted to evaluate the effect of oral isoflavone supplementation on endometrial thickness in peri- and post-menopausal women. Electronic searches were performed on the PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, web of science, CINAHL, and WHO ICTRP to August 1st, 2015. Reviews and reference lists of relevant articles were also searched to identify more studies. Summary estimates of standard mean differences (SMD’s) and 95%CIs were obtained with random-effects models. Heterogeneity was evaluated with meta-regression and stratified analyses.

Results: A total of 23 trials were included in the current analysis. The overall results did not show significant change of endometrial thickness after oral isoflavone supplementation (23 studies, 2167subjects; SMD:-0.05; 95%CI:-0.23, 0.13; P=0.60). Stratified analysis suggested that a daily dose of more than 54mg could decrease the endometrial thickness for 0.26mm (10 trials, 984subjects; SMD:-0.26; 95%CI:-0.45, -0.07; P=0.007). Furthermore, isoflavone supplementation significantly decrease the endometrial thickness for 0.23mm in North American studies (7 trials, 726 subjects; SMD:-0.23; 95%CI:-0.44, -0.01; P=0.04), but it suggested an increase for 0.23mm in Asian studies (3 trials, 224 subjects; SMD: 0.23; 95%CI:-0.04, 0.50; P=0.10).

Conclusion: Oral isoflavone supplementation might have different effects in different populations and at different daily doses. Multiple-centre, larger, and long-term trials are deserved to further evaluate its effect.

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