January 23, 2006
ATHENS, Ga.--While it has been studied for its estrogenic activity, genistein also appears to aid in weight loss in animal studies. Researchers from the University of Georgia determined the impact of genistein on adipose tissue apoptosis in vitro and in vivo (J Nutr, 136:409-14, 2006). In vitro, mature adipocytes treated with 0, 1, 10, 100 or 400 µmol/L genistein showed a dose-related increase in apoptosis. In the second portion of the study, 10 ovariectomized mice were given 0, 150 or 1,500 mg/kg genistein in a semipurified phytoestrogen-free, casein-based diet for three weeks. The highest intake of genistein reduced food intake by 14 percent and body weight by 9 percent compared to control. While body composition was not significantly altered, parametrial and inguinal (groin area) weights were down 22 percent and 19 percent in the mice given 1,500 mg/kg genistein. Further, apoptosis in inguinal fat was increased 290 percent in the high-dose group. The researchers concluded the data suggest genistein may be useful in treating or preventing increased adiposity after menopause.
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