Phytoestrogens are a class of bioactive compoundsderived from plants and exert various estrogenicand antiestrogenic effects. Estrogen deficiency osteoporosishas become a serious problem in elderly women. The use ofovariectomized (OVX) rat or mice models to simulate thepostmenopausal condition is well established. This reviewaimed to clarify the sources, biochemistry, absorption, metabolism,and mode of action of phytoestrogens on bonehealth in intervention studies. In vitro, phytoestrogens promoteprotein synthesis, osteoprotegerin/receptor activationof nuclear factor-kappa B ligand ratio, and mineralization byosteoblast-like cells (MC3T3-E1). In the OVX murine model,administration of phytoestrogens can inhibit differentiationand activation of osteoclasts, expression of tartrateresistantacid phosphatase, and secretion of pyridinolinecompound. Phytoestrogens also enhance bone formationand increase bone mineral density and levels of alkalinephosphatase, osteocalcin, osteopontin, and α1(I) collagen.Results of mechanistic studies have indicated that phytoestrogenssuppress the rate of bone resorption and enhance therate of bone formation.Keyword
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