Move over milk, soy milk early in life might be what’s needed for strong, healthy bones in adulthood.
This new research is published online in The FASEB Journal. Scientists report that early dietary nutrition heavy in soy protein can protect against serious bone loss during adulthood.
This also is the first time that scientists have used an animal model to show concrete evidence of a protective effect of an early-life soy protein diet on adult bone loss.
Researchers from University of Arkansas led the study. They used a very young female rat model.
One group of rats was fed a soy protein diet for 30 days (from postnatal day 24 to 55), and then was switched to a regular standard rodent diet until 6 months of age.
The rats were later altered to mimic postmenopausal bone loss in women to determine the amount of bone loss.
The second group of rats was fed a regular standard rodent diet throughout life. This group was also later altered to mimic postmenopausal bone loss and analyzed to determine bone loss.
The researchers found that compared to the rats fed with standard rodent diet, the rats fed with soy protein showed increased bone mass and less bone loss.
The result suggests that appropriate early-life nutrition can optimize peak bone mass. Eating soy foods has a variety of health benefits, including amelioration of bone loss during adulthood.
Researchers believe that this finding may ultimately have major pediatric health impacts throughout various parts of the world.
Citation: Chen JR, et al. (2016). Dietary factors during early life program bone formation in female rats. FASEB J fj.201600703R; published ahead of print October 12, 2016. DOI:10.1096/fj.201600703R.
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