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Trial finds soy isoflavones, vitamin D3 benefit women with irritable bowel syndrome

Trial finds soy isoflavones, vitamin D3 benefit women with irritable bowel syndrome

November 6, 2019. The December 2019 issue of the journal Clinical Nutrition ESPEN published the findings of a reduction in markers of inflammation and intestinal permeability among women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who supplemented with soy isoflavones and vitamin D3.

The trial included 100 female IBS patients who received 40 milligrams soy isoflavones plus a placebo, vitamin D plus a placebo, soy isoflavones plus vitamin D, or two placebo supplements for six weeks. Plasma markers of inflammation, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-kB), total antioxidant capacity, and fecal serine protease activity, a marker of gut hyperpermeability, were measured below and after the treatment period.

At the end of the study, plasma TNF-a levels were significantly lower among participants who received soy plus vitamin D or soy plus a placebo compared to women who received both placebos. Nuclear factor-kappa beta and fecal serine protease enzyme activity levels were significantly lower in all treatment groups in comparison with the placebo group. A trend toward higher total antioxidant capacity levels was observed among both groups that received soy.

“To our knowledge, this is the first randomized clinical trial to investigate the effect of soy and vitamin D alone and in combination on inflammatory markers, antioxidant status and gut permeability on patients with IBS in order to elucidate some molecular mechanisms of action,” Mahsa Jalili of Norwegian University of Science and Technology and colleagues announce. “Although supplementation with soy or vitamin D alone can improve the biomarkers significantly, the effect of coadministration is higher than those supplements separately. Future research could clarify the efficacy of these supplements by investigating a longer period or different doses, or could incorporate biopsy sampling of investigation of different TNF-a single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).”

—D Dye          


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