Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
600 mg daily along with 1,000 mg calcium daily
Ipriflavone promotes the incorporation of calcium into bone and inhibits bone breakdown, thus preventing and reversing osteoporosis.
Ipriflavone is a synthetic flavonoid derived from the soy isoflavone called daidzein. It promotes the incorporation of calcium into bone and inhibits bone breakdown, thus preventing and reversing osteoporosis. Many clinical trials, including numerous double-blind trials, have consistently shown that long-term treatment with 600 mg of ipriflavone per day, along with 1,000 mg supplemental calcium, is both safe and effective in halting bone loss in postmenopausal women or in women who have had their ovaries removed. Ipriflavone has also been found to improve bone density in established cases of osteoporosis in some,1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 but not all,12 clinical trials.
However, one double-blind study has failed to confirm the beneficial effect of ipriflavone. In that study, ipriflavone was no more effective than a placebo for preventing bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.13 The women in this negative study were older (average age, 63.3 years) than those in most other ipriflavone studies and had relatively severe osteoporosis. It is possible that ipriflavone works only in younger women or in those with less severe osteoporosis.
The typical supplemental amount of ipriflavone is 200 mg three times daily. Taking 300 mg twice daily has been reported to be just as effective as 200 mg three times per day.14
Ipriflavone does occur naturally in food but only in trace amounts. It is available as a nutritional supplement.
As ipriflavone is not an essential nutrient, no deficiency state exists.
In a trial of ipriflavone for osteoporosis, 29 of the 132 women in the ipriflavone group completing the three-year trial developed a clinically significant drop in lymphocytes.15 These cells, which make up approximately 22 to 28% of the white blood cells in the normal adult, are critical components of the immune system and its ability to respond to viral infections. In some of these women, a return to normal levels took almost two years after they had stopped the ipriflavone. Since this finding has been reported in one other smaller clinical trial,16 it suggests that women choosing to take ipriflavone should have their lymphocytes measured regularly by their doctor.
In double-blind studies, the frequency of perceived side effects in ipriflavone-treated people (14.5%) was actually less than that observed in people receiving the placebo (16.1%).17 Side effects were mainly mild stomach upset. Researchers recommend that patients with severe kidney disease take a lower amount of ipriflavone (200 to 400 mg daily).18
1. Agnusdei D, Bufalino L. Efficacy of ipriflavone in established osteoporosis and long-term safety. Calcif Tissue Int 1997:61:S23–7 [includes review].
2. Head KA. Ipriflavone: an important bone-building isoflavone. Altern Med Rev 1999;4(1):10–22 [review].
3. Avioli LV. The future of ipriflavone in the management of osteoporotic syndromes. Calcif Tissue Int 1997;61(Suppl 1):S33–5 [review].
4. Adami S, Bufalino L, Cervetti R, et al. Ipriflavone prevents radial bone loss in postmenopausal women with low bone mass over 2 years. Osteoporos Int 1997;7:119–25.
5. Nozaki M, Hashimoto K, Inoue Y, et al. Treatment of bone loss in oophorectomized women with a combination of ipriflavone and conjugated equine estrogen. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 1998;62(1):69–75.
6. Gennari C, Adami S, Agnusdei D, et al. Effect of chronic treatment with ipriflavone in postmenopausal women with low bone bass. Calcif Tissue Int 1997;61(Suppl 1):S19–22.
7. Gennari C, Agnusdei D, Crepaldi G, et al. Effect of ipriflavone—a synthetic derivative of natural isoflavones—on bone mass loss in the early years after menopause. Menopause 1998;5(1):9–15.
8. Ohta H, Komukai S, Makita K, et al. Effects of 1-year ipriflavone treatment on lumbar bone mineral density and bone metabolic markers in postmenopausal women with low bone mass. Horm Res 1999;51:178–83.
9. Melis GB, Paoletti AM, Bartolini R, et al. Ipriflavone and low doses of estrogens in the prevention of bone mineral loss in climacterium. Bone Miner 1992;19 (Suppl 1):S49–56.
10. Gambacciani M, Ciaponi M, Cappagli B, et al. Effects of combined low dose of the isoflavone derivative ipriflavone and estrogen replacement on bone mineral density and metabolism in postmenopausal women. Maturitas 1997;28:75–81.
11. Hanabayashi T, Imai A, Tamaya T. Effects of ipriflavone and estriol on postmenopausal osteoporotic changes. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 1995;51:63–4 [letter].
12. Alexandersen P, Toussaint A, Christiansen C, et al. Ipriflavone in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2001;285:1482–88.
13. Alexandersen P, Toussaint A, Christiansen C, et al. Ipriflavone in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2001;285:1482–8.
14. Acerbi D, Poli G, Ventura P. Comparative bioavailability of two oral formulations of ipriflavone in healthy volunteers at steady-state. Evaluation of two different dosage schemes. Eur J Drug Metabol Pharmacokinet 1998,23:172–7.
15. Alexandersen P, Toussaint A, Christiansen C, et al. Ipriflavone in the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. JAMA 2001;285:1482–8.
16. Agnusdei D, Bufalino L. Efficacy of ipriflavone in established osteoporosis and long-term safety. Calcif Tissue Int 1997;61:23–27.
17. Agnusdei D, Bufalino L. Efficacy of ipriflavone in established osteoporosis and long-term safety. Calcif Tissue Int 199:61:S23–7 [includes review].
18. Rondelli I, Acerbi D, Ventura P. Steady-state pharmacokinetics of ipriflavone and its metabolites in patients with renal failure. Int J Clin Pharm Res 1991;11:183–92.
Last Review: 11-07-2012
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2013.
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