Scientific article

A phytoestrogen-rich diet increases energy expenditure and decreases adiposity in mice

Published inEnvironmental health perspectives, vol. 115, no. 10, p. 1467-1473
Publication date2007

BACKGROUND: Obesity is an increasingly prevalent health problem, and natural effective therapeutic approaches are required to prevent its occurrence. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activities; they can bind to both estrogen receptors alpha and beta and mimic the action of estrogens on target organs. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of soy-derived phytoestrogens on energy balance and metabolism. METHODS: Male outbred mice (CD-1) were allowed ad libitum access to either a high soy-containing diet or a soy-free diet from conception to adulthood. We measured circulating serum isoflavone levels using reverse-phase solid-phase extraction for subsequent liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Adult animals were analyzed for body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, locomotor activity by running-wheel experiments, respiratory exchange rate by indirect calorimetry, and food intake using metabolic cages. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was performed to determine the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptide genes. RESULTS: We found that adult mice fed a soy-rich diet had reduced body weight, adiposity, and resistance to cold. This lean phenotype was associated with an increase in lipid oxidation due to a preferential use of lipids as fuel source and an increase in locomotor activity. The modulation of energy balance was associated with a central effect of phytoestrogens on the expression of hypothalamic neuropeptides, including agouti-related protein. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that dietary soy could have beneficial effects on obesity, but they also emphasize the importance of monitoring the phytoestrogen content of diets as a parameter of variability in animal experiments.

  • Adiposity/drug effects
  • Agouti-Related Protein/drug effects
  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cold Temperature
  • Energy Metabolism/drug effects
  • Isoflavones/blood/pharmacology
  • Lipid Peroxidation/drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Obesity
  • Phytoestrogens/metabolism/pharmacology
  • Soybeans/chemistry
Citation (ISO format)
CEDERROTH, Christopher et al. A phytoestrogen-rich diet increases energy expenditure and decreases adiposity in mice. In: Environmental health perspectives, 2007, vol. 115, n° 10, p. 1467–1473. doi: 10.1289/ehp.10413
Main files (1)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0091-6765

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