Red clover (Trifolium pratense) isoflavones and serum homocysteine in premenopausal women: A pilot study

Samir Samman*, Hoon Siang Koh, Victoria M. Flood, Sarah J. Blakesmith, Peter Petocz, Philippa M. Lyons-Wall

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: There is limited information on the effect of isoflavones on homocysteine concentrations, a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases. Methods: Twenty-three premenopausal women participated in a double-blind, randomized, parallel study for four menstrual cycles. Subjects consumed either placebo or purified red clover (Trifolium pratense) isoflavone (86mg/day) tablets. Blood samples were collected weekly during cycles 1, 3, and 4 for determination of serum folate and total homocysteine concentrations. Dietary intake was monitored monthly. Results: Concentrations of folate and homocysteine in serum did not change significantly in either group, and there were no significant differences observed between the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. The participants' dietary records indicated that nutrient intake was constant, and compliance was confirmed by analysis of urinary isoflavone concentrations and tablet counts in returned containers. Conclusions: These results suggest that in the absence of any dietary modification, supplementation with purified isoflavones that are predominantly methoxylated has no effect on serum homocysteine or folate in premenopausal women.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1813-1816
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Women's Health
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


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