Genistein aglycone does not affect thyroid function: results from a three-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Mar 31. Epub 2010 Mar 31. PMID: 20357174
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, Section of Pharmacology (A.B., F.P., D.A., L.M., F.S.); Department of Internal Medicine (M.A., S.M.); Department of Biochemical, Physiological and Nutritional Sciences, Section of Physiology and Human Nutrition (H.M., E.B.A.); and Department of Obstetrical and Gynecological Sciences (R.D., R.G., F.C., S.R.), University of Messina, 98125 Messina, Italy.
Context and Objective: Genistein aglycone positively affects postmenopausal symptoms. However, questions about its long-term safety on the thyroid gland still remain. Design: The parent study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 389 osteopenic, postmenopausal women for 24 months. A subcohort (138 patients) continued therapy for an additional year. Setting: Patients received ambulatory care. Patients and Interventions: Participants received 54 mg of genistein aglycone daily (n = 71) or placebo (n = 67), plus calcium and vitamin D3 at therapeutic doses. Circulating thyroid hormones (TSH, free T3, free T4) and autoantibodies (thyroid peroxidase, thyroglobulin, and thyroid microsomal antigen) were assessed in 40 genistein and 37 placebo subjects who completed 3 yr. Thyroid hormone receptor (THRalpha and THRbeta) and retinoid receptor (RARalpha, RARgamma, and RXRalpha) expression from peripheral blood monocytes was also evaluated at baseline, 12, 24, and 36 months in all 3-yr completers. Results: Genistein administration over 3 yr did not affect serum thyroid hormones or autoantibodies. In addition, there were no differences in THRalpha, THRbeta, RARalpha, RARgamma, or RXRalpha mRNA expression between groups. Conclusion: These data suggest that genistein aglycone intake does not significantly increase the risk of clinical or subclinical hypothyroidism at the dose of 54 mg/d.