Ipriflavone Supplement Information

Ipriflavone is a synthetic substance derived from plant isoflavone genistein. Genistein is found primarily in soya in the form of genistin but can be found in smaller amounts in other plants. Ipriflavone is sometimes referred to as a phytoestrogen; however it is important to note that it does not exhibit any direct estrogenic activity, nor does it activate estrogen receptors. However, ipriflavone does appear to have a positive effect on bone density. In Japan and some European countries, ipriflavone has been approved for treating involutional osteoporosis.

Medical Indications of Ipriflavone

It is believed that ipriflavone is able to stimulate the incorporation of calcium in bone and is able to inhibit the breakdown of bone. Several clinical studies, including many double-blind studies, provided compelling evidence that long-term treatment with ipriflavone (along with 1,000 mg supplemental calcium per day) is not only safe but also effective in stopping bone deterioration in postmenopausal women or in women who have had their ovaries removed. In cases of osteoporosis, ipriflavone has also been found to improve bone density.

In a study of 56 post-menopausal women suffering from low bone density, ipriflavone supplementation (with calcium) appeared to provide very positive effects. Each received 200 mg of ipriflavone 3 times daily as well as 1000 mg of calcium daily for two years. While vertebral bone density declined by 4.9 after two years in women taking only calcium (placebo group), there was no change in bone density among the 56 woman taking ipriflavone supplementation in combination with calcium.

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. As the women in this study were much older (60 years+) than women used for most studies, it may be that ipriflavone is only effective in younger women.

Dosage and Administration

The typical dose for use in the management of osteoporosis is 200 milligrams taken twice or three times daily.