Effect of a soy isoflavone supplement on lung function and clinical outcomes in patients with poorly controlled asthma: a randomized clinical trial.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

IMPORTANCE: Soy isoflavone supplements are used to treat several chronic diseases, although the data supporting their use are limited. Some data suggest that supplementation with soy isoflavone may be an effective treatment for patients with poor asthma control. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a soy isoflavone supplement improves asthma control in adolescent and adult patients with poorly controlled disease. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted between May 2010 and August 2012 at 19 adult and pediatric pulmonary and allergy centers in the American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers network. Three hundred eighty-six adults and children aged 12 years or older with symptomatic asthma while taking a controller medicine and low dietary soy intake were randomized, and 345 (89%) completed spirometry at week 24. INTERVENTIONS: Participants were randomly assigned to receive soy isoflavone supplement containing 100 mg of total isoflavones (n=193) or matching placebo (n=193) in 2 divided doses administered daily for 24 weeks. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) at 24 weeks. Secondary outcome measures were symptoms, episodes of poor asthma control, Asthma Control Test score (range, 5-25; higher scores indicate better control), and systemic and airway biomarkers of inflammation. RESULTS: Mean changes in prebronchodilator FEV1 over 24 weeks were 0.03 L (95% CI, -0.01 to 0.08 L) in the placebo group and 0.01 L (95% CI, -0.07 to 0.07 L) in the soy isoflavone group, which were not significantly different (P = .36). Mean changes in symptom scores on the Asthma Control Test (placebo, 1.98 [95% CI, 1.42-2.54] vs soy isoflavones, 2.20 [95% CI, 1.53-2.87]; positive values indicate a reduction in symptoms), number of episodes of poor asthma control (placebo, 3.3 [95% CI, 2.7-4.1] vs soy isoflavones, 3.0 [95% CI, 2.4-3.7]), and changes in exhaled nitric oxide (placebo, -3.48 ppb [95% CI, -5.99 to -0.97 ppb] vs soy isoflavones, 1.39 ppb [95% CI, -1.73 to 4.51 ppb]) did not significantly improve more with the soy isoflavone supplement than with placebo. Mean plasma genistein level increased from 4.87 ng/mL to 37.67 ng/mL (P < .001) in participants receiving the supplement. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among adults and children aged 12 years or older with poorly controlled asthma while taking a controller medication, use of a soy isoflavone supplement, compared with placebo, did not result in improved lung function or clinical outcomes. These findings suggest that this supplement should not be used for patients with poorly controlled asthma. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01052116.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, LJ; Kalhan, R; Wise, RA; Sugar, EA; Lima, JJ; Irvin, CG; Dozor, AJ; Holbrook, JT; American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers,

Published Date

  • May 26, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 313 / 20

Start / End Page

  • 2033 - 2043

PubMed ID

  • 26010632

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5443623

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-3598

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1001/jama.2015.5024


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States