European journal of nutrition

The association between urinary phytoestrogen excretion and components of the metabolic syndrome in NHANES.

PMID 24378981


Metabolic syndrome is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, which are still the major cause of death in developed countries. We cross-sectionally studied the association between urinary phytoestrogen excretion and metabolic cardiovascular risk factors. Hence, we used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2004 with 1,748 participants, who had urine levels of isoflavones and lignans measured. Geometric means of waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were computed by quartiles of isoflavone or lignan urinary excretion. Outcome was assessed as the presence of metabolic syndrome according to NCEP-ATP III criteria. The association between phytoestrogen concentration and the metabolic syndrome was calculated using logistic regression analyses. Plasma triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels were lower in participants in the highest quartile of lignan excretion compared with the lowest (both P < 0.01). However, blood pressure, waist circumference, and plasma glucose levels did not differ significantly between extreme quartiles. The presence of metabolic syndrome was lower with increasing levels of urinary lignans (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.28; 0.80 top vs. bottom quartile), especially when separately computed for the excretion of enterolactone (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.28; 0.78). There was no significant association between isoflavone excretion and any component of the metabolic syndrome. Our study shows that an increasing excretion of lignans, especially enterolactone, might be associated with a decreased presence of the metabolic syndrome.