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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Ipriflavone?

Isoflavones are water-soluble chemicals found in many plants. Ipriflavone is a semisynthetic version of an isoflavone found in soy .

Soy isoflavones have effects in the body somewhat similar to those of estrogen. This should be beneficial, but it is possible that soy could present some of the risks of estrogen, as well. In 1969, a research project was initiated to manufacture a type of isoflavone that would possess the bone-stimulating effects of estrogen without any estrogen-like activity elsewhere in the body. Such a product would help prevent osteoporosis, but cause no other health risks.

Ipriflavone was the result. After 7 successful years of experiments with animals, human research was started in 1981. Today, ipriflavone is available in over 22 countries and in most...

Ipriflavone appears to be able to slow down and perhaps slightly reverse osteoporosis . It may be helpful for this purpose in ordinary postmenopausal osteoporosis, as well as in osteoporosis caused by medications. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Ipriflavone also seems to ease the pain of fractures caused by osteoporosis. 22 Ipriflavone has also been proposed as a bodybuilding aid, but there is no meaningful evidence that it is helpful for this purpose.

Safety Issues

About 3,000 people have used ipriflavone in clinical studies, and in all but two, no significant adverse effects were seen. 23 However, these trials (a 3-year, double-blind trial of almost 500 women, as well as a small study) found worrisome evidence that ipriflavone can reduce levels of white blood cells called lymphocytes. 24 For this reason, anyone taking ipriflavone for the long-term should have periodic measurements taken of white blood cell count.

In addition, ipriflavone should not be used by anyone with immune deficiencies, such as HIV, or by those who take drugs that suppress the immune system, except under physician supervision. There are other potential risks as well. Because ipriflavone is metabolized by the kidneys, individuals with severe kidney...