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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

Fifty-three postmenopausal women completed a trial whereby they were randomly assigned to one of two groups: two capsules of Trifolium pratense (80 mg red clover isoflavones) daily for 90 days, or placebo.  Subjects were crossed-over for another 90 days after a 7 day washout period.  Total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) and lipoprotein A (LpA) levels were assessed at baseline, 90 and 180 days.  Women were also subdivided into those with BMI > 25 kg/m2  and those with BMI ≤ than 25 kg/m2.

Isoflavones derived from Trifolium pratense had a beneficial effect on the lipid profile of postmenopausal women with a BMI > 25. There was also a significant decrease in TC ( 4.6%) LDL-C (15.6%) and LpA levels  (63.8%) in those that received the red clover isoflavones.


At least five previously published reports of T. pratense isoflavones on lipid profiles in men and premenopausal and postmenopausal women have been positive, and at least two have shown no effect. This is the first published report on postmenopausal women with an increased BMI using T. pratense isoflavones to lower lipids. These decreases in TC, LDL-C and LpA correlate with findings that support a meaningful reduction in cardiovascular risk, and even more so in postmenopausal women with high lipid values. This study is promising and provides another important lifestyle supplemental tool for women who do not want to use or may not be good candidates for hormonal or statin therapies to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease.


  • Chedraui P, San Miguel G, Hidalgo L, et al. Effect of Trifolium pratense-derived isoflavones on the lipid profile of postmenopausal women with increased body mass index. Gynecological Endocrinology 2008;24(11):620-624.

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