Estrogens play a key role in an extensive range of physiological functions in various types of tissues throughout the body in females. We previously showed that estrogen insufficiency caused muscle weakness that could be rescued by estrogen administration in a young female ovariectomized (OVX) mouse model. However, long-term estrogen replacement therapy increases risks of breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Soymilk contains plant-based protein and isoflavones that exert estrogen-like activity. Here we examined the effects of prolonged soymilk intake on muscle and its resident stem cells, called satellite cells, in the estrogen-insufficient model. Six-week-old C57BL/6 OVX female mice were fed with a dried soymilk-containing diet. We found that prolonged soymilk intake upregulated grip strength in OVX mice. Correspondingly, cross-sectional area of tibialis anterior muscle was significantly increased in OVX mice fed with soymilk. Furthermore, soymilk diet mitigated dysfunction of satellite cells isolated from OVX mice. Thus, these results indicated that prolonged soymilk intake is beneficial for improving muscle weakness in an estrogen-insufficient state in females.
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