Mission statement:

Isoflavones news is dedicated to providing information about the health effects of soybean isoflavones and the health consequences of isoflavone supplements through evaluation of the peer-reviewed literature. Emphasis is placed on findings from clinical (human) research and secondarily on epidemiologic findings.


Mark Messina, PhD, MS  Abbreviated Biography

Dr. Messina is the co-owner of Nutrition Matters, Inc., a nutrition consulting company, an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University, and the Executive Director of the Soy Nutrition Institute. He is a former program director with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and while at the NCI he initiated a multi-million dollar research program on the anticancer effects of soy. Since leaving the NCI, Dr. Messina has devoted his time to the study of the health effects of soyfoods and soybean isoflavones. He writes extensively on these subjects, having published more than 65 articles and book chapters for health professionals, and has given more than 500 presentations to both consumer and professional groups in 44 countries. Dr. Messina is the chairperson of the editorial advisory board of, and writes a regular column for The Soy Connection, a quarterly newsletter that reaches over 250,000 dietitians and other health professionals. He has also organized and chaired nine international symposia on the role of soy in preventing and treating chronic disease and has organized soy meetings in China, India, Brazil and Italy. Dr. Messina is the co-author of three books, The Simple Soybean and Your Health (Avery Publishing Group, 1994), The Vegetarian Way (Crown Publishers, 1996), and The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications (Aspen Publishers, 1996, Jones and Barlett, 2004, 2010).


Selected publications

Dettmer M, Alekel DL, Lasrado JA, Messina M. et al. The effect of soy protein beverages on serum cell adhesion molecule concentrations in prehypertensive/stage 1 hypertensive individuals. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2012;31:100-10.

Messina M, Messina V, Jenkins DJA. Can breast cancer patients use soyafoods to help reduce risk of CHD? Br J Nutr 2012 (Doi:10.1017/S0007114512001900)

DP Beavers, KM Beavers, M Miller, J Stamey, MJ Messina. Exposure to isoflavone-containing soy products and endothelial function: A Bayesian meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 22: 182-191, 2012.

Setchell KD, Brown NM, Zhao X, Lindley SL, Heubi JE, King EC, Messina MJ. Soy isoflavone phase II metabolism differs between rodents and humans: implications for the effect on breast cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr 94:1284-94, 2011

Messina M, Messina VL, Chan P. Soyfoods, hyperuricemia and gout: A review of the epidemiologic and clinical data. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011; 20: 347-58.

Zhou Y, Alekel DL, Dixon PM, Messina M, Reddy MB. The effect of soy food intake on mineral status in premenopausal women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 20: 771-780, 2011.

Messina M, Abrams DI, Hardy M. Can clinicians now assure their breast cancer patients that soyfoods are safe? Womens Health (Lond Engl) 2010;6:335-8.

Messina, M. Insights Gained from 20 Years of Soy Research. J Nutr 140 2289S-2295S, 2010

Beavers DP, Beavers KM, Miller M, Stamey J, Messina MJ. Exposure to isoflavone-containing soy products and endothelial function: A Bayesian meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2010.

Messina M, Messina, V. The role of soy in vegetarian diets.  Nutrients 2: 855-888, 2010.

Messina M. A Brief Historical Overview of the Past Two Decades of Soy and Isoflavone Research. J Nutr 130: 1350S-1354S, 2010.

Klein MA, Nahin RL, Messina MJ, Rader JI, Thompson LU, Badger TM, Dwyer, JT, Kim YS, Pontzer CH, Starke-Reed, PE, Weaver CM. Guidance from an NIH Workshop on Designing, Implementing, and Reporting Clinical Studies of Soy Interventions. J Nutr 140: 1192S-1204S, 2010.

Beavers DP, Beavers KM, Miller M, Stamey J, Messina MJ. Exposure to isoflavone-containing soy products and endothelial function: A Bayesian meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2010.

Messina M: Soybean isoflavone exposure does not have feminizing effects on men: A critical examination of the clinical evidence. Fertility Sterility 93:2095-104, 2010.

Messina M, Hilakivi-Clarke, L. Early intake appears to be the key to the proposed protective effects of soy intake against breast cancer. Nutr Cancer 61: 792-798, 2009

Hamilton-Reeves, JM, Vazquez, G, Duval, S.J., Phipps, W.R., Kurzer, MS, Messina, M. Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: Results of a meta-analysis. Fertility Sterility 2009.

Beavers KM, Jonnalagadda SS, Messina M. Soy consumption, adhesion molecules, and pro-inflammatory cytokines: a brief review of the literature. Nutr Rev 67: 213-221, 2009

Hooper L, Ryder JJ, Kurzer MS, Lampe J, Messina MJ, Phipps WR, Cassidy A. Effects of soy protein and isoflavones on circulating hormone concentrations in pre- and postmenopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Human Reprod Update 15: 423-440, 2009.

Jacobs D, Lampe J, Lanou AJ, Messina M. Food, plant food, and vegetarian diets in the US Dietary Guidelines: conclusions of an expert panel. Am J Clin Nutr 89: 1S-4S, 2009.

Messina M, Wu AH. Perspectives on the soy–breast cancer relationship. Am J Clin Nutr 89: 1673-1679s, 2009.

Messina M, Watanabe S, Setchell KKD. Report on the 8th international symposium on the role of soy in health promotion and chronic disease prevention and treatment. J Nutr 139: 796-802s, 2009.

Messina, M. The endometrial effects of isoflavones: a discussion paper. Compl Ther Clin Pract 14: 212-214, 2008.

Messina, M. Investigating the optimal soy protein and isoflavones intakes for women: a perspective. Women’s Health 4; 337-356, 2008

Messina, M.J., Wood, C.E. Soy isoflavones, estrogen therapy, and breast cancer risk: Analysis and commentary. Nutrition Journal 7: 17, 2008.

Messina, M. Conclusion that isoflavones exert estrogenic effects on breast tissue and may raise breast cancer risk unfounded. Mol Nutr Food Res 52:299-300, 2008 (letter to editor)

Gardner CD, Messina M, Kiazand A, Morris, J, Varady A, Franke A. M.D. Effect of two types of soy milk and dairy milk on plasma lipids in hypercholesterolemic adults: A Randomized Trial. J Am College Nutr 26: 669-677, 2007

Messina M, Hamilton-Reeves, J, Kurzer M, Phipps W. Effect of soy protein on testosterone levels. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 16: 2795, 2007 (letter to editor)

Messina, M. The safety and benefits of soybean isoflavones. A natural alternative to conventional hormone therapy? Menopause 14:958, 2007

Smit E, Garcia-Palmieri MR, Figueroa NR, McGee DL, Messina M, Freudenheim JL, Crespo C. Protein and legume intake and prostate cancer mortality in Puerto Rican men. Nutr Cancer 58:146-52, 2007.

Messina M, Lane B. Soy Protein, Soybean Isoflavones, and Coronary Heart Disease Risk: Where Do We Stand? Future Lipidiology 2: 55-74, 2007

Erdman JW, Jr., Balentine D, Arab L, Beecher, G, Dwyer, J. T., Folts, J, Harnly, J., Hollman, P., Keen, C. L., Mazza, G., Messina, M., Scalbert, A.,Vita, J., Williamson, G., Burrowes, J. Flavonoids and Heart Health: Proceedings of the ILSI North America Flavonoids Workshop, May 31-June 1, 2005, Washington, DC. J Nutr 2007;137:718S-737S.

Messina M, McCaskill-Stevens W, Lampe JW. Addressing the soy and breast cancer relationship: review, commentary, and workshop proceedings. J Natl Cancer Inst 2006;98:1275-84.

Williamson-Hughes PS, Flickinger BD, Messina MJ, Empie MW. Isoflavone supplements containing predominantly genistein reduce hot flash symptoms: a critical review of published studies. Menopause 13: 831-839, 2006.

Messina M, Nagata C, Wu AH. Estimated Asian adult soy protein and isoflavone intakes. Nutr Cancer 2006;55:1-12.

Messina M, Kucuk O, Lampe JW. An overview of the health effects of isoflavones with an emphasis on prostate cancer risk and prostate-specific antigen levels. JAOAC Int 2006;89:1121-34.
Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid 2006;16:249-58.

Messina M, Ho S, Alekel DL. Skeletal benefits of soy isoflavones: a review of the clinical trial and epidemiologic data. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2004;7:649-658.

Erdman JW, Jr., Badger TM, Lampe JW, Setchell KD, Messina M. Not All Soy Products Are Created Equal: Caution Needed in Interpretation of Research Results. J Nutr 2004;134:1229S-1233S

Messina M, Hughes C. Efficacy of soyfoods and soybean isoflavone supplements for alleviating menopausal symptoms is positively related to initial hot flush frequency. J Med Food 2003;6:1-11.

Messina M, Flickinger B. Hypothesized anticancer effects of soy: evidence points toward isoflavones as the primary anticarcinogens. Pharmaceutical Biology 2002;40:6-23S.

Messina MJ, Loprinzi CL. Soy for breast cancer survivors: a critical review of the literature. J Nutr 2001;131:3095S-108S.

Messina M, Lampe JW, Birt DF, et al. Reductionism and the narrowing nutrition perspective: time for reevaluation and emphasis on food synergy. J Am Diet Assoc 2001;101:1416-9.

Messina MJ. Legumes and soybeans: overview of their nutritional profiles and health effects. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70:439S-50S.

Messina M, Bennink M. Soyfoods, isoflavones and risk of colonic cancer: a review of the in vitro and in vivo data. Baillieres Clin Endocrinol Metab 1998;12:707-28.

Messina M, Barnes S, Setchell KD. Phyto-oestrogens and breast cancer. Lancet 1997;350:971-2.

Messina MJ, Persky V, Setchell KD, Barnes S. Soy intake and cancer risk: a review of the in vitro and in vivo data. Nutr Cancer 1994;21:113-31.

Messina M, Messina V. Increasing use of soyfoods and their potential role in cancer prevention. J Am Diet Assoc 1991;91:836-40.

Messina M, Barnes S. The role of soy products in reducing risk of cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1991;83:541-6.