Vegetarian diets lower blood pressure (BP), but attempts to identify dietary components responsible have been unsuccessful. Isoflavonoids are commonly consumed as part of vegetarian diets, The objective of this study was to assess the effect of isoflavonoid supplementation on BP. Fifty-nine subjects with high-normal range systolic BP completed a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial of two-way parallel design and 8 weeks duration. One tablet containing 55 mg of isoflavonoids, including 30 mg of genistein, 16 mg of biochanin A (a genistein precursor), 1 mg of daidzein, and 8 mg of formononetin (a daidzein precursor), or one placebo tablet, was taken daily with the evening meal. Significant increases in urinary excretion of genistein (5.22 mg/day, 95% CI: 3.72, 6.72) and daidzein (2.53 mg/day, 95% CI: 1.66, 3.40) were observed in the group taking the isoflavonoid supplement. There were no significant changes in isoflavonoid excretion in the placebo group. Clinic BP was measured at two visits, and ambulatory BP monitoring was performed over one 24-h period, at baseline and postintervention. There was no significant difference between groups, after adjustment for baseline values, in postintervention clinic supine BP (systolic 1.2 mm Hg, 95% CI: -2.3, 4.7; diastolic 0.6 mm Hg, 95% CI: -1.9, 2.5), clinic erect BP (systolic 1.7 mm Hg, 95% CI: -4.0, 8.4; diastolic 0.4 mm Hg, 95% CI: -2.4, 3.2), or 24-h ambulatory BP (systolic -1.4 mm Hg, 95% CI: -4.4, 1.6; diastolic -0.8 mm Hg, 95% CI: -2.3, 0.7). Adjustment for age, gender, and weight change did not alter the result. Therefore, these results do not support the hypothesis that isoflavonoids, and genistein in particular, are major contributors to the BP lowering effect of vegetarian diets. (C) 1999 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.