Equol is a metabolite of the soya isoflavone (ISO) daidzein that is produced by intestinal microbiota. Equol has greater oestrogenic activity compared with other ISO, and it prevents bone loss in postmenopausal women. Resistant starch (RS), which has a prebiotic activity and is a dietary fibre, was reported to promote equol production. Conversely, the intestinal microbiota is reported to directly regulate bone health by reducing inflammatory cytokine levels and T-lymphocytes in bone. The present study evaluated the combined effects of diet supplemented with ISO and RS on intestinal microbiota, equol production, bone mineral density (BMD) and inflammatory gene expression in the bone marrow of ovariectomised (OVX) mice. Female ddY strain mice, aged 8 weeks, were either sham-operated (Sham, n 7) or OVX. OVX mice were randomly divided into the following four groups (seven per group): OVX control (OVX); OVX fed 0·05 % ISO diet (OVX+ISO); OVX fed 9 % RS diet (OVX+RS); and OVX fed 0·05 % ISO- and 9 % RS diet (OVX+ISO+RS). After 6 weeks, treatment with the combination of ISO and RS increased equol production, prevented the OVX-induced decline in trabecular BMD in the distal femur by modulating the enteric environment and altered OVX-induced inflammation-related gene expression in the bone marrow. However, there were no significant differences in bone parameters between the ISO+RS and ISO-alone groups in OVX mice. Our findings suggest that the combination of ISO and RS might alter intestinal microbiota and immune status in the bone marrow, resulting in attenuated bone resorption in OVX mice.