A recent survey confirms that dietary soy supplements can help ease menopause symptoms.
More Info: When it came to symptoms such as hot flashes and muscle pain, soy isoflavone was found to be as effective as hormonal therapy. Among a group of sixty post-menopausal women, some were given a dietary supplement and others a combination of estradio and norethisterone acetate.
Researchers found that soy supplements reduced muscle pain and hot flashes in almost half the cases or, respectively, 45.6% and 49.8%. It also was effective about a third of the time with regards to vaginal dryness. Overall, the findings of the survey suggested that soy could be used instead of hormones.
What Is Soy?
This is all possible because the main ingredient of soy, isoflavones, is essentially a plant form of estrogen. As per the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), many of the studies of soy’s effectiveness against menopause, unlike the one referenced above, have been inconclusive. Still, there is enough evidence to convince many doctors of the following benefits: a reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL) in favor of an increase of good cholesterol (HDL); a reduction of the severity of hot flashes; and possible impact on the onset of osteoperosis.
Is Raw Soy Better?
Much of the impact of soy on menopause symptoms has to do with the kind of soy consumed. If the soy is raw, the amount of isoflavones is optimized, as much 150 milligrams of soy per 100 grams of food. However, if the item is something like a soy sausage pattie or hot dog, the amount of soy ingested may actually be only three or four grams. If a woman wants to try and reduce menopause symptoms, it is advised that at least 100 milligrams of soy be consumed per day. Soy may have other health benefits as well for these women, unrelated to menopause symptoms per se.
FoodConsumer.org – “Soy Supplements as Effective as Hormone Therapy in Easing Menopausal Symptoms”, September 20, 2010, Retrieved November 11, 2010 from http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Supplements/soy_supplements_as_effective_as_hormone_therapy_2009100654.html
The Everything Health Guide to Menopause, Retrieved November 11, 2010 from http://books.google.com/books?id=EpGa9QVcvu8C&pg=PT223&lpg=PT223&dq=soy+%2B+menopause+%2B+.org+%2B+research&source=bl&ots=C8iMTwEDwk&sig=gVuovuwjegnjrNGEvblGtGe80Tw&hl=en&ei=wfLcTJu0IImWsgPCx-3ACg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=soy %2B menopause %2B .org %2B research&f=false