Flavonoids (Soy)Menopause

Benefits of soy on menopausal symptoms

Dr. Mindy Kurzer from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis has reviewed the evidence.

And, the results.

  • A recent meta-analysis reported that isoflavone supplementation was associated with a 34% reduction in hot flashes.
    • The response improved as the number of flashes and the isoflavone dose increased.
    • A meta-analysis is a statistical tool that combines results from several similar studies in order to provide an overall estimate of the results.
  • Another review concluded that taking at least 15 mg genistein (an isoflavone found in soybeans and soy products like tofu and textured vegetable protein), rather than total isoflavones, is responsible for the reduction in symptoms.
  • Results of these reviews are supported by most subsequent randomized controlled trials.

The bottom line?
Dr. Kuzer concluded, “Consumption of 30 mg/day of soy isoflavones (or at least 15 mg genistein) reduces hot flashes by up to 50%… The greatest benefit may be realized when the isoflavone-rich food or supplement is taken in divided doses by subjects who experience at least 4 hot flashes/day.”

Interesting considering that in an earlier review just 2 years ago, Dr. Matthew Anderson from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York concluded there was “little evidence of benefit for these products on menopausal symptoms.”

9/27/08 16:10 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.