Soyfoods, isoflavones and menopause symptoms – my menopause magazine a gas has


Soyfoods are an ancient food, consumed by Asian populations for centuries. They didn’t truly arrive in the United States until the 1960s when tofu and a few other soyfoods became embraced by the health-conscious counter-culture that helped fuel the societal changes taking place at that time. Over the next three decades, soyfoods steadily trickled into the mainstream, but didn’t really take off until the early 1990s when scientists began to recognize that tofu and other foods made from the soybean were more than just plant sources of high quality protein. The potential importance or soyfoods was given a real boost when the us national Cancer institute announced that funding was available to study the anti-cancer effects of soyfoods and compounds unique to soybeans called isoflavones. Within a few years, isoflavones, which are commonly referred to as phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), were soon being studied for their ability to improve menopausal symptoms, promote bone health, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Not surprisingly, women entering menopause who wanted a natural alternative to conventional hormone therapy began to consider soy. Interest in alternatives increased when the results of the Women’s Health Trial, one of the largest and most expensive clinical trials ever conducted, showed that the harmful effects of hormone therapy appeared to outweigh the benefits. With that, prescriptions for hormone therapy plummeted. gaston yla agrupacion santa fe 2016 However, that plunge in estrogen prescriptions didn’t necessarily translate into increases in soy as questions about soyfoods also began to emerge. gas news today Despite the low rates of breast cancer in Japan, concern arose that soyfoods, because they contain isoflavones, might be harmful to breast cancer patients and women at high risk of developing breast cancer. I’ll discuss this further in the next issue of My Menopause Magazine. Also, studies evaluating the benefits of soyfoods appeared to produce conflicting results. Add to that the enormous amount of misinformation on the Internet about soy and it is easy to see why this ancient food has become so controversial. Fortunately, as you read on, you’ll see that the most recent human research greatly supports both the benefits and safety of soyfoods.

The analysis, which was published in the journal Menopause, included 13 studies involving 1196 women that evaluated hot flash frequency (number per day) and 9 studies and 988 women that evaluated severity (degree of bothersome). The results indicated that isoflavones consistently improved both frequency and severity. Symptoms were reduced on average by about 50 percent. 101 gas station Roughly half of that effect was due to the placebo. This means that on average, a woman who has eight hot flashes per day will, after taking isoflavones, have only four. That decrease represents a rather significant improvement in quality of life. But the story doesn’t end there. The authors of this analysis also analyzed the results according to the type of supplement used in the studies. electricity jewels Although all the supplements were made from soybeans, they differed quite a bit depending upon from which part of the soybean the isoflavones came from. One type of supplement was low in genistein – the predominate isoflavone in soybeans and soyfoods and the one thought to be most biologically active. The other was very low in genistein because it is made from a small part of the bean that has an isoflavone composition that differs from the bean in general. It turns out the type of supplement used makes a huge difference. In fact, supplements higher in genistein are about twice as potent as low-genistein supplements. So when you choose a supplement, it is important to make sure that it is high in genistein. Soyfoods are high in genistein so they should be very effective although relatively few studies have actually looked at treating hot flashes with soyfoods.

Isoflavones improve the health of endothelial cells that aren’t functioning properly. There is also some evidence that isoflavones halt the progression of early (subclinical) athero-sclerosis, which is the beginning stage of atherosclerosis. p gaskell Testing for this early stage is done using ultrasound to measure the thickness of the walls of the carotid arteries, the major arteries in the neck that deliver blood to the brain. Scientists call this test carotid intima media thickness. In one of the largest and longest clinical studies involving soy or isoflavones, researchers from the university of southern California Keck school of medicine enrolled 350 postmenopausal women for three years into one of two groups; one consumed daily 25 grams of milk protein (the equivalent of about 3 cups of milk) and the other group, 25 grams of isoflavone-rich soy protein 4. At the end of the three year period, the thickness of the arteries had increased in both groups, which is not unexpected; but it increased 16% less in the soy group. However, the difference between the two groups wasn’t statistically significant – which means from a scientific perspective, that it is not possible to conclude with any certainty that the difference between groups didn’t occur by chance. However, the analysis didn’t end there.