Soy Products Not Helpful for Menopause

It seems that research on how to treat menopause symptoms is changing. It used to be that the soybean was hailed as the all-encompassing cure-all.  But now things have changed.  According to a recent article in The New York Times, based on results from the Archives of Internal Medicine, soy products were seen to be “no more effective than a placebo.”

Menopausal Tests

Women have been using soy to fight against risks of estrogen replacement therapy but it seems that this was in vein.  University of Miami researchers conducted a study on 248 women between the ages of 45 to 60.  Fifth percent of the women took 200 milligrams of soy isoflavones on a daily basis, with the other half ingesting a placebo.  The women did not know which pill they were taking.  This went on for two years, at the end of which a test on bone mineral density and menopausal symptoms was conducted.


It seemed that from the urine tests, the women taking the soy isoflavones had consumed almost 20 times as much soy as those who were just taking the placebo, but other than that there were “no significant differences in bone density” detected.  Neither group showed any signs of any serious effects but the women with the soy also indicated no improvement on any of the typical symptoms associated with menopause like insomnia, libido loss, night sweats, etc. compared to the placebo group.

Thus study leader Dr. Silvina Levis concluded that, “women should be reconsidering taking these types of products for menopausal health.”  There was no clinical benefit in taking the soy, and indeed, those taking it actually experienced more “constipation, bloating and hot flashes” than the other group.
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Such New News?

The question is though, is this research so new?  According to an article written by John R. Lee, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins, no.  Another study was conducted at the Mayo Clinic some time ago that “showed no benefits from soy protein isolates, which have high levels of phytoestrogens.”  Others have found similar results through an analysis of salvia hormone levels.  It seems ultimately that the finding was, “soy phytoestrogens simply don’t work well to control vasomotor symptoms. The isoflavones in soy are aromatase inhibitors which lower the levels of estrogens made by the body, which is counter-productive to controlling vasomotor symptoms.”

So our most recent findings shouldn’t come as such a huge shock.