Can Soy Isoflavones Help with Menopause Symptoms?
For many women, perimenopause and menopause are two of the most physically challenging times of their lives. While managing the responsibilities of a challenging career, as well as the demands of a home and family, many women during these years of transition also have to contend with menopausal symptoms ranging from mildly uncomfortable to downright debilitating.
Symptoms such as night sweats, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, heart palpitations, daytime hot flashes, and mood changes can significantly affect a woman’s ability to feel energetic and vibrant. With all these distracting and uncomfortable symptoms women must contend with — sometimes for years, it’s no wonder women want to know of all the options available to them that can help reduce their symptoms.
Some women are in search of relief from their menopause symptoms, but are hesitant to consider hormone replacement therapies. They may have either already had breast cancer, or they may have a significant family history of breast cancer and want to avoid HRT in order to keep their future risk of breast cancer as low as possible. Other women are uncomfortable with medications and prefer to use food or herb-based supplements as their first line of defence when it comes to addressing health-related issues.
Can Soy Really Make a Difference?
In fact, there is evidence to suggest that soy isoflavones do help reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, although the effects were delayed in comparison to oestrogen hormone replacement therapies. Specifically, soy isoflavones seem particularly effective when dealing with oestrogenic symptoms during the time leading up to menopause, otherwise known as perimenopause.
A 12-week study conducted in 2017, consisting of 29 perimenopausal and 21 postmenopausal women, showed significant improvement in their symptoms after taking a daily dose of 100 mg of soy isoflavones throughout the test period. The study notes, “Soy isoflavones are phytoestrogens which have higher affinity for oestrogen β receptors. They bind strongly to oestrogen β receptors and weakly to oestrogen α receptors, thus exerting organ-specific oestrogenic or anti-oestrogenic activity by blocking the oestrogen receptor and possessing weak oestrogenic activity . Their high consumption in the Japanese population was credited for lower rates of cardiovascular diseases, breast and endometrial cancer mortality and reduced vasomotor symptoms .”
The study goes on to discuss all the improvements the women experienced after 12 weeks, with significant reductions in symptoms such as hot flashes, fatigue (these two showing the most significant improvement), depression, anxiety, rheumatic complaints, and severe sexual dysfunction. The study states in the conclusion that there is evidence pointing to soy isoflavones and their ability to help women manage symptoms, especially the symptoms of those women currently experiencing perimenopause. One area that did not seem much improved during the 12-week study was urogenital symptoms as reported by postmenopausal women.
All in all, for women who have reservations about using HRT, soy isoflavones seem to hold some definite promise in the reduction of uncomfortable symptoms, especially for perimenopausal women.
Supplement with PhytoEstrin
Along with soy isoflavones, two other herbs, black cohosh and chasteberry powder, are also very popular alternatives to prescription HRTs. USANA’s PhytoEstrin product contains all three substances, along with liquorice extract and dong quai extract. These herbs have been used for centuries by women to help ease menopausal symptoms. Along with the main ingredient found in PhytoEstrin, soy isoflavones, these herbs also provide support for cardiovascular health, which becomes an increasingly important factor as women become older.
If you would like more information about how soy isoflavones can help you manage your perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms please contact us. If you are interested in trying PhytoEstrin for yourself, be sure to ask for a sample of OSANA’s soy isoflavones product.