Menopause and Soy Isoflavones

Soy has isoflavones, which have the potential to mimic the effects of estrogen within the body. As a result, there are many reports that soy can benefit women going through perimenopause and postmenopause. There are many benefits that have been reported and these included a reduction in vaginal dryness, a reduction in hot flashes, reduction in bone loss, improvement in cholesterol and existing type 2 diabetes, decrease of cancer risk and risk for gall and kidney stones, improvement in high blood pressure, and more.

Soy is full of nutrients and is part of the legume family. There are nine essential amino acids required by humans and soy contains all of them. Most beans are 20% protein by weight while soy is 40% protein by weight. It has antioxidants like vitamins B and E and is extremely high in fiber. Soy also has linoleic acid, which may help support cardiac healthy and it is low in cholesterol.

The isoflavones in soy are a phytoestrogen and this is what makes them similar to estrogen in the human body. That means it can attach to the chemical receptors that estrogen can attach to and can have a similar effect on the body. There are conflicting reports of how supplementing with soy isoflavones can help with menopausal symptoms. Some women report positive results and there are other women who do not appear to benefit significantly or at all from supplementing with soy isoflavones. Each woman should evaluate her health, her symptoms, and then determine whether or not soy is worth a try. It is important to talk with your doctor before choosing to supplement with a particular product or soy based foods.

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