Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Soy supplements a no go for menopause

Menopausal women who took soy supplements during a two-year trial reported no differences in quality of life compared to their counterparts taking placebo pills. In the new report, published in Menopause, researchers looked not just at specific symptoms but overall quality of life measures among healthy women, mostly in their 50s and six years or more into menopause on average.

Several hundred women were asked to take supplement pills three times a day for two years. Among them, 126 took a fake supplement that contained no soy extract, while 135 women took tablets containing a total of 80 milligrams a day of soy protein and another 123 women took 120 mg each day.

At the start of the study and again one and two years into it, the women filled out a quality of life survey that asked about mental, physical and sexual health as well as about hot flashes. In each of the surveys, the women in all three groups scored similarly on the main measures in the questionnaire.

Bonnie: We never recommend soy supplements. That is not to say, however, that soy products do not help menopausal symptoms. Fermented soy foods, such as tofu and tempeh, can be helpful if consumed in moderation and only if organic.

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