Safety of Soy Menopuase Supplements
Soy is an isoflavone, which is basically a plant-based type of estrogen. The thinking was that a plant estrogen would not have the unacceptable side effects of synthetic estrogen, and would provide a safe way to bolster estrogen levels in women who were undergoing menopause. While scientists have some concern about multiplication of breast cells, studies thus far have not proven any serious side effects from taking soy supplements.
Effectiveness of Soy Menopause Supplements
Proponents of soy menopause supplements have long since suggested that soy remains a safer alternative to other, riskier forms of menopause treatment such as hormone replacement therapy. Recent studies, however, suggest that there is no improvement in these symptoms as a result of taking a soy supplement.
In fact, one study in particular was central in debunking the menopause mythology linked to soy use. The study compared two groups of women aged 45 to 60 over a period of nearly five years. One group was given 220 mg of soy isoflavinoids in tablet form while the other group received a placebo. The researchers found no difference between the two groups for most menopause symptoms, including bone loss, loss of libido, night sweats, vaginal dryness and insomnia. What’s more, they discovered that the women taking soy supplements reported having more hot flashes, not less. Another two-year study came up with the same results — soy supplements carried roughly the same level of efficacy as a placebo.