Soy isoflavones are very powerful plant substances with a chemical makeup very similar to the hormone estrogen. For this reason, experts are finding that in countries where soy is a regular part of the diet, women going through menopause have far less problems. In addition, taking soy for menopause is believed to lower some hormone-related cancers. Today, you can find soy supplements at local grocery stores, health food stores, and through online businesses.
Taking soy for menopause is an excellent way to reduce or altogether eliminate the aggravating symptoms that go along with the change of life. However, studies show that eating soy products is far more helpful than taking supplements although these can help.
Taking Soy for Menopause – What to Know
With soy, you have two specific isoflavones called daidzein and genistein. From in-depth research, it appears these isoflavones work to protect a woman against many disorders associated with hormones, which would include endometriosis and breast cancer.
The way it works is that both daidzein and genistein compete for the same place on cells known as receptor sites just as the body’s natural estrogen does. With this, many of the normal risks associated with too much estrogen such as uterine and breast cancer can be reduced significantly simply by adding soy to the daily diet.
In addition, as the body stops producing normal quantities of estrogen, which is what happens during menopause, soy isoflavones help by binding to some of the receptor sites that were once the site of the estrogen. The result is that symptoms are greatly improved.
Another benefit of soy and menopause is that soy is shown to inhibit enzymes that cause cancer while providing antioxidant protection and improving the body’s immune system. When soy is made a consistent part of a woman’s diet, symptoms that include night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia, headaches, and other common problems are reduced both in severity and frequency.
In fact, one particular study showed that when a women going through menopause added just 45 grams of soy flour to her diet daily, the symptoms were lowered by a staggering 40%! In fact, numerous studies have been performed regarding soy and menopause, all of them showing substantial benefit.
For proof of the BENEFITS of Soy, look to Japan.
If you look at the country Japan opposed to the United States, you would find that in addition to eating diets loaded with vegetables, they also get most of their protein from soy whereas Americans get it from cow or goat meat and milk.
Research shows that the women in Japan taking soy for menopause have dramatically lower occurrence of symptoms than American women. Keep in mind that soy is available in many different forms. The one most people think of is tofu, which is an option but many people do not like the taste. Therefore, remember that you can get soy from flour, soybeans, and even milk that tastes delicious.
Another study done on soy and menopause found that the effects of soy protein depended large on the women’s natural estrogen levels at the time she consumes the soy.
As an example, a woman in the middle of a menstrual cycle generally has little change in the amount of estrogen the body produces. However, when that same woman consumed soy as a part of her daily food intake, the amount of estrogen increased. For the woman going through menopause, her body slowly stops producing estrogen, which is what triggers the miserable symptoms.
Therefore, by consuming soy, the estrogen levels would be increased and thereby, the symptoms reduced. An added benefit of consuming soy is that is has shown to help with weight maintenance. Consider that animal protein, which is what we eat in America, is high in cholesterol and saturated fat.
Not only is this fattening but bad for the heart. Now with soy, it has very little fat and no cholesterol, which means weight is easier to control and any risk of heart disease reduced.