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Soy Foods & Menopause

Does eating soy foods help with hot flashes?

December 25, 2009 |
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Acknowledgements

Image thanks to Katy.Tresedder.

Transcript

All right, back to foodsSoy consumption helps ameliorate symptoms of menopause. Now as with nearly everything in the field of human nutrition, the evidence is mixed, so the question is always “What does the balance of the evidence show?”
To bean or not, to bean.
Here’s what the science shows: There’s been a dozen studies on soy consumption and hot flashes, and one showed an increase in hot flashes. Three didn’t show soy did much of anything, but the remaining 8 showed significant reduction in hot flashes.
You can imagine what the headlines were like after the publication of the study at the bottom: “soy doesn’t work.” But you have to take the totality of evidence, and soy really does seem to help.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on soy and women's health. Also, there are 1,449 other subjectscovered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: How Much Soy Is Too Much?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on soy and women’s health. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/KayeCarpenter/ Kaye Carpenter

    I find 1-3 tabls of ground flax helps more. I don’t know what the dose of soy to take and find this easier to take.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/sdgeiger/ sdgeiger

    Hello, Michael!

    Question: A coworker takes an estrogen patch and in her efforts to make the switch to a vegan diet, is concerned that soy will cause some problems since she cannot control the amount of estrogen she receives from this patch. What advice would you give someone in this situation in regards to Soy consumption?

    Regards,
    Scott

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/jocelyn/ jocelyn

    Will you be posting any videos on PMS any time soon? I just love all these clips. So informative! Thank you!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=640861216 Gary Yuen

    A larger question would be why humans experience menopause much earlier than other primates. For instance, one study I’ve found says chimps don’t experience it until 90% life span.

    • Carol Janes Moya

      It’s because our offspring take so long to mature. We need to live longer (and have more infertile years) in order to ensure their survival and the survival of our grandchildren–our gene pool :)
      There are studies showing that having the grandmother around increases the survival rates for the grandchildren–especially in less industrialized cultures.

  • Yale Rosenblatt

    My wife and I eat the same vegan meals. But where my LDL cholesterol is 50, hers is 104. The HDL numbers are closer with mine at 50 and hers at 66.She is 59 years old and started menopause 2-4 years ago. Could the menopause have any affect on raising her LDL cholesterol? And If not, what else could raise a vegan woman’s LDL cholesterol.

    • beccadoggie10

      Since soy is a xenoestrogen (plant estrogen) and your wife’s bodily make up is estrogen, perhaps that along with menopause is the difference between her cholesterol levels are you own. This is a guesstimate. I’m no expert.

  • mcooks

    Is there a difference between using soy beans in their whole form (I/E – edamame, or mature soy beans to make soy milk) and soy protein isolate, in their effects of hormones? Thank you so much for all of the great information!

    • Toxins

      Soy protein isolate is a more concentrated and refined form of soy beans and less of it will increase IGF-1 levels.

  • Changing

    Soy does affect hormones in my experience, but depending on one’s needs it can be for the good or bad. I need my estrogen and progesterone balanced or I get depression. Soy puts off the balance so I must stay away from it and balance my hormones with an HRT patch.

  • Elaine

    What can I eat to help with vaginal dryness-decrease in sexual appitite-I’m 63 yrs old

  • ant_hel

    ”Eating soy foods appears to help with hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.” If you have a thyroid problem you’re not supposed to eat soy… What would you recommend a menopausal woman with a thyroid problem to take? Hope you’re able to answer. Can’t get a good enough answer from my doctor.