Soy Offers No Relief for Symptoms of Menopause

For middle-aged women searching for a safe alternative to hormone therapy to prevent bone loss and ease the symptoms of menopause, they are in for another letdown.

The latest in a series of disappointing studies finds that soy supplements, an increasingly popular substitute for hormone therapy, do not stave off hot flashes, night sweats, and other uncomfortable menopausal symptoms.

Nor did the supplements reduce the aging-related bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis, the study found.

“Isoflavones, the plant-derived estrogens found in soy, are very weak estrogens, so it is not surprising that they have not shown to be as effective…as hormone therapy,” says the lead author of the study, Silvina Levis, MD, the director of the osteoporosis center at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

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