It now looks like soy-based foods or fiber are unlikely to reduce menopause symptoms in women.
According to a new US study published in Menopause, women do not benefit much from eating extra quantities of dietary estrogen-rich soy products, in contradiction to what was thought earlier.
AdvertisementHormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a treatment carried out to administer estrogen and other hormones to counter menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. But the downside is that HRT carries risk of heart disease and cancer. Therefore scientists have been trying to look for plant-based alternatives.
Ellen Gold, the lead author of the present study, and a professor at the University of California Davis School of Medicine, says that studies on plant estrogens have yielded mixed results. An overall review of 17 studies on soy supplement pills has found that they have the ability to minimize the severity and frequency of hot flashes. However, some individual trials carried out on soy protein pills have registered no benefits.
To find if women who ate lots of phytoestrogens could handle menopause symptoms with ease, Gold and her colleagues monitored 1,651 women for 10 years. At the start of the study, none of the subjects had attained menopause. They were then followed up each year and monitored for hot flashes or night sweats. By the culmination of the study, researchers could not discover a consistent link between the amount of phytoestrogens or fiber eaten and the severity and frequency of hot flashes.
In some cases, when they did see a link between dietary estrogen and menopause symptoms, the results differed. Hence it is possible that some subsets of women benefitted with phytoestrogens.
Some scientists believe that a dead end has been reached and that scientists must move on from this area of research.