Soy & Menopause
More than 1/3 of the women in the US, about 36 million have been through menopause. With a life expectancy of about 81 years, a 50-year-old woman can expect to live more than one third of her life after menopause. Scientific research is just beginning to address some of the unanswered questions about these years - about the poorly understood biology of menopause and how diet, especially soy, can aid in reducing some of the symptoms.
Many physiological changes during menopause are related to decreased estrogen production. These include difficulty in regulating body temperature, which can result in "night sweats" and "hot flashes." However, experiences vary from culture to culture around the world.
Studies indicate that consuming natural isoflavones, which are found in soy food products, may reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Isoflavones have been shown to function similarly to estrogen-replacement therapy, which is used by many women to ease menopause symptoms.
For more information on menopause, click here to go to the North American Menopause Society’s Website.
Heart disease is the number one killer of North American women. Nearly 39,000 Canadian women die each year from heart disease and 267,000 American women die from heart attacks—six times as many women as will die from breast cancer.
Soy protein operates on a number of levels to reduce heart disease risk. One of those is its ability to reduce blood cholesterol. Various researchers have studied the cholesterol-lowering ability of soy protein specifically in women. Dr. Scott Washburn from Wake Forest University showed in peri-menopausal women that 20g of soy protein with isoflavones significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol compared to the control (carbohydrate) diet.
For more information on your heart health, click here to go to the American Heart Association Internet site.