Dangers Of Soy And Menopause
Hot flashes, night sweats, dry vaginas, OH MY! These common symptoms of menopause sound pretty brutal but early research suggests that including soy in our diets may help us find relief!
While women no longer have to deal with their periods during menopause, this also means that our ovaries make less estrogen. These hormonal changes cause the uncomfortable side effects. The Journal of Obstectrics and Gynaecology Canadas have created guidelines on managing menopause, which include estrogen hormonal therapy as one way to deal with these dreadful symptoms. There are, however, some risks involved with long-term use of hormonal therapy including increased breast cancer risk. Your doctor would be able to discuss these risks with you before prescribing any of these treatments.
A meta-analysis of 15 randomized control trials found that dietary isoflavones decreased the number of hot flashes with no serious side-effects. Another meta-analysis, that included 62 different studies and over 6000 women, found that phytoestrogen ingestion reduced hot flashes and vaginal dryness but did not have any effect on night sweats. The study also found similar results using dietary soy isoflavones and isoflavone supplements. However, it is very important to note that soy has not been found to be effective replacement to hormone therapy and there are mixed and limited data on the effectiveness of isoflavones for menopausal relief. Sorry ladies.
Benefits Of Soy For Postmenopausal Women
Could soy isoflavones supplementation help reduce body weight? Research points to yes, in postmenopausal women . After menopause, weight gain and central obesity tend to occur with hormonal changes, which also alter glucose levels and insulin resistance . With these changes, there is also an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which hormone replacement therapy has been shown to help . The downside is the controversial effects of hormone replacement therapy, which has led many women in search of alternatives .
A recent meta-analysis of 31 different research studies, supported findings that soy isoflavone supplementation could help postmenopausal women with weight loss, glucose metabolism and insulin resistance .
A total of nine randomized controlled trials with 528 participants were examined. The dosage of soy isoflavone supplementation varied from 40mg to 160mg and the duration varied from 8 weeks to 1 year. A significant difference in the reduction of body weight was found in the postmenopausal women with soy isoflavone supplementation. Additionally, soy isoflavone supplementation was shown to reduce body weight significantly in a shorter duration instead of a longer duration , and at a lower dose instead of a higher dose . Soy isoflavone supplementation was also more effective in normal or overweight women compared to obese women .
Posted April 19, 2013.
We Maintain The Current Conclusion That Soya Is Beneficial In Preventing Prostate Cancer Catherine Applegate
Throughout the years and despite the constant emergence of new research that could contain potentially conflicting results, we maintain the current conclusion that soya is beneficial in preventing prostate cancer, says the studys author Catherine Applegate, a predoctoral fellow from the University of Illinois’s Tissue Microenvironment Training Program.
Unprocessed soya, like edamame beans, has higher isoflavone levels than processed versions, like soya milk
Soyas benefits also depend on the type we consume. Isoflavone content varies in unprocessed soybeans, such as edamame beans, compared to processed soya foods and the closer the food is to the soyabean, the higher its isoflavone levels. Edamame has around 18mg of isoflavones per 100g, while soya milk has between 0.7 and 11mg.
The only thing we can say is that women should be safe to consume soya foods in amounts consistent with Asian diet, including tofu, fermented soya foods and soymilk, but studies shown that the more soya is processed, the lower the level of isoflavones, which we think are protective elements, says Trock.
Soya has been extensively researched over the last few decades. No single study has been perfect, and as with other nutritional research, findings often show correlation they dont prove causation.
Even so, the consensus clearly indicates health benefits from eating soya even if thats simply because it replaces unhealthier foods.
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Lower Risk Of Recurrence
What about women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer? Researchers found that women diagnosed with estrogen-negative breast cancer who ate the most soy isoflavones had a 21% lower risk of dying from cancer compared with those who ate the least.
The Womens Healthy Eating and Living Study also showed that soy may help protect breast cancer survivors. Researchers found that women who ate the most soy cut their risk of cancer coming back or cancer death in half. Another study followed 5,042 women previously diagnosed with breast cancer for four years. Women who regularly consumed soy products like soy milk, tofu, or edamame came out ahead. They were about a third less likely to have their cancer come back, and 29% less likely to die from cancer compared with women who ate little soy. Numerous other studies confirm these findings. Women who avoid soy get no advantage, while women who consume soy are less likely to have their cancer return.
Research On The Dangers Of Soy On Breast Cancer And Heart Health
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Is It Safe To Drink Soy Milk Or Does It Cause Breast Cancer
Over the years, soy has gotten a bad reputation. Some people may even tell you that soy increases your risk of cancers and is especially dangerous for breast cancer survivors. This discrepancy comes from animal studies that found that when rodents consumed high doses of isoflavones, they were more likely to develop breast cancer. As the American Cancer Society points out, rodents process soy differently from people, and the same results have not been seen in people. Researchers also fed rodents an amount of soy that people would not get from a moderate intake from food.
In fact, for those looking to eat a diet that decreases the risk of cancer, whole soy foods are a smart addition. soy foods have been shown to decrease breast cancer recurrence and mortality in breast cancer survivors, and to reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancers, as well, says Hever.
What Is Soy Milk Exactly Defining The Popular Drink
Soy milk is a plant-based nondairy beverage, often consumed as an alternative to milk. Its made from soybeans, and many brands fortify their soy milk with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and calcium. Soy milk offers culinary diversity, creamy texture, and a healthful nutritional profile, including essential omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids that exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties, says , a plant-based-foods dietitian in the Los Angeles area and the author of The Vegiterranean Diet.
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It Doesnt Taste Like Soy
Most people are reluctant to include soy in their daily diet, because traditionally, soy products have had a bland, chalky flavor. However, because of our relentless pursuit of taste perfection, that tradition ends with Revival Soy. You see, when Dr. Tabor started Revival Soy to help his mother through menopause, he knew that taste would play an integral part in the products he created
To create Soy Without the Soy Taste, he can spend up to two years perfecting the taste, texture and consistency of every product and flavor. We refuse to put a product on the market until we are confident it has a taste that people will love. So forget what you know about soy milk or tofunow you can look and feel better while enjoying the flavors you know and love, like chocolate, cappuccino, strawberry and vanilla!
May Help Protect Heart Health
Diets rich in legumes, including soy, may help lower your risk of heart disease .
It appears that soy isoflavones may help reduce inflammation in blood vessels and improve their elasticity two factors believed to protect the health of your heart .
A recent review further links soy-rich diets to a 20% and 16% lower risk of stroke and heart disease, respectively .
Additional research suggests that diets rich in soy foods may reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by up to 15% .
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What Can Soy Offer Women In Menopause
Women in menopause often suffer from a number of symptoms. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, most medicinal drugs do not offer sufficient relief to lead a normal life. Soy, on the other hand, offers symptomatic relief for menopausal women, especially for those symptoms which are directly linked to lower estrogen levels. Women who use soy products on a regular basis can expect to have lower frequencies and severity of hot flashes as well as a lower risk for osteoporosis.
May Lower Blood Pressure
Soybeans and foods made from them are generally rich in arginine, an amino acid believed to help regulate blood pressure levels .
Soybeans are also rich in isoflavones, another compound believed to offer blood-pressure-lowering benefits.
In one study, eating 1/2 cup of soy nuts daily was found to reduce diastolic blood pressure by around 8% in some, but not all women .
Other studies link daily intakes of 65153 mg of soy isoflavones to blood pressure reductions of 36 mm Hg in people with high blood pressure .
However, its unclear whether these small blood-pressure-lowering benefits apply to people with normal and elevated blood pressure levels.
Some studies suggest both may benefit, while others suggest only people with high blood pressure would experience this effect .
Clearly, more research is needed on this topic, but for the time being, the blood-pressure-lowering effects of soy, if any, appear to be very small.
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Risks Side Effects And Downsides
Despite the potential benefits of this popular beverage, there are a few disadvantages of soy milk that need to be considered as well.
First of all, the majority of soy produced in the United States is derived from genetically modified crops. For this reason, many people choose to avoid soy altogether due to concerns about the long-term health effects of genetically modified organisms .
In particular, GMO crops could be linked to issues like antibiotic resistance and food allergies. Selecting soy milk brands that are organic is a great way to minimize your exposure to genetically modified organisms.
Soy allergies are also relatively common, especially in children. If you experience any food allergy symptoms like hives, stomach pain or redness after consuming any soy products, be sure to discontinue use immediately and consult with your doctor.
Women with a history of hormone-sensitive cancers, such as breast or ovarian cancer, may also choose to avoid soy products because of their content of isoflavones, which mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. However, some types of soy milk could actually be beneficial for the prevention of these common types of cancer.
Specifically, minimally processed, non-GMO soy is rich in nutrients and beneficial compounds that can support overall health. One review even found that soy intake could actually be associated with a lower risk of breast cancer recurrence, plus a higher rate of survival.
May Decrease Symptoms Of Menopause
The sudden reduction in the estrogen levels in the menopause stage creates havoc in the health conditions of postmenopausal women. The phytoestrogens in soy products can provide relief from menopausal symptoms . From one study, isoflavone supplements were found to alleviate menopausal hot flashes symptoms . Also, soy milk intake for three months can enhance antioxidant levels and help reduce menopausal symptoms in postmenopausal women .
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Soy Intake And The Breast Cancer Survivor
In athymic ovariectomized mice implanted with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells , dietary isoflavone exposure stimulates the growth of existing mammary tumors . This model is widely used by cancer researchers, but recently published data suggest that it may not be suitable for evaluating isoflavones because athymic mice metabolize these soybean constituents very differently than humans . Furthermore, not all studies using this model showed that isoflavones stimulate tumor growth . More importantly, the human evidence is supportive of the safety and potential benefit of soy food consumption by breast cancer patients.
Five studies have evaluated the effects of soy-derived isoflavones on breast cell proliferation, an intermediary marker of breast cancer risk generally thought to be more reflective of risk than mammographic density and reproductive hormone concentrations. The intervention periods ranged from 14 d to 1 y , and the daily isoflavone dose from 36 to 239 mg/d. All but one study used isoflavone supplements . Two studies involved postmenopausal women only , one mostly postmenopausal women , one premenopausal only , and one was equally divided between pre- and postmenopausal women . None of the studies found an increase in cell proliferation in response to isoflavones relative to the placebo. In contrast to the lack of effect of isoflavones, combined hormone therapy increases breast cell proliferation in postmenopausal women by 4- to 10-fold .
Other Foods Containing Phytoestrogens
Foods other than soy that contain phytoestrogens include:
- wholegrain cereals like oats, wheat, corn, barley, rye and buckwheat
- nuts and seeds such as almonds, linseed, flaxseed, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame
- sprouts alfalfa
- oils extra virgin olive oil
- other legumes chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans.
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May Lower Blood Sugar
One review including 17 randomized control studies the gold standard in research suggests that soy isoflavones may help slightly reduce blood sugar and insulin levels in menopausal women .
Soy isoflavones may also help lower insulin resistance, a condition in which cells no longer respond to insulin normally. Over time, insulin resistance can result in high blood sugar levels and lead to type 2 diabetes .
In addition, theres some evidence that soy protein supplements may help slightly lower blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome .
Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions, including high blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and abdominal fat, that together, tend to increase a persons risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
However, these results arent unanimous, and several studies have failed to find a strong link between soy foods and blood sugar control in healthy people and those with type 2 diabetes (
In another study, soy foods were found to offer some protection against the effects of bisphenol A , a compound found in some plastics believed to reduce fertility .
However, these findings in support of benefits for fertility arent universal.
For instance, one review suggests that ingesting 100 mg of soy isoflavones per day may reduce ovarian function and reproductive hormone levels two important fertility factors .
Second Generation Soy Products
Another class of soy-based food exists which in Australia we call second generation soy food. This includes tofu sausages and burgers, soy breads, soy pasta and soymilk yoghurts and cheeses. It also includes products that contain soy or soy-based ingredients such as lecithin which can be found in some chocolate and baked goods.
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Soy Protein Content Of Foods
Soy contains the isoflavones genistein and diadzen that are not found in any other foods. These isoflavones have been scientifically proven to reduce blood cholesterol levels and slow down bone loss, thus preventing heart disease and osteoporosis. For some women, isoflavone intake also has reduced symptoms of menopause, specifically hot flashes.
Pros And Cons Of Soy For Menopause
Soy is arguably one of the most controversial foods on the planet, especially in the United States. When it comes to breast cancer, soy becomes even more of a heated topic. Is it helpful or harmful for women with breast cancer to consume soy? Does soy increase your risk of getting breast cancer? This article discusses what the latest research says about these questions and more.
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How Our Concentration Process Works
The highest concentration of isoflavones is found at the heart of the soybean.
So how do we manage to include more isoflavones in our shakes and bars than other soy products? Put simply, we go to where the isoflavones are the center of the soybean . Isoflavones surround and protect the soybeans DNA right at its heart. Our natural concentration process allows us to blend this isoflavone-rich portion with a separate protein-rich portion, yielding a final product rich in both soy protein and soy isoflavones. This combination provides the naturally-concentrated benefits of Revival Soy without the need for chemical concentration.