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Is Soy Milk Good For Menopausal Women

First Things First: What Is Menopause

Soy milk and estrogen

Menopause is the final menstrual period and its a natural part of life. The average age for women in Australia to reach menopause is 51 or 52 years, but anytime from 45 to 55 years is common.

Symptoms of menopause can be physical, mental and emotional, and they can be wide-ranging. Common ones include hot flushes, night sweats, joint and muscles aches, vaginal dryness and fatigue. No two women experience menopause the same way.

A lucky one in five women will cruise through without experiencing any symptoms. Another one in five will have symptoms so severe that they significantly interfere with their daily life. However, for three out of five women, the symptoms of menopause are mild to moderate.

In spite of attention-grabbing headlines, we know that MHT is a safe and effective treatment for bothersome menopausal symptoms for most women read more on that here but if your symptoms are mild and manageable without medication, or if MHT is not recommended for you, can food help?

Population Research Among 6000 Women With Breast Cancer Found A 21% Reduction In Mortality Among Those Who Consumed More Soya

Its benefits were strongest in women with hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer, a more aggressive type of breast cancer where tumours lack oestrogen and progesterone receptors, and therefore doesnt respond well to hormone therapies.

Our findings suggest that, for women with hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer, soya food consumption may potentially have a beneficial effect to improve survival, Zhang says.

Not soy easy

Even so, its difficult to conclusively isolate soyas benefits if there are any.

Soya is often consumed as part of a healthy diet and as a substitute for red meat, which is associated with a;higher risk of heart disease and cancer.

Soya products often replace foods like red meat, which could be why soya intake is associated with healthier outcomes

No one has given people soya foods, then looked at whether theyre more or less likely to get breast cancer over time than those not given soya, says;Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, professor of oncology at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC.

One;review of evidence into soyas effect on breast cancer risk found that studies that adjusted for body mass index , a common marker of health, showed a weaker association for soya than those that didnt.

This means a reduced risk of breast cancer could have been due to lower BMI, not to soya consumption.

So where did the concern that soya causes cancer come from?

Eating More Soyfoods Is Easy And Delicious

Because the soybean is such an amazingly versatile food, there are countless possibilities for adding more soy to your diet. This makes eating more soyfoods one of the easier healthpromoting changes you can make. Research suggests that adding two servings of soyfoods to your daily menu might help to reduce risk for osteoporosis and heart disease and perhaps can help to case some of the side effects of menopause. One serving is equal to one-hall cup cooked soybeans, tofu, tempeh, or rehydrated TVPtm, one-fourth cup roasted soynuts, or one cup soymilk.

Here are some easy ways to incorporate more soyfoods into your diet.:

Soymilk is the liquid expressed from whole soaked soybeans. It can be used to replace cow’s milk as a beverage or in most recipes. Soymilk is available unflavored or flavored with chocolate, vanilla, or carob. Look for brands that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

  • Pour soymilk over hot or cold breakfast cereal.

  • Add soymilk to pancake or waffle mix.

  • Blend vanilla soymilk with frozen bananas and strawberries to make a frosty shake.

Tofu is a delicate soybean curd made by curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant. It is available as a firm or soft product and also as silken tofu, a creamy, custard-like product.

  • Mash firm tofu with cottage cheese and herbs to make a savory sandwich spread.

  • Blend 10 ounces of soft tofu with 2 cups of melted chocolate or carob chips, pour into a graham cracker pie crust and chill.

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What Are The Benefits Of Eating Soy

Research suggests that soy can be beneficial for women with a history of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer and may even reduce their risk for recurrent disease.

Other research has found that soy foods can be protective of a womans bone health, which is important because the risk for osteoporosis increases during menopause. Soy also appears to increase longevity among breast cancer survivors, especially for those who have hormone receptor negative breast cancers.;

Lightly steamed edamame with or without salt is a delicious snack. Look for it in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Soy may also have benefits for menopausal symptoms. A 2021 study of postmenopausal women found that when they added half a cup of soybeans to a low-fat plant-based diet had an 84% reduction in moderate to severe hot flashes, from five a day to one. A 2012 analysis of 19 studies found that soy isoflavone reduced hot flash intensity by 26%, compared to a placebo. Another analysis, done in 2015, looked at 10 studies and found that soy isoflavones reduced hot flashes by 11%. Note that soy isoflavones can take from several weeks to months to have these symptom-reducing effects, and they wont necessarily be as significant as hormone therapies.;

The most benefit of eating soy has been found when women begin eating it regularly at a younger age, a practice that is more often seen in Asian countries than in the United States. ;

Benefits Of Soy For Postmenopausal Women

Menopause Doctor Houston Soy Benefits Milk

by nhri | Apr 19, 2013 | 2012, Menopause, Soy Isoflavones, Women’s Health |

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 .

Body Weight

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 .

Blood Glucose


Posted April 19, 2013.

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Are Soybeans The New Hormone Replacement Therapy

As women go through menopause, the ovaries stop producingestrogen. This has several effects, some immediate and some longterm. Changes in estrogen levels produce changes in temperatureregulation that can result in the “hot flashes” and “night sweats”that many women experience. Also, decreases in blood estrogenlevels can result in significant bone loss. Estrogen also protectsagainst heart disease and is believed to be a major reason thatyoung women rarely have heart attacks. Research points to possibleroles for soy isoflavones in all of these areas.

Hot Flashes and Night Sweats: Japanese women are abouttwo-thirds less likely than North American women to report thatthey have hot flashes . One reason might bethat they eat more soyfoods. So far, though, the results of studiesare mixed. In one study, women who consumed soy experienced a 45%decrease in hot flashes, whereas the study group that didn’t getsoy had a 30% decrease in hot flashes . Thatis, women who believed that they were consuming soy were likely tohave fewer hot flashes. This suggests that soy is effective andalso that there was a strong placebo effect.

Another study found that consuming soy didn’t affect the numberof hot flashes but the hot flashes were less severe . Overall, results suggest that the effect of soy onhot flashes is modest. Since effects probably vary amongindividuals, it makes sense for menopausal women to trysoyfoods.

How Might Soy Help Menopause

Soy is high in isoflavones, which are a type of phytoestrogen. None the wiser? Stay with me.

Phytoestrogens are chemicals found in plants that work like estrogens. Its thought that the human body may be able to use them as a substitute for human estrogen.

Soy comes in many forms and scientists have spent a lot of time researching which is the best way to access the phytoestrogen and use it as a menopause symptom aid.

While it is difficult to compare studies, it seems soy isoflavones naturally present in soybeans work better than soy protein for relieving hot flashes.

You can buy soy isoflavones from the drug store or health food shop in easy-to-take capsule form. You might also find soy isoflavones included in multi-vitamin and mineral tablets advertised specifically as menopause relief products.

Dont fancy popping pills? Maybe you could think about changing your diet.

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Soy Isoflavones Dietary Sources For Menopause

There are many foods that contain soy, or whole soybeansalso called edamame. Soybeans and tofu are found in many Chinese and Japanese dishes, while tofu is popular in creamy dishes, salad dressings, shakes, pastas, stir fries, and scrambles.

Sprouted certified organic and genetically modified-free tofu are considered better options than highly processed soy products and soy supplements with soy protein isolates and concentrates.

It is also best to avoid soy junk foods like soy ice cream, soy burgers, soy oil, soy sauce, soy cheese, soymilk, soy yogurt, roasted soybeans, and roasted soybean butters.

Instead, fermented soy products like natto, miso, and tempeh are available, which have various health benefits associated with menopause. For instance, natto may help balance hormones, while tempeh could potentially increase bone density and decrease cholesterol.

The following is table that lists soy foods and their total isoflavones and other isoflavones, daidzein, genistein, and glycitein. This is only a guide as isoflavone content of soy foods can vary with the different brands.


Are There Downfalls To Consuming Soy

Are soya foods beneficial during menopause?

The benefits of soy largely depend on the type of soy foods you choose to eat. There are countless sources of soy in todays modern diet. Some soy-containing foods are not particularly healthy and may not be beneficial for breast cancer. Soy protein isolate, an additive often used in packaged foods, has been shown to potentially increase cancer growth in animal lab studies.

Soy supplements are not generally recommended either, as these are highly processed, contain other ingredients, and do not offer the same health benefits as whole or minimally processed soy foods. In general, its always preferable to get your nutrients from whole foods rather than supplements.

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Nutrients In Soy Milk

One cup of Silk Original Soy Milk has:

  • 110 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 8 grams of protein

Soy milk has no cholesterol, because it doesn’t come from animal fat. If you’re looking to add probiotics or fermented food to your diet, probiotic and fermented soy milk are also available.

The calorie content in 1 cup of soy milk, about 80 to 110 calories, is lower than that of a comparable serving of dairy whole milk. One cup of whole dairy milk is 149 calories with 8 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbohydrates.

Soy milk, on the other hand, has 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbohydrates.

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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.

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Best Foods For Menopause

    When you’re going through menopause, diet can help alleviate the symptoms that come with it: Mood swings, hot flashes, weak bones, slower reaction times. While most of us focus our thoughts on what we can’t change, there are actually a number of things that can be done to help us age gracefully and healthfully and work through menopause with ease. One of which is changing up your shopping list!

    With that in mind, we reached out to some of the wellness industry’s leading experts and asked them what women should load our plates with to mitigate the symptoms often associated with menopause. And while you’re tweaking your diet, scrap these foods that age you 20 years from your routine, too!

    Can Postmenopausal Women Eat Soy Protein Powder

    10 Best Soy Supplement For Menopause in 2021 (January update)

      Soy protein powder, like all other soy-based foods, contains substances which have the ability to act like human hormones. For postmenopausal women, who have lower levels of female hormones, these substances can be beneficial, particularly for bone health. For women who have had breast cancer, however, they could also be detrimental.

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      Eggs Are A Good Thing

      Shapiro is a big fan of eggs, which she considers a great source of vitamin D, as well as iron and B vitamins. “All the nutrients we need to feel energetic and keep our bones strong are packaged in one small shell!” When possible, opt for cage-free, organic eggs. Ideally, you’ll also be buying eggs from pastured hens raised locally.

      Here Are Other Benefits Of Soy

      1. Soy may contribute to reduction in LDL cholesterol in the body. It can thus be beneficial for heart health.

      2. Eating soy is a great way to increase plant-based protein in your diet. It can be a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Soy protein can also contribute to regulating blood pressure.

      3. Soy foods are low in saturated fats as compared to animal protein.

      4. Eating soy-based foods can increase your fibre intake. Eating foods rich in fibre can promote weight loss and improve gastrointestinal health. Soy-rich foods such green soybeans, soy nuts and soy flour can increase your intake of fibre.

      5. Soy-based foods are a great source of polyunsaturated fat. This is considered to be good fat beneficial for heart health.

      6. Soy-based foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases.

      7. Soy-based foods are rich in B-vitamins, iron, zinc and antioxidants.

      8. They are a good source of isoflavones phytochemicals. These phytochemicals prevent bone loss in menopausal women.

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      Calming The Fire Within

      The simplest definition of menopause is “the end of menstruation.” When women reach menopause, about 25% feel no different, except that their periods stop. But for the remainder, at times they may feel like a 9.5 quake has jolted their body to its core, providing an inescapable reminder that they’re not as young as they used to be. Hot flashes. Night sweats. Sleep disruptions. Vaginal dryness. Mood swings.

      More than any other symptom, however, it’s those scorching hot flashes that sabotage the sense of well-being, affecting as many as 85% of menopausal women to one degree or another. And while HRT once was seen as the best hope for dousing those hot flashes, a major new study — the Women’s Health Initiative — has sent a chill down the spines of many health-conscious women and their doctors. In July 2002, WHI researchers reported that long-term use of the most commonly used hormone replacement preparation of estrogen and progestin, Prempro, could increase a woman’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and invasive breast cancer.

      More recently, the second arm of that same study, in which women who had hysterectomies received estrogen only — was stopped one year ahead of schedule.

      As a result, the search for a non-drug approach to managing menopausal symptoms has accelerated, with many women looking toward soy for deliverance from the raging heat within. And, in fact, they’re finding many soy products that are being marketed as nutritional fire extinguishers.

      What Are The Benefits Of Soy Milk

      What You Need to Know About Soy and Menopause

      Pros of soy milk Its a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B-12, potassium, and isoflavones, plus it can be fortified with calcium and vitamin D. It contains as much protein as cows milk, yet is lower in calories than whole milk and about equal to the calories in 1 percent or 2 percent milk.

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      Soy Isoflavones For Hormone Replacement Therapy

      Because the isoflavones in soy have estrogen-like effects, they are often used by postmenopausal women as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy. MedlinePlus notes that soy supplements may also be useful in reducing symptoms of menopause. While soy protein powder is not made from concentrated soy isoflavones, like soy supplements sold in capsule or pill form, it can still contain significantly higher levels of isoflavones that many other foods, including miso, tofu and soy beans, have. One study published in 2003 in “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism” found that soy protein may be useful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women by positively influencing calcium status and maintaining bone health.


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