Soy and Hot Flashes
Studies to validate the connection between soy
and hot flashes, along with simple observations in countries where
soy is a staple food item, reveal a lowered incidence of
perimenopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. This is
especially true for countries like Japan where menopausal problems
are virtually nonexistent for a majority of women. However, the true
efficacy is found by using an adequate amount in relation to the
severity of the hormonal imbalance. Those who question whether soy
provides positive findings often are not taking enough when it comes
to the dosage and amount taken.
Another benefit of soy is its potential in reducing the risk of
cardiovascular disease. Many studies done in the past reveal a
healthy diet with soy can help in lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Another benefit comes in the form of calcium and its high amount in
soy. This is especially helpful for bone health and warding off
osteoporosis, which is a condition many women suffer from with
advancing age. Furthermore, soy contains a healthy amount of
compounds and antioxidants which have shown to fend off the damaging
effects of carcinogenic substances, effectively reducing risk of
Some studies show that soy can reduce the risk of breast cancer
while other studies show the opposite - that the isoflavones'
estrogen-like effects might be harmful for those with breast cancer.
The data on soy and its connection to breast cancer is not
conclusive. Therefore, more work needs to be done prior to making
Several attempts have been done to narrow down the most effective
intake amount of the phytoestrogens in the isoflavones enough to
have a positive effect in the alleviation of hot flashes and night
sweats. Researchers find that 40 to 50 milligrams of isoflavones in
soy products are typically effective in reducing hot flashes. A
single serving of soy milk and tofu can supplement this amount
daily. Controlled studies with these products have shown that
perimenopausal women do report a significant reduction in hot
flashes with a daily serving of soy products like tofu, milk, miso
and soy nuts.
With the varying phytoestrogen content in many soy products, it is
important for women attempting to supplement in this manner to have
an initial assessment and evaluation of the existing hormone levels.
This can stand to be the basis for treatment amounts and dosages and
can also be a baseline for future reference to determine the
effectiveness of any treatment.
More and more women suffering from the ill effects of perimenopause
have turned away from hormone replacement therapy using synthetic
hormone derivatives and are now seeking more natural means of
reducing hot flashes. This is because of the many long term side
effects that one can get from synthetic hormone use.
Natural alternatives can give hope to woman looking for a safe and
effective approach. Herbs and dietary changes have long been used
for menopause, making the connection between soy and hot flashes a
common inquiry for women looking for a natural route to reducing the
symptoms of perimenopause.
The one aspect that binds all natural alternatives in addressing the
problems of perimenopause is the compound known as the
phytoestrogen. A healthy dose of these substances can effectively
deal with hot flashes and night sweats, as well as all the other
known problems of perimenopause, as they share a structure similar
to the estrogen circulating within the body. Phytoestrogens are
especially helpful because they help in metabolizing the existing
estrogen and do not serve to be balance disruptors like the
environmental estrogens or synthetic derivatives.