A recent study has sought to examine the effects of soya supplements on one of the most common symptoms of menopause - hot flushes. Often triggered by fluctuating hormone levels, hot flushes are thought to affect over 50% of menopausal women.
Soya found to be effective
A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health in 2012 comprised of 160 post menopausal women who experienced at least one hot flush per day. The women were split into two groups and were randomly assigned to receive either a daily soya supplement for 12 weeks, or a placebo. Each of the women kept a dairy recording their symptoms, and answered questionnaires at week 1, week 6, and week 12.
Findings from the study showed that women who had experienced more than 3 hot flushes per day before the trial saw the greatest improvements. 44% of women in the soya group reported no hot flushes by the end of the trial, compared to 28% in the placebo group.
A different study from the University of Minnesota collated data from 19 separate trials involving 1,196 women who supplemented with soya for over 6 weeks. The results, published in the Journal of the North American Menopause Society, show a 21% decrease in the frequency of hot flushes when compared to a placebo, and a 26% decrease in the severity of hot flushes.
Natural remedies for hot flushes
There are many natural remedies to treat hot flushes, and many women find it useful to try different therapies to find the one that best suits their needs. Before you seek any treatment, consult with your GP to ensure that the menopause is the cause of your symptoms.
Supplements – Soya Isoflavones are a popular choice with women approaching and during the menopause. However, food supplements are not prescription medications, and so some may find certain supplements to be more beneficial than others.
- Alternative therapies – there is some evidence to suggest that yoga, acupuncture, and meditation can all have beneficial effects on many of the common symptoms of menopause.
- Clothing – wear light weight cotton clothing when possible, and dress in layers so that they are easy to remove when a hot flush strikes.
Taku K, Melby MK, Kronenberg F, Kurzer MS, Messina M. (2012) ‘Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones reduce menopausal hot flash frequency and severity: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.’ 2012 Jul;19(7):776-90. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3182410159.