Do Soy Products Help with Menopause Symptoms?

It’s never been easier to eat soy products. From many kinds of tofu to soy products like soy milk, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, soy ice cream, and sprouts, soy is so easy to find in any grocery store in America. Aside from being a great plant-based protein, did you know that soy products, if consumed regularly, can reduce the effects of hot flashes from menopause by up to 60%? This is backed by science, as told to Life and Health Network at the Vegetarian Congress at Loma Linda University by Dr. Mark Messina, Ph.D.

“Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. Generally, it’s thought that about 50% to 65% of the women in the United States end up having at least some hot flashes as they’re making their transition through the menopausal period.

“The hypothesis that soy foods alleviate hot flashes was first proposed in 1992. It was based on the fact that soy foods are rich in a group of compounds commonly referred to as plant estrogens or phytoestrogens. This combined with the well-known observation that relatively few women in Japan report having hot flashes. So many, many clinical trials have been conducted, and a 2014 meta-analysis, which is a statistical analysis of a large number of studies, showed conclusively that these plant estrogens, or isoflavones, reduce hot flashes.

“It’s a very consistent, very robust effect. Generally, you’re going to see about a 60% reduction in the frequency of hot flashes and also the severity of hot flashes. So, if a woman has 10 hot flashes per day on average, if she begins to consume soy foods, she can expect to see those 10 hot flashes per day, go down to about four hot flashes per day, and that’s a big improvement in the quality of life.” – Mark Messina, Ph.D.

You can immediately include soy into your diet by replacing dairy or nut-based milks with soy milk when eating cereal or oatmeal in the morning. When eating out, most restaurants will have some sort of soy-based meat substitute. Like Sofritas (shredded and flavored tofu) at Chipotle. When cooking at home, try this delicious tofu based meal! Asian Tofu Fajitas. There are so many other tofu based recipes on the internet.

Put down the potato chips. When snacking, nibble on this easy-to-make snack. Easy Microwave Edamame

With a little effort, it’s not hard to incorporate a lot more soy into your diet.

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Mark Messina, Ph.D., knows soy. He is an internationally recognized expert on the health effects of soy. He has appeared on CNN and is regularly quoted by major publications like the NY Times, USA Today and other national newspapers. He’s an expert on topics including soy and cancer risk, heart health, menopause, and men’s health. Mark is the co-author of The Simple Soybean and Your Health. His research has appeared in numerous professional journals including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of Nutrition, Lancet, and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Messina is a former program director in the Diet and Cancer Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, where he initiated a multi-million dollar research program investigating the role of soy in cancer prevention. Mark co-owns Nutrition Matters, Inc., a nutrition consulting company, is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University and the executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute.

Jon Ewald, MD

Jon Ewald grew up in Minnesota and has a love for the outdoors. He obtained his medical degree at Loma Linda University, graduating in 2020. He is currently completing his residency in Radiology at University of Pittsburgh.

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