Soy-based products have long been promoted for easing menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes. Part of the reason is that soy doesn’t pose the same risks as prescription hormone replacement therapy.
A new study involving almost 400 menopausal women for two years suggests, however, that soy products are no better than placebo for relieving hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. About a third of the women took placebo pills; another third of them were randomly assigned to take low-dose supplements containing 80 mg of soy protein, while the third group took high dose pills with 120 mg of soy protein daily. All the women answered questions about their symptoms and quality of life, and there was no significant difference between them.
The investigators suggest that they are not recommending soy-based supplements to their menopausal patients, but point out that a lifetime of eating soy foods might offer a different result.
[Menopause, online Dec. 3, 2012]