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Soya, a Good/Bad friend for Menopause women?

December 3, 2020
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What is Menopause?

Medically, "Menopause" is defined as the time when there have been no menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months, and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified for the same. It is also addressed as the "change of life" period in a woman's life as her reproductive years come to a close and a new chapter begins.

The drop in estrogen level can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of focus
  • Fatigue
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Trouble sleeping

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage Estrogen may not be the wisest strategy as it is associated with the risk of blood clotting, the incidence of breast or uterine cancer while the safer bet could be to resort to consuming soybean and products made of soy as a suitable alternative to HRT.

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Soya contains chemical compounds called Isoflavones that may mimic Estrogen in its effect. Various soy products such as soy flour, soy protein, Tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, soybean oil are available in the market these days in multiple brands for you to choose. Soybeans contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that are linked to various health benefits.

BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS                                                                                                                     HEALTH BENEFITS

ISOFLAVONES -POLYPHENOLS, ISOFLAONES (Genistein, Daidzein)                                     Reduce the hot flushes in menopause

PHYTIC ACID                                                                                                                             Protection against kidney stone and cancer

SAPONINS                                                                                                                                  Reduce the Cholesterol, boost immune system

How do Isoflavones help to reduce menopause symptoms?

Soy Isoflavones bind to the same receptors as Estrogen. Receptors are like docking stations on the surface of cells. When Isoflavones bind to some receptors, they mimic the effects of Estrogen. When they bind to other receptors, they block 'estrogen's effects. When Isoflavones mimic Estrogen, they might help reduce hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.

Other Health Benefits:

Some research done in this field suggest that including soy in a diet could bring a range of potential health benefits, like:

  • Reduction in hot flushes or Night Sweats:

Soya has been associated with Isoflavones, which reduces the hot flushes in menopause. Researchers conducted an analysis of study to look over the effect of soy on menopausal women. They found that consuming soy may alleviate the symptoms in menopause. The soy contains Isoflavones and glycosides, which help to reduce/alleviate the hot flushes in menopause.

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  • Reduction in Obesity

Scientists carried out an analysis of studies that looked at the effect of soy Isoflavones supplements on body weight in postmenopausal women.

  • Soy Isoflavones are naturally occurring compounds that have similar properties as Estrogen. Estrogen levels usually decline as women age, which increases their risk for certain health conditions. he researchers concluded that overall, soy Isoflavones supplementation resulted in a significant decrease in body weight.
  • Helpful in reducing chances of Breast Cancer

In ancient times, there was controversy that soy may be harmful to women at high risk of developing breast cancer or those with breast cancer. But recently the Opinion is changing, Due to more research has been conducted. The scientist reported that the female who ate a diet with lots of soy products, and subsequently Isoflavones, had a reduced risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

The authors of the review concluded that soy seems to play some protective role in reducing the risk of breast cancer due to the presence of phytic acid in soy. Health Risk People have a concern about consuming soy in their diet; these include:

  • Thyroid Function:

There is a lot of controversy saying that the consumption of soy might affect the thyroid function. Researchers found that in some women, higher intake of soya had a chance of having elevated TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone.).A high level may signify hypothyroidism.

Later, the authors discuss that soy is likely to be safe, but excessive amounts may be concerning for some people, such as those with undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Other studies have shown varied results regarding the effect of soy intake on thyroid function.

What are the Best forms of soy to eat?

The best types of soy to eat are those that are less processed. Some examples include cooked soybeans, soy milk, Tofu, tempeh, and soy nuts. Soy is a nutritious food, experts at MD Anderson's Cancer Prevention Center recommend its consumption in moderation. In regards to whole soy foods, moderate intake is considered to be three servings per day.

Listed below are serving sizes for common soya foods:

  • 1 cup of soy milk
  • 1/2 cup cooked soybeans
  • 1/3 cup tofu

We hope this article helps you understand more about Soybeans.

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