Can Soy Help Manage My Menopause Symptoms?

Can Soy Foods Help Manage My Menopause Symptoms? 

Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D.

Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D.

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The gradual decline in estrogen accompanying menopause produces many physiological and mood changes, including hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping and anxiety. Nearly two-thirds of women report having hot flashes during perimenopause or menopause.

While studies show that a diet rich in soy (4 or more servings a day) can help reduce these symptoms in some women, a result is not guaranteed. How your body responds to soy is individual, and depends on many factors, including your rate of loss of natural estrogen. Soy’s bounty of calcium and vitamin D can be part of your osteoporosis-prevention plan, and soy’s weak estrogen properties can help maintain bone density after menopause. But don’t forget weight-bearing exercise -- soy doesn’t strengthen bones in every woman going through menopause.