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Soy Isoflavones Effective in Relieving Symptoms of Hot Flashes

A new meta-analysis reveals that soy isoflavones can effectively reduce the symptoms and frequency of hot flashes, and that benefits increased with time beyond 4 weeks.

A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Menopause compiled 17 clinical trials to determine the efficacy of using soybean isoflavones to alleviate the frequency and severity of hot flashes.  The duration of trial periods ranged from 6 weeks to 12 months.

The analysis revealed that the consumption of soy isoflavones reduced the occurrence of hot flashesby 20.6% compared to placebo. The soy isoflavones also reduced the severity of hot flashes by 26.2% compared to placebo.

One trial that was analyzed stated that soy isoflavones benefits increase with time beyond 4 weeks, and another study recommended a supplementation period of at least 8 weeks. Based on the observed data from previous clinical trials, this latest meta-analysis concurred with the above recommendation, and observed an increase in the effect of soy isoflavones on hot flashes as the supplementation period increased.

The study concludes stating that “the results of this systematic review and meta-analysis clearly justify recommendation to try isoflavones for the relief of menopause-related hot flashes for women who do not want to use hormone therapy.  Additional studies are needed to further address the complex array of factors that may affect efficacy, such as dose, isoflavone form, baseline hot flash frequency, and treatment duration.”

Taku K et al; Menopause (New York, N.Y.). 2012; 19(7):1-15.



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