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Stopping Hot Flashes With Soy?

May 8, 2008
Sadly, there is no way to eliminate menopause. What can be done is to eliminate some of the symptoms of menopause, which virtually all women will have to endure in their lifetime.

One of the biggest complaints women have when going through menopause is the dreaded hot flash. How many women have awakened from a deep sleep and realized they're burning from within? The only cure is to strip, turn the air on to a freezing 50 degrees and listen to their spouse complain the next morning about how they froze to death all night! It happens to women everywhere in every country; but wait a minute, maybe not!

In fact, recent studies have found that Asian women suffer less from hot flashes than their Western counterparts. Asian diets typically contain 40 to 80 milligrams of soy isoflavones per day, compared to 3 milligrams per day in American diets.

Isoflavones are compounds found in soy products similar to natural estrogen. These isoflavones are phylochemicals which are compounds that are helpful in protecting against diseases. They can act as antioxidants and immune system boosters.

It is important to note that isoflavone is not estrogen and in fact, some studies suggest that it is 1000 times less potent than the naturally produced estrogen found in the female body; but isoflavone can act like estrogen in some parts of the body. Therefore, it is believed to help women conquer hot flashes during menopause.

Soy-based foods high in isoflavones were studied along with isoflavone supplements. The natural soy foods were found to have better results in relieving hot flashes. Isoflavones are also being studied for their ability to reduce blood cholesterol levels, increase blood vessel dilation and protect bone health after menopause. It's also believed they can help boost the immune system and have anticancer benefits.

Soy foods like tofu, tempeh and miso are rich sources of isoflavones. One serving of soy milk contains approximately 40 mg of isoflavone, 4 ounces of tofu also has 40 mg of isoflavone as does 4 ounces of tempeh and 1/2 cup of miso.

There have been several studies done on the correct amount of isoflavone needed per day to eliminate hot flashes from the menopausal woman one study suggests four servings of soy products per day. A better way to look at your diet would be the total milligrams of isoflavones you take in per day anywhere from 40 to 60 milligrams per day should have notable results.

It's important to note, though, that studies have shown that for many women it may take up to four weeks for hot flashes to subside. As with any treatment, it may not work as well in some women, especially those with severe hot flashes.

There is much evidence to support the health benefits of soy in your diet; it has been no secret to vegetarians and vegans that soy products are great sources of fiber, protein, and iron. Little has been known about the long-term effects of soy products until recently.

It seems that soy has helped solve another one of life's mysteries. Well, at least it has aided in the cure.
About the Author
Dee Overly is an artist who discovered the health benefits of soy milk and now sells a
Soymilk Maker at www.SoymilkCrossroads.com.Stop by to grab a free Vegan recipe book and check out the blog.
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