Is Soy Really the Best Hot Flash Remedy?
Soy for hot flash relief has been called into question. Read the following article to find out why Soy may not work for you and then follow the links learn about other natural remedies for hot flashes to get the relief you need.
Benefits of Soy
Even if Soy doesn’t work for hot flashes, it still has many benefits. It is an excellent source of dietary protein, includes all essential amino acids, and it is a good source of lecithin (which is important for the health of cells). It also contains a large amount of isoflavones.
Isoflavones are plant estrogens or phytoestrogens. So theoretically, if you consume a large enough amount of isoflavones, you should be able to replace the estrogen you are losing as you go through menopause.
This should alleviate your menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes. It was also thought that an increase intake of isoflavones would help to prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women.
Unless you are in the 33% of women with the genetic capability to digest Soy properly, you may not benefit from the large amount of Isoflavones.
Dr. Christiane Northrup is a big proponent of soy for hot flash relief. In her book The Wisdom of Menopause, she mentions that soy will return vaginal moisture if taken for several months in higher than recommended doses.It can also help with mood swings, PMS symptoms, migraine headaches, and irregular periods. She is a strong advocate of taking only whole soy, rather than supplements.
So you would get all these benefits without the side effects and risks of taking any kind of artificial hormones. Sounds great, right?
Why Soy Hot Flash Relief May Not Work
Despite the popularity of isoflavones for hot flash relief, numerous studies have found no evidence to suggest any benefit for hotflashes.Research regarding the benefits for osteoporosis showed mixed results as well.
Now we may have an explanation for the results (or lack thereof). Only people with a specific gene can break down the Isoflavones in soy during the digestion process in a way that the phytoestrogens work properly on the estrogen receptors.
Everybody else will get the other benefits (fiber, protein, lecithin etc.) but little or no hot flash relief.
So unless you are of Asian heritage (the group most likely to have the required gene) try one of the other natural remedies for hotflashes. Herbs such as Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Licorice Root or Dong Quai may provide the relief you are looking for.