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Once again, yet another paper has been published to add to the many studies on phytoestrogens. There are so much data on this issue that one may get lost trying to understand whether there are any real benefits for women who use such products. That’s why I liked this new study, which summarizes its results in a very brief but clear way [1]. Its purpose was to assess the effect of soy isoflavone (80 or 120 mg daily aglycone hypocotyl) on quality of life in postmenopausal women. A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 24-month trial included 403 postmenopausal women (mean age 55 years) using a validated Menopause-Specific Quality of Life questionnaire, containing 29 items grouped into four domains (vasomotor, psychological, physical and sexual). About one-third of women in each arm were equol producers. Domain scores at 1 year and 2 years were similar to those at baseline. There were no differences in domain scores among treatment groups. Thus the conclusion was that soy isoflavone supplementation offers no benefit to quality of life in postmenopausal women.


  • Amos Pines
    Department of Medicine T, Ichilov Hospital, Tel-Aviv, Israel


  1. Amato P, Young RL, Steinberg FM, et al. Effect of soy isoflavone supplementation on menopausal quality of life. Menopause 2012 Dec 3. Epub ahead of print.
  2. Wong WW, Taylor AA, Smith EO, Barnes S, Hachey DL. Effect of soy isoflavone supplementation on nitric oxide metabolism and blood pressure in menopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:1487-94.
  3. Wong WW, Lewis RD, Steinberg FM, et al. Soy isoflavone supplementation and bone mineral density in menopausal women: a 2-y multicenter clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:1433-9.
  4. Steinberg FM, Murray MJ, Lewis RD, et al. Clinical outcomes of a 2-y soy isoflavone supplementation in menopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:356-67.
  5. Maskarinec G, Verheus M, Steinberg FM, et al. Various doses of soy isoflavones do not modify mammographic density in postmenopausal women. J Nutr 2009;139:981-6.
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