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Gynecol Endocrinol. 2011 May;27(5):307-13. doi: 10.3109/09513590.2010.490614. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

The effect of soy-derived isoflavones over hot flushes, menopausal symptoms and mood in climacteric women with increased body mass index.

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Instituto para La Salud de La Mujer, Guayaquil, Ecuador.



Risk-benefit issues raised after the WHI have significantly increased the use of alternative treatments for the menopause. Despite this, data regarding the effect of soy isoflavones over mood and menopausal symptoms in high risk populations is still lacking.


To evaluate the effect of soy derived isoflavones over hot flushes, menopausal symptoms and mood in climacteric women with increased body mass index (BMI).


Fifty symptomatic climacteric women aged 40 to 59 with increased BMI (≥ 25) were recruited to receive oral 100 mg/day of soy derived isoflavones (Climasoy) for 3 months. Hot flushes (frequency/intensity), menopausal symptoms (Menopause Rating Scale [MRS]) and mood (Hamilton Depressive Rating Scale [HDRS]) were evaluated at baseline and at 90 days.


A total of 45 women completed the study. After 3 months of soy isoflavone supplementation hot flushes significantly decreased in percentage, number and severity (100% to 31.1%; 3.9 ± 2.3 to 0.4 ± 0.8 and 2.6 ± 0.9 to 0.4 ± 0.8, respectively, p < 0.001). MRS scores (total and for subscales) reflecting general menopausal symptoms also significantly decreased compared to baseline. Regarding mood, after three months total HDRS scores and the rate of women presenting depressed mood (scores ≥ 8) significantly decreased (16.3 ± 5.4 to 6.9 ± 5.2 and 93.3% to 28.9%, respectively, p < 0.05). There was no effect on blood pressure levels or BMI values after treatment.


In this high risk climacteric population, soy derived isoflavone treatment improved mood as well as vasomotor and general menopausal symptoms. More research is required to determine if the positive effect over mood is a direct or an indirect one through hot flush alleviation.

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