Phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms

University of Auckland, O&G FMHS, Grafton Rd, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand, 1142.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 02/2007; 12(4):CD001395. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001395.pub3
Source: PubMed


Review question: This Cochrane review has evaluated whether phytoestrogen treatments reduce the number and severity of hot flushes and whether they are safe and acceptable. Background: Hormone therapy is an effective treatment for controlling the most common menopausal symptoms—hot flushes and night sweats. However, it is now recommended only in low doses given for the shortest possible time because of concerns about increased risk of some chronic diseases. Many women have started to use therapies that they perceive as 'natural' and safe, but they often do not have good information about the potential benefits and risks. Some of these therapies contain phytoestrogens—a group of plant-derived chemicals that are thought to prevent or treat disease. Phytoestrogens are found in a wide variety of plants, some of which are foods, particularly soy, alfalfa and red clover. Study characteristics: This review found 43 RCTs conducted up to July 2013 that included 4,084 participants with hot flushes who were close to the menopause or were menopausal. Evidence obtained is current to July 2013. Key results: Some trials reported a slight reduction in hot flushes and night sweats with phytoestrogen-based treatment. Extracts containing high levels of genistein (a substance derived from soy) appeared to reduce the number of daily hot flushes and need to be investigated further. Overall no indication suggested that other types of phytoestrogens work any better than no treatment. No evidence was found of harmful effects on the lining of the womb, stimulation of the vagina or other adverse effects with short-term use. Quality of the evidence: Many of the trials in this review were small, of short duration and of poor quality, and the types of phytoestrogens used varied substantially.

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Available from: Anne Lethaby, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "Cancer meta-analyses indicate that the consumption of soy or soy isoflavones is associated with reduced prostate cancer (11–14), gynecological cancers (15), and possibly breast cancer (16–21). There is no conclusive evidence that soy phytoestrogens reduce hot flashes associated with menopause (22–24). Overall, the literature contains many conflicting reports regarding the health benefits of consuming soy and phytoestrogen supplements. "
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous neurological disorders including fragile X syndrome, Down syndrome, autism, and Alzheimer's disease are co-morbid with epilepsy. We have observed elevated seizure propensity in mouse models of these disorders dependent on diet. Specifically, soy-based diets exacerbate audiogenic-induced seizures in juvenile mice. We have also found potential associations between the consumption of soy-based infant formula and seizure incidence, epilepsy comorbidity, and autism diagnostic scores in autistic children by retrospective analyses of medical record data. In total, these data suggest that consumption of high levels of soy protein during postnatal development may affect neuronal excitability. Herein, we present our theory regarding the molecular mechanism underlying soy-induced effects on seizure propensity. We hypothesize that soy phytoestrogens interfere with metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling through an estrogen receptor-dependent mechanism, which results in elevated production of key synaptic proteins and decreased seizure threshold.
    Frontiers in Neurology 09/2014; 5:169. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2014.00169
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    • "Meanwhile, it is claimed that the decreasing effect is at least partially related to subjects' initial cholesterol concentrations and isoflavones might account for at least 60% of the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein [111]. More than 50 trials since then, investigating health benefits of isoflavones, have been conducted [113, 114]. It has been further demonstrated that LDL reduction induced by soy protein without isoflavones is mild, indicating that isoflavones might be the main active compounds, contributing to the cholesterol-lowering effects [115, 116]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Interest in relationship between diet and ageing is growing. Research has shown that dietary calorie restriction and some antioxidants extend lifespan in various ageing models. On the one hand, oxygen is essential to aerobic organisms because it is a final electron acceptor in mitochondria. On the other hand, oxygen is harmful because it can continuously generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are believed to be the factors causing ageing of an organism. To remove these ROS in cells, aerobic organisms possess an antioxidant defense system which consists of a series of enzymes, namely, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR). In addition, dietary antioxidants including ascorbic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, α -tocopherol, and plant flavonoids are also able to scavenge ROS in cells and therefore theoretically can extend the lifespan of organisms. In this connection, various antioxidants including tea catechins, theaflavins, apple polyphenols, black rice anthocyanins, and blueberry polyphenols have been shown to be capable of extending the lifespan of fruit flies. The purpose of this review is to brief the literature on modern biological theories of ageing and role of dietary antioxidants in ageing as well as underlying mechanisms by which antioxidants can prolong the lifespan with focus on fruit flies as an model.
    04/2014; 2014(6):831841. DOI:10.1155/2014/831841
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    • "Women in menopause represent another important category of people exposed to high concentrations of isoflavones [136, 137]. However, there are many reports showing that dietary supplements containing genistein seem to lessen menopausal symptoms [137]. While phytoestrogens seem to exert a positive effect on postmenopausal women, their effect could be deleterious in women in reproductive age. "
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    ABSTRACT: Phytoestrogens, polyphenolic compounds derived from plants, are more and more common constituents of human and animal diets. In most of the cases, these chemicals are much less potent than endogenous estrogens but exert their biological effects via similar mechanisms of action. The most common source of phytoestrogen exposure to humans as well as ruminants is soybean-derived foods that are rich in the isoflavones genistein and daidzein being metabolized in the digestive tract to even more potent metabolites-para-ethyl-phenol and equol. Phytoestrogens have recently come into considerable interest due to the increasing information on their adverse effects in human and animal reproduction, increasing the number of people substituting animal proteins with plant-derived proteins. Finally, the soybean becomes the main source of protein in animal fodder because of an absolute prohibition of bone meal use for animal feeding in 1995 in Europe. The review describes how exposure of soybean-derived phytoestrogens can have adverse effects on reproductive performance in female adults.
    International Journal of Endocrinology 04/2013; 2013(3):650984. DOI:10.1155/2013/650984 · 1.95 Impact Factor
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