To investigate the efficacy of soy isoflavone on climacteric symptoms in postmenopausal women.
In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, a total of 80 women (mean age = 55.1 years), who reported 5 or more hot flush episodes per day, were randomized to receive either 250 mg of standardized soy extract (Glycine max AT) a total of 100mg/day of isoflavone (n = 40) or placebo (n = 40). Exclusion criteria included: contra-indication for hormone therapy (HT), chronic gastrointestinal diseases, and users of HT within the preceding 6-months. For 10-months, climacteric symptoms were evaluated using a score card and the menopausal Kupperman index. Compliance and safety were also assessed. At baseline and the end of the study, lipid and hormonal profiles, as well as vaginal, mammographic and ultrasonographic parameters were measured. The t-test, Wilcoxon test and ANOVA were used in the statistical analysis.
At baseline, the mean number of hot flushes was 9.6 +/- 3.9 per day in the isoflavone group and 10.1+/-4.9 in the placebo group (p>0.05). After 10 months, there was a significant reduction in frequency of hot flushes among isoflavone users when compared to those on placebo (3.1 +/- 2.3 and 5.9 +/- 4.3, respectively) (p<0.001). Kupperman index mean values showed a significant reduction in both groups. However, soy isoflavone was significantly superior to placebo, in reducing hot flush severity (69.9% and 33.7%, respectively) (p<0.001). Endometrial thickness, mammography, vaginal cytology, lipids and hormonal profile did not change in both groups. No serious adverse event related to isoflavone treatment was reported.
The soy isoflavone extract exerted favorable effects on vasomotor symptoms and good compliance, providing a safe and effective alternative therapeutic for postmenopausal women.