More joys of soy

Posted by on Apr 13, 2009 in heart disease, menopause | 5 comments

More news on soy. Researchers have discovered yet another component of soy isoflavones that may prove useful in improving symptoms of menopause: soy aglycons of isoflavones (SAI). Soy aglycons are a group of chemicals found in fermented soybeans and comprise a great portion of diets for Chinese and Japanese individuals. Of note, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, and menopausal symptoms are often seen in a smaller percentage of these women than their European and American counterparts.

Among the various chemical molecules of soy, SAI are absorbed faster and more efficiently than other components.

In this particular study, which was just published in Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers fed rats whose ovaries had been removed either high or low doses of SAI-supplemented diets. These animals were then compared to rats with intact ovaries who were fed a regular diet.

The researchers found that rats fed supplemental SAI had significantly lower cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)  values , higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and faster liver metabolism.  The lining of the uterus was also enhanced by dietary SAI supplementation.

They said that these results suggest that SAI may help protect against or lessen symptoms during menopause that are associated with the natural decline of estrogen.  SAI might also be an effective and safe alternative to HRT, which has been linked to breast and uterine cancers. In general, SAI may protect against menopausal heart disease.


  1. 4-13-2009

    Great post. I’m discovering lots of benefits to adding soy to my daily diet.

    • 4-13-2009

      That’s good to know. Lots of naysayers claim that soy adds no benefits when it comes to wellbeing and wellness. What types of benefits have you experienced?

  2. 4-13-2009

    Nice! We’ve added a lot of soy to our diet lately already…nice to have another benefit.

    • 4-13-2009

      Would love to hear how it changes certain things (or if), like any perimenopausal symptoms.

  3. 5-29-2009

    I’m late in viewing this blog post, but I thought I’d add my two cents worth anyway.
    The research on soy has been promising for years, more with the benefits for heart disease than menopausal symptoms. But, even with respect to heart disease, it’s the amount of soy you need to ingest that is relevant. For heart disease, earlier studies with humans indicated that you would need the equivalent of 4 cups of soy beverage daily (or a large amount of tofu, but I can’t remember off the top of my head how much tofu). In other words, it was an unrealistic amount for most people to consume.
    In addition, soy foods vs. soy powders, are the safest way to go, as the concentrated amounts of isoflavones in soy powders can put one at risk for breast cancer. Too much of a good thing! Having said all that, tofu is still a healthy protein alternative for those looking to decrease fat, esp. saturated fat, in their diets. And, it’s so versatile!

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