Hot Flash Not Helped By Soy
If you experience a hot flash, don't look to soy milk to cool down the situation. A recent study published in the August edition of Archives of Internal Medicine found an increase in hot flashes among those taking soy supplements.
Why would anybody expect soy milk to have any effect on hot flashes? Turns out that soy is loaded with phytoestrogens, which are chemically similar to the female hormone estrogen. During menopause, estrogen production falls off, so replacing the naturally produced estrogen with phytoestrogens might help with hot flashes, the reasoning goes.
Also, studies have shown lower instances of bone fractures, breast cancer, and heart disease in Asian women, all conditions influenced by levels of estrogen. And since Asian women eat a lot of soy in their diets (think tofu and soy sauce)--well, it's not so far-fetched to think that chugging soy milk could keep hot flashes under control.
But the five-year study of 248 women found that this was not the case. The women chosen were within five years of the start of menopause, and consumed either a placebo or a soy tablet each day.
While they found no differences in bone density between the two groups, they did find that while 32% of the women on the placebo had hot flashes, a whopping 48% of those taking the soy tablets had hot flashes.