They are found in more than 300 foods. In soy phytoestrogens, especially those from the group consisting of isoflavones in the highest amount. Therefore, extracts thereof are used for dietary supplements as a source of isoflavones. These supplements are designed primarily for women in the period before and during menopause. Recommendations for their use are 4 main nosoki:
– As an alternative to hormone therapy to reduce the complaints associated with menopause / hot flushes /
– A favorable effect varhukostnata density / reduce bone loss associated with hormonal changes in menopause /
– To reduce cardiovascular risk in menopausal women
– To reduce the risk of breast cancer
Recently, however, based on new data are revalued some of the recommendations for use of dietary supplements containing isoflavones.
In the absence or low levels of estrogens, as in menopause, phytoestrogens and principally isoflavones have effects similar to female hormones. Many studies dietary supplements containing isoflavones reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. The latest data, however, only 10% of this reduction is due to isoflavones, residual effect is a consequence of psihilogicheski factors related to confidence in the proper functioning of the product / platseo effect /.
In women, osteoporosis is associated with menopause such as the loss of estrogen in this period increases bone loss. Modern research confirms the positive effect of food supplements containing isoflavones reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women, but considers that their effect is short-lived.
The reduced level of estrogen may increase cholesterol levels and affect the level of fibrinogen, which controls blood clotting and thus increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in menopausal women. In recent studies, it is found that the beneficial effects of intake of soy and soy products to lower total “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol is due to the soy protein and not of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens however due to its antioxidant properties have an additional beneficial effect in reducing cardiac risk.
Estrogen hormones increase the likelihood of breast cancer in women at high risk of this disease is not recommended hormone replacement therapy in menopause. Despite the weak estrogenic effect of isoflavones already knows that they are not completely safe, since the new experiments on animals show that large amounts of phytoestrogens can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Recommended while not assess sufficiently convincing safety of phytoestrogen supplements, they should not be used by women at high risk for breast cancer.