Objective: To evaluate the effects of isoflavones on vasomotor symptoms and blood lipids in postmenopausal women with contraindication for conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Methods: This prospective, double-blind and placebo-controlled study included 50 postmenopausal women randomly divided into two groups: 25 women on soy germ isoflavones (60 mg per day, capsules) and 25 women on placebo. Inclusion criteria included: non-vegetarian, non-asian women whose last menstruation dated at least 12 months prior to the beginning of the study, with FSH > 40 mIU/ml, hot flushes and contraindication for HRT, not using tamoxifen or antibiotic and no disease of the gastrointestinal tract. For 6 months, the Kupperman menopausal index (KMI), the vaginal cytological maturation value (MV) and both hormonal and lipid profiles were assessed. The t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were employed to compare the two groups.
Results: In both groups, a decreased KI rate was observed. However, isoflavone was significantly superior to placebo in reducing hot flushes (44% versus 10%, respectively) (P < 0.05). After 6 months, the isoflavone group showed increased estradiol levels with unchanged FSH, LH, and vaginal cytology, and a reduction of 11.8% in LDL and an increase of 27.3% in HDL (P < 0.05 ). In the placebo group, just a reduction in MV was observed after 6 months (P < 0.05 ).
Conclusions: Soy germ isoflavone exerted favorable effects on vasomotor symptoms and lipid profile, showing itself to be an interesting alternative therapy for the postmenopausal women with contraindication for conventional HRT.