Multidimensional Effects of Soy Isoflavone by Food or Supplements in Menopause Women: a Systematic Review and Bibliometric Analysis

Nat Prod Commun. 2016 Nov;11(11):1733-1740.


Isoflavones can exert their action on various levels: on cardiovascular system, bone and muscle health, on cancer, on menopausal symptoms, on obesity, on thyroid and on cognitive function. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the multidimensional effects of phytoestrogens in postmenopausal woman, and specifically to explore the impact on scientific literature. A research strategy was planned on PubMed and Scopus by defining the following key words:: menopause, climacteric, soy, isoflavone, phytoestrogens, cardiovascular system, bone mineral density, muscle mass, cancer, thyroid, obesity, cognitive. A total of 43 studies (in humans) were retrieved. The majority (12) describe the applications of soy isoflavones on cardiovascular disease, followed by effects on bone and muscle health (9), and studies concerning their action on menopausal symptoms (7), on cancer (6), on obesity (4), on cognitive function (3) and on thyroid function (2). The citation analysis revealed a growing interest for this topic and the papers on thyroid function are the most cited. Citation trends ofthe articles regarding the action on cardiovascular disease and on obesity are growing in the last years. Concerning the research areas, this review has assessed the effectiveness of various activities of isoflavones on welfare of menopausal women. In particular, literature show that a specific dosage of isoflavdnes reduces cardiovascular disease (from 20 to 100 mg/die), may be protective in osteoporosis and muscular fatigue (from 20 to 80 mg/die), may be useful for cancer prevention on endometrium, mammary glands and liver (from 50 to 100 mg/die), might improve menopausal symptoms, particularly in reducing the frequency of hot flashes (from 50 to 120 mg/die), can reduce abdominal fat and circulating inflammatory markers (from 80 to 160 mg/die), may ameliorate the pdssible interaction between endogenous estrogen and thyroid function (75 mg/die) and improve visual memory (from 50 to 100 mg/die).

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bibliometrics*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Glycine max / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / chemistry
  • Isoflavones / pharmacology*
  • Menopause*


  • Isoflavones