Moderate soy intake may influence menopausal symptoms in premenopausal women, a study concluded.
To evaluate the association of vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes, night sweats, joint aches/pains, and headaches) with soy intake and equol production, researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of women ages 45 to 56 with regular and no skipped menses who were not taking hormones.
The study looked at associations among 1,513 premenopausal women with a mean age of 48.5 years who responded to the survey to determine associations between race/ethnicity and vasomotor symptoms (ever/never, past 2 weeks), while controlling for age and body mass index; headache and joint pain; and vasomotor symptoms within race by soy intake.
Results appeared at Menopause.
As expected, vasomotor symptoms varied by race. Compared with white women, Native American women were most likely to report ever having vasomotor symptoms (66.7%), followed by black (61.4%), white (58.3%), Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (45.5%), mixed-ethnicity (42.1%), Vietnamese (40.0%), Filipino (38.9%, P less than 0.05), Japanese (35.9%, P less than 0.01), East Indian (31.3%, P less than 0.05), Chinese (29.0%, P less than 0.001), and other Asian (25.6%, P less than 0.001) women. Hispanic women were less likely to have vasomotor symptoms (41.7%) than non-Hispanic white women (58.8%, P less than 0.001).
Among white women, but not among other women, soy intake was associated with vasomotor symptoms (P=0.03). Researchers wrote, "Among white women, those reporting vasomotor symptoms seemed to be more likely to have moderate [less than 4.3 mg/d] soy intake, whereas those not reporting vasomotor symptoms seemed more likely to have no soy intake."