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Review looks at the efficacy of equol (soy isoflavone) against hot flashes in menopausal women


Researchers from the U.S. and South Korea reviewed the efficacy of equol, a soy isoflavone, against hot flashes in menopausal women. The team published their findings in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

  • Soy isoflavones may be beneficial to some menopausal women.
  • The ability of women to produce equol may also be the key indicator of effectiveness.
  • The researchers searched 12 English, Korean, and Chinese language scientific and medical databases.
  • They found six studies with 779 participants in total that met all criteria for the systematic review.
  • Five of those could be included in the meta-analysis.
  • All studies assessed the effect of equol, either equol itself or soy isoflavone in equol producers, on menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes, in peri- or postmenopausal women.
  • Three studies in the meta-analysis reported significant benefits of equol.
  • The meta-analysis revealed that equol significantly lowered hot flash scores and revealed a generally low risk of bias.

The researchers concluded that supplementing with equol to nonproducers of equol significantly reduced the incidence and severity of hot flashes in menopausal women.

Journal Reference:

Daily JW, Ko BS, Ryuk J, Liu M, Zhang W, Park S. EQUOL DECREASES HOT FLASHES IN POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CLINICAL TRIALS. Journal of Medicinal Food; 22(2): 127-139. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2018.4265

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