Women suffering the hot flushes and night sweats of the menopause have been warned that soy tablets do little to ease the symptoms.
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A two-year study into the effects of soy supplements on menopausal women found the tablets did not ease symptoms or improve bone strength and may even increase the number of hot flushes.
Researchers at the University of Miami split the 248 female volunteers into two groups - one half took a 200mg daily dose of soy, the other a placebo.
But mature women hoping for a natural solution to menopausal problems will be disappointed because 48 per cent of those taking soy tablets reported hot flushes, while only 32 per cent of those taking a dummy pill were affected.
Meanwhile both groups experienced a similar loss in bone density during the course of the study.
Though there were no serious side effects related to the soy supplements, some volunteers complained of stomach or digestive problems such as constipation.
Dr Silvina Levis, who led the study, said: "What prompted us to do this study was in the wake of the Women's Health Initiative study when many of our patients stopped using hormone therapy.
"Many of them had just gone to a health food stores and started on soy supplements. The study was started to try to answer a simple question: will these soy isoflavone tablets help women with the issues they are concerned with?"
Unfortunately for those suffering severe menopausal symptoms, the search for a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy continues.
What do you think - have you found a natural remedy that eases your symptoms? Leave a comment below...