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This month's Nutrition Hotline concerns the role of soy isoflavones isoflavones (īˑ·sō·flāˈ·vōnz), phytoestrogenic compounds found in various plants, including red clover and soy.
 as treatment for menopausal symptoms, and some suggestions for vegan vegan /veg·an/ (ve´gan) (vej´an) a vegetarian whose diet excludes all food of animal origin.

 snacks for preschool children

QUESTION: I've heard conflicting opinions on the use of soy products to relieve hot flashes hot flashes Hot flush Gynecology A symptom afflicting 80-85% of middle-aged ♀, first occurring during the perimenopause, continuing with ↓ intensity for yrs, manifesting itself as transient waves of erythema and uncomfortable warmth beginning in the  and other discomforts of menopause. What do you think? SZ, New Jersey

ANSWER: Soy products contain substances called isoflavones, which are weak estrogens Estrogens
Hormones produced by the ovaries, the female sex glands.

Mentioned in: Acne, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

estrogens (es´trōjenz),
 that can have hormonal effects. Rapid changes in hormone levels in menopause can lead to changes in temperature regulation and to hot flashes and night sweats. Soy isoflavones may help to reduce these discomforts by keeping blood estrogen levels from dropping as much as they typically do in menopause. When soy foods are added to women's diets, women report a modest decrease in the frequency (1, 2) and the severity (3, 4) of hot flashes and vaginal dryness vaginal dryness Gynecology 1 Atrophic vaginitis, see there 2. ↓ vaginal lubrication or premature loss of same , although this is not always seen (5). These effects appear to be smaller than those observed with conventional hormone replacement therapy Hormone Replacement Therapy Definition

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of synthetic or natural female hormones to make up for the decline or lack of natural hormones produced in a woman's body.
. If you are experiencing symptoms and would prefer to avoid hormone replacement therapy, a trial of adding soy to your diet seems reasonable. However, we should note that it's too early to say that soy products can replace conventional therapy. On the positive side, they do appear to reduce risk of heart disease. On the negative side, they seem to stimulate breast cell multiplication in some women, which raises concerns about increased cancer risk (6, 7). In addition, soy products may or may not reduce bone loss associated with menopause.

1 Maturitas 1995. 21:189-195.

2 0bstet Gynecol 1998. 91:6-11.

3 Menopause 1997. 4:89-94.

4 Menopause 1999. 6:7-13.

5 J Nutr 2000. 130:671S.

6 Am J Clin Nutr 1998. 68 (Suppl): 1431S.

7 Cancer Epidem Bio Prev 1996. 5: 785.

QUESTION: My daughter is in preschool. Once a week, her class prepares a snack, often something like muffins or quick breads. She is the only vegan child in the class. Her teacher has asked for ideas for foods that the children will enjoy preparing and that my daughter can also eat. Any suggestions? LA, Maryland

ANSWER: Many quick bread and muffin recipes can be easily converted to vegan recipes by simply substituting powdered egg replacer for eggs and soymilk soy·milk  
A milk substitute made from soybeans, often supplemented with vitamins.

Noun 1. soymilk - a milk substitute containing soybean flour and water; used in some infant formulas and in making tofu
 or juice for cow's milk. You could offer to provide a box of egg replacer (Ener-G is a widely available brand) for the class to use, along with instructions for using it to replace eggs. Similarly, either give them several cartons of soymilk or bring it in when they need it. Of course, if raw eggs aren't used, children can taste the batter! Other popular snacks for young children are hummus hum·mus also hum·us or hom·mos  
A smooth thick mixture of mashed chickpeas, tahini, oil, lemon juice, and garlic, used especially as a dip for pita.
 faces (spread hummus on a bagel half or rice cake and make a face with shredded carrots, olive slices, peas, etc.), English muffin pizzas (have your daughter put vegetables on hers instead of cheese or pepperoni), trail mix (children can combine several low-sugar cereals and dried fruits), fruit salad (children can carefully cut soft fruits like bananas and strawberries), homemade tortilla or pita chips Pita chips are simply a baked bread made from pita bread, often seasoned. They are crunchier and thicker than most chips. They are available in many flavors. They are often used as a substitute for potato chips because they are less greasy and generally healthier. , and yeast rolls (children can make shapes before baking). Your preschool might even appreciate a booklet of your favorite recipes.
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Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Previous Article:Vegetarian Action.

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