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Soy matches HT for menopause symptoms.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. -- Soy supplements improved somatic and urogenital symptoms of menopause to the same degree as did low-dose combination hormone therapy, in a small, randomized, double-blind controlled trial.

A total of 60 women who were 1-13 years past menopause were randomized to one of three groups: soy supplements containing isoflavones 90 mg; estradiol 1 mg/norethindrone 0.5 mg; or placebo daily.

After 16 weeks, women in the two treatment groups had significant somatic and urogenital symptom improvements, compared with baseline on the Menopause Rating Scale and compared with scores among women taking placebo.

The findings suggest a role for dietary soy supplementation for improving hot flashes, joint and muscle pain, and vaginal dryness, with results equivalent to hormone therapy, Dr. Adriana O. Pedro said. "I thought hormone replacement would be better than soy, so I was surprised."

Women taking hormone therapy fared better, however, in terms of cardiovascular health markers. Women on the low-dose combination hormone therapy showed improvement in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels; these levels were unchanged in those who got soy supplements.

In addition, total cholesterol decreased 12%, compared with baseline, in the hormone treatment group but remained unchanged in the soy supplement and placebo groups. The LDL cholesterol level decreased 18% in the hormone therapy group and did not change in the other groups.

"There was no change with soy--probably because they had normal lipid profiles at baseline," Dr. Pedro of the State University of Campinas (Brazil) said during a poster session at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society.

Psychological symptoms did not change over the treatment period in the soy, hormone replacement, or placebo groups.

The study was funded by the Sao Paulo (Brazil) Foundation for the Support of Research. Data analysis is ongoing, and they plan to publish additional findings.

BY DAMIAN MCNAMARA

Miami Bureau
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Title Annotation:WOMEN'S HEALTH; hormone therapy
Author:McNamara, Damian
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 15, 2009
Words:308
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