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Soy-Enriched Bread, a Pilot Study to Determine Its Beneficial Effects in Menopause

Daniela Giustarini, Comasia Ricci, Ilaria Ceccarelli, Stefano Pieretti, Paolo Andre, Silvia Migliorini, Lauretta Massai, Paola Minosi, Ilenia Casini, Anna Maria Aloisi

Abstract: Menopause is the last step in the reproductive history of a woman. The ovaries stop producing hormones and the body reacts by lowering its functions, including the cognitive one. Phytoestrogens are plant products with the estrogen-like activity which are able to mimic many of estrogen’s functions. The aim of the present experiment was to study the effects of 30 days of regular consumption of soy-enriched bread containing a known amount of phytoestrogens (genistein and daidzein) in climacteric or menopausal women. Thirty women at different stages of menopause (climacteric, within 5 years of menopause, more than 5 years of menopause) were asked to include 200 g/die of bread containing 40 mg of phytoestrogens in their diet. The effect of the regular consumption of this bread on common menopausal symptoms and cognitive parameters was determined before and after 30 days through questionnaires and experimental tests. Phytoestrogens were measured in the urine. Twenty-five women completed the study. Independence of the menopause stage, there was a significant increase of phytoestrogens in the urine and a decrease of the classical symptoms (i.e., hot flushes). Moreover, the women showed a significant improvement in attentional performance tests, the quality of life index and pain intensity. Phytoestrogens would be an important supplement in aging women due to their ability to induce estrogen-like effects without the potential side effects of estrogens. Their presence in soy-enriched bread, a food commonly present in meals, avoids consideration of their consumption as a drug.
Keywords: Menopause / Women / Phytoestrogens / Bread / Soy
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