Do soy isoflavone supplements reduce symptoms of menopause?Soy isoflavones have a mild estrogenic effect and can modestly reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes. Products providing at least 50 mg of soy isoflavones daily or of specific soy isoflavones (15 mg of genistein or 28 mg of daidzein) may be important for these effects and require treatment for several weeks before experiencing improvement. Higher doses are typically used to help maintain bone density (see Soy Isoflavones —What It Does).
- Product labeling typically does not provide details about the specific forms of isoflavones, but ConsumerLab determined these from testing, You can check amounts of isoflavones in products by looking at the 4th column of the Results Table below -- amounts known to be effective are in bold.
- Be aware that only about 1/3 to ½ of women may benefit from isoflavones, depending on whether or not they convert isoflavones into active forms in their gut (see Soy Isoflavones —What It Is).
Do red clover isoflavones reduce symptoms of menopause?Red clover isoflavones may also have benefit in menopause, particularly in reducing night sweats, but it is recommended that products provide at least 40 mg daily of total isoflavones. Both products tested in this review provided this amount or more (see What CL Found).
Black cohosh for menopause?Unlike soy isoflavones, black cohosh does not have general estrogen-like actions, but may act like estrogen only in certain places, such as in the brain and the vaginal epithelium, providing no or modest benefit for symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness (see Black Cohosh —What It Does). The frequently recommended dosage of black cohosh is 20 mg of standardized extract once or twice a day, manufactured to contain at least 1 mg of triterpenes per day, although some products provide much larger amounts (see the 2nd and 4th columns in the Results Table below) and some products, like Remifemin, may work despite containing no triterpenes.
Progesterone for menopause?Progesterone cream may decrease menopausal hot flashes but does not provide enough progesterone to prevent bone loss or improve bone density (see Progesterone —What It Does). The progesterone creams tested by ConsumerLab were found to contain the amounts of progesterone they claimed (see Progesterone Results Table).