Soy and Abdominal Obesity Prevention among Menopausal Women
Myron Yau, HK BioTek Nutritionist
Adipose tissue is distributed all over the body, including thighs, abdomen, arms, around internal organs etc. Abdominal fat is a very dangerous fat that is associated with several metabolic disorders as reported in many scientific journals. Moreover, according to an epidemiological study in 2012, a relatively steady percentage of men, 30%, suffers from abdominal obesity at different life stages, when compared to the dramatic change of the percentages of women, from 20% to over 60% at the ages from 18 to over 60. Thus, you may observe that age has a greater impact on the fat distribution of women. The top culprit is the hormonal change during menopause.
During menopause, the ovaries of women stop producing estrogen and progesterone, important female hormones. The possible consequences of estrogen deficiency during menopause include metabolic syndrome, abnormal plasma lipids, reduced glucose tolerance, increased blood pressure, you name it. As the scientists found out more about the drawbacks of estrogen deficiency, hormonal replacement by artificial estrogen and/or progesterone was developed, though many side effects were seen afterwards. Then, the term ‘soy estrogen’ was introduced was a hot discussion until now.
‘Soy estrogen’ is a group of plant chemicals found in soy. Their collective name is ‘isoflavones’. Isoflavones have similar effects, but thousand times less potent than human estrogen. However, its level in blood can also be thousands times higher than human estrogen level in blood. This suggests the use of the isoflavones on the prevention of abdominal obesity among menopausal women.
After a series of research studies, isoflavones benefit menopausal women the most in combination with soy proteins. In accordance to the study results, taking together with 25g soy protein a day, 80-160mg per day are documented to be an effective dosage for abdominal obesity prevention of women. One thing that many ladies worry about is concerning the risk of breast cancer and soy consumption. The numerous studies that have been conducted until now have already indicated that soy consumption does not seems to increase the risk of breast cancer in general women and even breast cancer survivors.