(Note: This series is a translation from research performed by Dr. Akiko Sugahara, Ph.D., published by the Sugahara Institute. All rights for the original Japanese and this translation are owned by Akiko Sugahara, Ph.D.)
Asian Women, Menopause, and Isoflavones
Part 6 – Asian Women, Menopause, and Isoflavones
Last time we discussed the fact that there is some surprising data suggesting that Japanese women, on average, experience menopause symptoms to a lesser severity than women in the West. We have also seen the same trend among women from China and other Asian countries. Looking into the underlying reasons, we discovered that the volume of soy isoflavones in your diet could be s major factor in the severity of menopause symptoms you experience.
In Japan and other Asian countries, we eat many more foods in our diet that contain soybeans than do our friends in the West. In Japan, these foods include miso, soy sauce (shoyu), natto (a fermented soybean dish), kinako (a soybean flour), tofu, yuba (a dried soybean curd), deep-fried tofu, and others. The isoflavones in these soybean foods perform almost as a gentle form of female hormone in our bodies, doing much of the work of the estrogen that is no longer functioning well near or during menopause due to stress.
However, more recently people in Japan have started to change their eating habits, eating less tofu and miso soup, and so getting fewer of the benefits these foods offer.
Next, let’s take a look at how isoflavones can actually function like female hormones.