Topical Area: Dietary Bioactive Components
Women experience a variety of symptoms during each stage of the menopausal transition (perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause) and search out various approaches for relief including complementary and alternative treatments such as phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that have a similar chemical structure to that of estrogen. Common examples include red clover and soy isoflavones. S-equol, a metabolite of soy isoflavone daidzein, is naturally produced by intestinal bacteria following soy consumption. However, only 20-30% of the US population are equol producers, indicating that many may benefit from S-equol supplementation. The aim of this sampling trial was to assess the impact of a dietary S-equol supplement on menopausal symptoms.
Perimenopausal and menopausal women were recruited into an open label trial on a rolling basis; subjects were provided a four week supply of a S-equol supplement 3 times resulting in 12 week supplementation. Participants were instructed to consume a 5 mg S-equol tablet twice daily for total of 10 mg S-equol daily. Participants completed an online survey at weeks 0, 3, 7, and 12 during the trial. They reported on the occurrence of various menopausal symptoms including: anxiety, change in sexual desire, depression, fatigue, hair loss, hot flashes, mood swings, memory problems, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and weight gain.
Baseline survey (n=1164) showed common menopausal transition symptoms include: anxiety (78%), change in sexual desire (83%), depression (70%), fatigue (89%), hair loss (57%), hot flashes (97%), mood swings (85%), memory problems (86%), night sweats (95%), sleep disturbances (95%), and weight gain (81%). After 12 weeks of S-equol supplementation (n=247), 90% of women noted a difference in one or more menopausal symptoms. Among individuals that noted any difference in one or more symptoms (n=223), 82%, 71% and 40% noticed a difference in hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances, respectively. Over 90% of the differences observed for hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances were reported as improvements.
Following 12 week supplementation of 10 mg S-equol per day, over 90% of women identified an effect on 1 or more menopausal symptom. For the most common symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances), over 90% were reported as improved.
Funding Sources :
This study was funded by Pharmavite LLC.