The so-called “change of life” carries serious health challenges for women. Changing hormone levels can lead to everything from hot flashes to emotional swings. Many women also experience a loss of bone density, leaving them stooped and frail.
For decades, experts have told you to eat plenty of soy products. Soy, they said, promotes stronger bones and eases the hot flashes and other problems you face during this time.
I’ve never been a big fan of soy. And two new studies bear me out. In today’s article, you’ll discover the best way to deal with the effects of the change… and why you should avoid most soy products.
A few years ago, researchers at Iowa State University studied soy and bone density. This small study suggested that soy might promote bone strength. A lot of people used the study results to push soy products.
But the researchers themselves weren’t fully convinced, and ran a much larger, longer trial. In this new 3-year study, they found that soy generally doesn’t promote stronger bones. In fact, women taking soy extracts lost overall bone mass over the 3 years – at almost exactly the same rate as women taking a placebo.1
Another group of researchers took a 2-year look at soy’s effect on bones and other problems with the end of women’s fertility. The results – just published in the Archives of Internal Medicine – show that soy doesn’t help either situation.2
So if soy doesn’t help… what does?
For strong bones, I especially recommend 3 simple nutrients: calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in bone, and vitamin D promotes better calcium absorption. Vitamin K also supports healthy bone density. Some studies show it’s also most effective when it’s taken with vitamin D.3
Based on a review of studies, take a minimum of 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D per day.4 Women should also get 90 mcg of vitamin K daily. Men generally need more – 120 mcg.
For other change of life issues, I often recommend black cohosh. It’s natural, well studied, and promotes significant relief.5 Together, these soy alternatives support an easier, healthier transition.
Now that you know about these alternatives, here’s why I think they’re necessary…
Virtually all the soy sold in this country is not natural. If you ate soybeans straight from the field, you’d get sick. Soy contains several toxins. It’s inedible until those toxins are removed.
To make it edible, soy is industrially processed. This process involves cooking crushed soybeans in a solvent made from petroleum. Some soy products are also washed in acid.
As if that weren’t bad enough, 85% of the soy grown in the U.S. is from genetically modified seeds. So genuinely natural soy is almost unknown here.
In Japan, where soy earned its healthy reputation, they eat a lot of natural soy. These foods – such as natto – are naturally fermented to remove the soy’s toxins. But naturally fermented soy products are uncommon in the U.S.
So, for healthy bones and less discomfort, forget the soy. The nutrients I’ve mentioned here are more effective. And, unlike most soy, they’re natural, too.
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals
1 Alekel, D.L., et al, “The soy isoflavones for reducing bone loss (SIRBL) study: a 3-y randomized controlled trial in postmenopausal women,” Am J Clin Nutr. Jan 2010;91(1):218-230.
2 Levis, S., et al, “Soy Isoflavones in the Prevention of Menopausal Bone Loss and Menopausal Symptoms,” Archives of Internal Medicine. Aug 2011;171(15):1363-1369.
3 Weber, P., “Vitamin K and bone health,” Nutrition. Oct 2001;17(10):880-7.
4 Tang, B.M., et al, “Use of calcium or calcium in combination with vitamin D supplementation to prevent fractures and bone loss in people aged 50 years and older: a meta-analysis,” Lancet. Aug 25, 2007;370(9588):657-666.
5 Shams, T., et al, “Efficacy of black cohosh-containing preparations on menopausal symptoms: a meta-analysis,” Altern Ther Health Med. Jan-Feb, 2010;16(1):36-44.