By Ryan Jaslow
CBS News

Should menopausal women cross soy milk and tofu off their next grocery list?

Many menopausal women turn to soy to stave off nasty effects, like decreased bone density and hot flashes, because estrogen therapy is associated with risks for breast cancer and heart attack. But now researchers are calling for alternatives because a new study showed soy might not even work.

“Women should be reconsidering taking these types of products for menopausal health,” Dr. Silvina Levis, lead author of the study and a professor of medicine at the University of Miami, told The New York Times.

For the study – published in the August 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine – researchers gave 126 women a placebo tablet and 122 women 200 mg of soy isoflavone tablets – twice the amount of soy found in a typical Asian diet, according to the researchers. The women, aged 45 to 60, were tracked for nearly five years to see if soy prevented bone loss and menopausal symptoms. At the end of the study, the researchers found no difference in bone loss between both groups. There was also no difference in the severity of night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido – in fact, the women taking soy experienced more hot flashes and constipation.

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