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Daidzein-rich isoflavone aglycones are potentially effective in reducing hot flashes in menopausal women

Khaodhiar, Lalita MD1; Ricciotti, Hope A. MD2; Li, Linglin MS3; Pan, Weijun MD3; Schickel, Mary BS2; Zhou, Jinrong PhD3; Blackburn, George L. MD, PhD3

doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31805c035b

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of DRIs on hot flash symptoms in menopausal women.

Design: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of menopausal women, aged 38 to 60 years, who experienced 4 to 14 hot flashes per day. After a 1-week run-in period, a total of 190 menopausal women were randomized to receive a placebo or 40 or 60 mg/day of a DRI for 12 weeks. The primary outcome was the mean changes from baseline to week 12 in the frequency of hot flashes recorded in the participant diary. The secondary outcomes included changes in quality of life and hormonal profiles.

Results: A total of 147 women (77%) completed the study. It was found that 40 and 60 mg of DRI improved hot flash frequency and severity equally. At 8 weeks hot flash frequency was reduced by 43% in the 40-mg DRI group and by 41% in the 60-mg DRI group, compared with 32% in the placebo group (P = not significant vs placebo). The corresponding numbers for 12 weeks were 52%, 51%, and 39%, respectively (P = 0.07 and 0.09 vs placebo). When comparing the two treatment groups with the placebo group, there were significant reductions in mean daily hot flash frequency. The supplement (either 40 or 60 mg) reduced hot flash frequency by 43% at 8 weeks (P = 0.1) and 52% at 12 weeks (P = 0.048) but did not cause any significant changes in endogenous sex hormones or thyroid hormones. Menopausal quality of life improved in all three groups, although there were no statistically significant differences between groups.

Conclusions: DRI supplementation may be an effective and acceptable alternative to hormone treatment for menopausal hot flashes.

This article reports the results of a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial of daidzein-rich isoflavone for treatment of hot flashes. This study suggested moderate benefit with the treatment.

From the Departments of 1Medicine, 2Obstetrics and Gynecology, and 3Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Received November 21, 2006; revised and accepted March 13, 2007.

Funding/support: This investigator-initiated study was supported by a research grant by Nichimo Co, Ltd, Tokyo, Japan, who made daidzein-rich isoflavone aglycone extract from soy germ fermentation with Koji fungus Effisoy.

Financial disclosure: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Hope A. Ricciotti, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. E-mail:

©2008The North American Menopause Society