Soy Isoflavones Supplements & Information


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Soy contains large amounts of substances known as isoflavones, also called phytoestrogens, including genistein, daidzein, and glycitein. These substances act in a similar way as estrogen in the body and may also be antioxidants. In younger women, the effects of soy are weak because estrogen is abundant. At menopause, it is believed that this effect increases due to the decrease in bodily estrogen. Studies in animals suggest that genistein and daidzein can prevent or reduce bone loss by mimicking estrogen and by reducing loss of calcium.

Scientists have several theories for how soy may prevent cancer. At least five chemicals found in soy are anti-cancer: isoflavones, saponins, phytates, phytosterols, and protease inhibitors. In laboratory studies, soy isoflavones slow down the growth of several different types of cancer cells, including breast and prostate cancers. Scientists also propose that genistein competes with estrogen for cell receptors in breast tissue and decreases hormone production by the ovaries, possibly resulting in reduced breast tumor formation. Rather than preventing tumors altogether, soy protein appears to slow down their development.

We do not know exactly how soy helps lower cholesterol. Scientists think that isoflavones might stimulate the thyroid and/or the liver and increase the removal of LDL and VLDL (?bad?) cholesterol from the body.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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Scientific Name 

Glycine Max   vgo to top

Also Known As 

Soybean, soya, Glycine soja, tofu, miso, tempeh   vgo to top


Food Sources 

Raw soybeans, low-fat soy flour, roasted soybeans, dry-roasted soy beans, soy milk, tofu, and soy protein isolate. No isoflavones are contained in soy sauce or soy oil.   vgo to top



  • To prevent cancer
    Laboratory and some clinical studies suggest that women with a high soy intake have a lower risk of developing  breast cancer.

  • To prevent heart disease
    Clinical trials show that soy protein (not soy pills) reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which may help prevent heart disease.

  • To reduce high cholesterol
    Clinical trials show that soy protein (not soy pills) reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and may increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

  • To treat menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, mood problems

  • To prevent bone loss (osteoporosis)
    Some clinical trials and studies in animals support this use.  
    vgo to top



  • This product is regulated by the FDA as a dietary supplement. Unlike approved drugs, supplements are not required to be manufactured under specific standardized conditions.   vgo to top



  • In October 1999, the FDA approved a labeling claim for products containing at least 6.25 g of soy protein/serving and is also low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

  • Various observational and epidemiological studies suggest that more than 30 mg daily of soy isoflavones (aglycon, not bound form of sugar) approximates the dose that may have health benefits.   vgo to top


Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical profession. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.  Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Please review the Terms of Use before using this site.  Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.



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