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New Fermented Soy Ingredient Containing S-equol Significantly Reduced Hot Flash Frequency
Date:1/4/2012

showed no serious treatment-related adverse effects on the women's hormones including sex hormones, gonadal, and thyroid hormones, which is in agreement with the results of other clinical trials of SE5-OH containing S-equol.

Because the large placebo effect typically observed in clinical trials of hot flashes often complicates interpretation of results, this trial included a four-week placebo run-in period.  Participants reported the severity of their symptoms as well as their frequency of hot flashes at both the start and end of the run-in period, and those who had less than one hot flash per day, low menopause symptom scores or a positive placebo response were excluded from the study, as were women who were S-equol producers.

S-equol [7-hydroxy-3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-chroman] is a compound resulting -- when certain bacteria are present in the digestive tract -- from the natural metabolism, or conversion, of daidzein, an isoflavone found in whole soybeans.  Not everyone can produce S-equol after soy consumption, as the production depends on the types of bacteria present in the large intestine and may be influenced by the amount of soy consumed.  About 50 percent of Asians and 20 to 30 percent of North Americans and Europeans, who in general consume less soy than Asians, have the ability to produce high levels of S-equol. 

The trial, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study, enrolled 160 post-menopausal Japanese women aged 45 to 60 years, all of whom were S-equol non-producers.  The enrolled women did not take hormonal drugs or menopause symptom treatments.  The postmenopausal enrollment criteria included estrogen levels of less than 21 picograms per milliliter (ml), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) values greater than 30 milli international units (mIU)/ml, a minimum of one hot flash daily, body mass index between 18.6 and 25 and S-equol non-pro
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