1. Phytoestrogens

Plants naturally produce substances which, once ingested, mimic estrogens. They are known as phytoestrogens. Nowadays, these molecules are an integral part of the therapeutic panoply for the menopause.

The utility of these molecules to the health and well-being of women going through the menopause was conjectured following observations in Asian countries. Epidemiological studies have shown that Asian women, whose diet is particularly rich in soya, are greatly less affected by the disturbances related to menopause. In fact, fewer than 25% of Japanese and Chinese women complain of hot flushes, compared to more than 70% of North American and European women.

Moreover, they suffer from fewer cardiovascular diseases, breast cancers and osteoporosis. Researchers attempted to discover what, in Asian women's way of life, could explain this advantage. They also noted that when these women
emigrated to the United States, for example, and adopted the Western way of life, they were gradually affected by the same problems as Western women. This led the researchers to conclude that the difference was definitely due to Asian women's diet.

This positive effect is attributed to isoflavones, which are naturally present in soya. Isoflavones form part of the molecules that, when consumed, act in a similar fashion to estrogens. These molecules are known as "phytoestrogens."

Daidzein and genistein are the two principal soya isoflavones. Once ingested, they are modified by the intestine. Daidzein then becomes equol, which is the most estrogenic of all the isoflavone metabolites, therefore having the most advantages for treating the symptoms of menopause.

Phyto Soya capsules contain a soya germ extract whose distinctive feature is that it is richer in daidzein than in genistein.