Soy isoflavones significantly improve cognitive performance

10th June 2011 by Janice Wilson MRPharmS

Soy isoflavones significantly improve cognitive performance in postmenopausal women

Two studies by the research group of Prof. Louise Dye, Human Appetite Research Unit, the Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds, demonstrate a statistically significant effect of the consumption of soy isoflavones on specific aspects of memory in postmenopausal women.

In 21 postmenopausal women, 100mg/d soy isoflavones taken for 8 weeks improved specific indices of verbal learning and memory after 4 weeks, and frontal lobe functioning after 8 weeks. Soy isoflavones were found to exert stronger cognitive effects in postmenopausal women compared to premenopausal women.  The physiological response to soy isoflavones may differ between postmenopausal and premenopausal women.  Circulating oestrogen was not significantly affected by soy isoflavones in the premenopausal women, but there was a significant increase in peripheral oestrogen in the postmenopausal women.

It is well established that endogenous oestrogen levels play an important role in cognition. Oestrogen levels are also linked with neurodegeneration with age and cognitive decline in postmenopausal women.

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