Cardiovascular Disease, Menopause, and Isoflavones Supplementation

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major threat to women in the western world. While breast cancer is more common around the age of menopause, the risk of CVD is 1 in 2, as compared to 1 in 26 for breast cancer. Relevance of CVD in menopausal women is not well understood, but risk factors for CVD can be modified by managing them (hypertension, diabetes) with modification of lipids. Premenopausal women are at low risk for CVD, but probability increases with age. (Dubey et al., 2005). With age comes an increase in weight, which is linked to increased risks of metabolic disorders such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases (Lemay et al., 2010). Estrogen deficiency in the post menopausal phase, is a …show more content…
Various epidemiological studies reported a reduced risk of CVD among women prescribed Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) ovarian function stop (Sammartino, Cirillo, Mandato, Di Carlo & Nappi, 1991) and few have found that found that postmenopausal women who use estrogen are at lower risk for coronary disease than those who do not use estrogen (4); however, most data are for estrogen alone (Stampfer, Colditz & Willet, 1995). Another epidemiological study showed that when menopausal women consume a high soy diet they have lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference as compared to their no soy consumption control groups (Gordon, Kanel, Hjortland & McNamara, 1978). A small scale clinical trial revealed that a 3-month daily 20 g soy protein + 160 mg isoflavones supplement barred the increase in subcutaneous and total abdominal fat, but not visceral fat in postmenopausal Caucasian women(Setchell, 1998). This same research group recently reported that a daily 20 g soy protein + 160 mg isoflavones supplement for three months reduced abdominal fat in both obese Caucasian and African-American postmenopausal women (Ingham, 1983). Besides the direct vascular effects of estrogen, approximately 30% of their antiatherogenic action reflects their influence on

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