Genistein Is the Safe and Effective Solution To Menopausal Symptoms
By Dr. James G. Elliott Ph.D.
Hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopause in 50-70% of menopausal women in developed countries and estrogen hormone replacement therapy is highly effective in alleviating these symptoms. However, in recent years the use of estrogen hormone therapy has been substantially reduced due to the finding in the large Women’s Health Initiative study that it increases risk of stroke and breast cancer. Thus, there is a need for a safe and non-hormonal alternative for hot flashes. One of the most highly studied alternatives is soybean isoflavones. It was suspected that soybeans contain compounds to help reduce menopausal symptoms since Asian countries where soybean consumption is much higher than in Western counties only 20-25% of postmenopausal women experience hot flashes.
Soy isoflavones are naturally occurring in soybeans and consist of three compounds called genistein, daidzein, and glycitein which make up approximately 50%, 40%, and 10% of the total soybean isoflavone content, respectively. Since the mid 1990s, dozens of studies have been conducted with isoflavones to determine if they will alleviate menopausal symptoms. Yet the findings have been very mixed and it was it was proposed only recently that soy products with genistein as the predominate isoflavone were consistently effective and those with daidzein as the predominate isoflavone were mostly ineffective. This proposal has now been confirmed in four clinical intervention studies with postmenopausal women given pure genistein.
Two studies were conducted in Sicily with postmenopausal women given a pure natural genistein extract for 1 and 2 years, respectively. In the first study published in 2004 by Crisafulli and coauthors in the journal Menopause, 98 postmenopausal women suffering from approximately 5 hot flashes per day were given a daily dose of 54 mg of genistein or a placebo for 12 months. After 3, 6 and 12 months the women given genistein had statistically significant reductions by comparison to placebo of 22, 29 and 24%, respectively. The same group conducted a much larger study with 389 postmenopausal women over 2 years given 54 mg/day of genistein or a placebo. The one year results published in 2007 by D’Anna and coauthors in Menopause showed effectiveness in the genistein group after one month which reached its peak after 12 months at 56.4% reduction in hot flashes. The second year of the study published by D’Anna and coauthors in a 2009 issue of Menopause showed no further decrease after 24 months beyond the 56.4% decrease seen at 12 months. A third study also conducted in Italy by Albertazzi and coauthors and published in Climacteric in 2005 gave 90 mg/day of genistein or placebo to 100 postmenopausal women in a crossover study for 6 weeks. Although there was no effect of genistein on hot flashes in the entire group, women who had more than 9 hot flashes per day had a 31.25% reduction in the genistein group compared to a 20% reduction in the placebo group.
A fourth clinical intervention study with a pure synthetic genistein was competed and reported by Elliott and coauthors in 2009 and is currently in press. In this placebo-controlled study 84 postmenopausal women received 30 mg of genistein or a placebo for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks the women on genistein had a 51% reduction on hot flashes compared to only 27% for the women in the placebo, a highly significant difference. Compared to placebo, this reduction in hot flashes at 12 weeks (51-27%) was a net reduction of 24% which is very similar to the 29% net reduction seen in the study of Crisafulli and coauthors. What is particularly noteworthy about this study is that the dose was 30 mg versus 54 mg in the Sicily studies and a daily genistein intake of 30 mg falls well within the range consumed by Asians who eat traditional soy foods. The genistein used in this study is branded as geniVida®, a product of DSM Nutritional Products. It is 99% pure, soy-free, allergen-free and has an extensive package of safety studies in animals and humans which demonstrate it is safe for daily use.
The geniVida® used in the above study is now available in a new product for hot flash relief called i-cool.
About the Author:
Dr. Elliott has been a clinical nutrition researcher in the food and nutritional supplement industries for over 40 years. During this time, Dr. Elliott has helped develop a number of the leading nutritional health products found on the market today.
Q: What is i-cool and what is it made from?
A: i-cool is a clinically proven supplement that helps reduce hot flash, night sweats, mood swings, and other symptoms of menopause including irritability, difficulty in sleeping, dry or itchy eyes, vaginal dryness, poor skin tone, loss of interest in sex, difficulty in concentrating, feeling tired or lacking in energy, memory loss. i-cool relies on geniVida non-soy genistein and does not contain black cohosh, soy, estrogen, or other hormones. i-cool is a safe and effective alternative to HRT.
Q: What is geniVida and genistein?
A: Genistein is the most predominate isoflavone found in soy. Pure genistein has been proven to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. geniVida brand genistein is not made from soy but it has an identical chemical structure. This allows for all the benefits of genistein without the side effects and disadvantage of soy based genistein.
Q: How do we know i-cool helps reduce menopause symptoms?
A: Multiple double blind placebo controlled studies have been conducted with genistein. These studies consistently found that menopausal women experience significant reduction in hot flashes and night sweats when taking genistein. Another study showed 9 out of 10 women taking i-cool experienced a reduction in hot flashes. Relief from other menopause symptoms was also observed.
Q: How long should I take i-cool before seeing results?
A: While i-cool can work as quickly as one week, on average women experience a 30% decrease in hot flashes after taking i-cool for one month. Studies have shown further reductions in hot flash can occur for up to one year, after which the benefits remain the same.
Q: Is it safe to take i-cool every day?
A: Yes. Numerous safety studies have been conducted on geniVida, the active ingredient in i-cool. They have all shown that geniVida is safe when taken at the recommended dosage.
Q: How does i-cool work?
A: During and after menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels drop. This drop often brings on discomforting symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and mood changes, as well as the rapid loss of bone that can lead to bone health problems. The pure genistein in i-cool combats this drop in estrogen and alleviates, if not eliminates, miserable menopausal symptoms.
Q: How many pills should I take each day?
A: You only need to take one tiny pill per day. i-cool can be taken in the morning or evening. It is recommended you take i-cool at the same time each day.
Q: Does i-cool contain estrogen or other hormones?
Q: Does i-cool contain soy?
Q: Can women with allergies take i-cool?
A: i-cool is free of artificial dyes and colors, preservatives, flavors, soy, yeast, wheat, gluten, lactose, sugar, starch and animal products.
Q: If I’m allergic to soy, and geniVida is nature-identical to soy-based genistein, can I take i-cool?
A: Yes, geniVida is non-soy genistein.
Q: Does i-cool contain black cohosh?
Q: Why is the Red Hot Mamas name on the i-cool box?
A: The Red Hot Mamas organization is endorsing i-cool due to the successful results obtained by its members during a house-use study with geniVida.
Q: Who makes i-cool?
A: i-cool is manufactured by DSM, a Global life sciences company that has been in existence for over 100 years. DSM takes product, quality and efficacy very seriously. They provide the very highest quality vitamins for the supplement, food, and beverage brands that people use every day in over 49 countries.