soy beans
Taking soy supplements may not help women ease their menopause symptoms or prevent the bone changes that start at that time of life, suggests a new study from Florida. Reuters

Menopausal women suffering from unbearable hot flashes will not get any benefits from soy, according to a new study.

"The consumption of soy foods and soy supplements has dramatically increased in the last few years, particularly among women who start taking various over-the-counter products around the time of menopause, believing that these products will provide all the benefits and none of the risks of menopausal hormone therapy," said Silvina Levis, the lead author of the study and director of the Osteoporosis Center at the Miller School of Medicine of the University of Miami.

The $3 million study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The participants ranged in age from 45 to 60 and they were all within five years of menopause. They were put in two groups. One group received soy isoflavone tablets, the other received a placebo. Neither group knew what they were taking.

The women were then monitored for two years. They received bone density tests at the beginning and at the end of the study.

There was no "meaningful" difference in the bone loss rate, according to the study.

On the bright side, soy will not cause any harmful effects, Levis said.

There was, however, an interesting difference in the two groups.

"The women on the soy tablets actually had more constipation and abdominal bloating," Levis said.

Luckily, there are natural ways for women to get nice and cool.

For more natural remedies to hot flashes, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that women avoid triggers such as spicy foods, stress and caffeine. They also advise women to dress in layers and remove some when they feel a hot flash coming on. Other natural remedies include taking deep breaths when a hot flash starts and keeping a fan around at home or in the office.