September is PCOS Awareness Month, and here’s something new to be aware of. According to a study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, consuming soy may help improve metabolic and cardiovascular health in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome.
PCOS is the leading cause of female infertility issues and increases a woman’s risk of serious health conditions such as insulin resistance, which elevates the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. PCOS is also associated with metabolic syndrome that contributes to both diabetes and heart disease.
The study examined how a diet containing soy isoflavones could help women with PCOS. Soy isoflavones are naturally occurring, plant-based estrogens found in the soybean plant. They are often found in foods such as soymilk, as well as supplements. Participants were divided into two groups taking either 50 milligrams of soy isoflavones or placebo every day for 12 weeks. The amount of soy is equivalent to the amount in 500 milliliters of soymilk.
Compared with the placebo group, the soy isoflavone group had significantly decreased circulating levels of insulin and other biological markers associated with insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Supplementation with soy isoflavones also resulted in significant reductions in testosterone, harmful cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides than those who received the placebo.
Talk to your doctor before making any significant changes in your diet.