Soy and Menstruation

Excerpts from ABOUT SOY AND FERTILITY by Bryanna Clark Grogan

In a 1993 study, women living in a controlled environment for two months had an average increase of two and a half days in the length of time between menstrual periods when they ate soy, which attests to the powerful effect phytoestrogens can have on a woman’s body.

Dr. Kenneth Setchell of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Cincinnati has done much research on just this subject, and found that, on average, the length of time between periods increased by 2 to 5 days when young women ate 60 g (about 2 oz.) of textured soy protein (a pretty concentrated soy food) a day. A longer time between periods is considered beneficial in terms of breast cancer, since the body has less lifetime exposure to estrogen.

This type of evidence has led a few scientists to wonder if eating large amounts of soy can lower fertility, but most authorities, including Mark Messina, Ph.D., author of The Simple Soybean and Your Health, points out that Chinese and Japanese women have no trouble with fertility levels, despite daily high soy intake. Kenneth Setchell, Ph.D., professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Cincinnati says that, though soy lengthens the cycle, it does not prevent ovulation and there is still a normal menstrual cycle.

Eating soy can increase the length of time between menstruation. This decreases the exposure to estrogen, which has been proven to be beneficial in the prevention of breast cancer. Many women have found that by regularly incorporating soy as a whole food in their diet.

You can enjoy a simple smoothie made with soymilk and fresh or frozen fruit each morning for a delightful and delicious breakfast.