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Soy and Psychotropic Effects: A Brief Overview

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Psychiatry and Neuroscience Update

Abstract

Isoflavones first came to the attention of the scientific community in the 1940s because of fertility problems observed in sheep grazing on a type of isoflavone-rich clover. It was not until the 1990s, largely because of research sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, that the role of soy foods in disease prevention began to receive widespread attention. Subsequently, isoflavones and soy foods were being studied for their ability to alleviate hot flashes and inhibit bone loss in postmenopausal women. In 1995, soy protein attracted worldwide attention for its ability to lower cholesterol. At that same time, isoflavones began to be widely discussed as potential alternatives to conventional hormone therapy. There are other aspects about soy isoflavones to investigate that have been less studied. These are the psychotropic effects on anxiety, depression, and cognitive symptoms in menopausal women. The few studies that were found regarding the antidepressant effects of soy concluded that the administration of soybean could act as an alternative to estrogens in the treatment of depressive disorders during menopause. There were very few studies about soy in menopausal anxiety symptoms and cognitive symptoms. More studies are necessary in human beings with the goal of elucidating the role of soy in cognition in menopausal women. This chapter is a brief overview based on evidence from the past decade about the use of soy isoflavones in the treatment of the menopausal psychological symptoms.

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Correspondence to Rose E. Nina Estrella M.D., Ph.D. .

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Nina Estrella, R.E. (2015). Soy and Psychotropic Effects: A Brief Overview. In: Gargiulo, P., Arroyo, H. (eds) Psychiatry and Neuroscience Update. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17103-6_14

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17103-6_14

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