• Women's Health Research
Research Article

Menopausal Women In South Italy: Assumption Of Soy Isoflavone Based Products, Effects And Interference With Levothyroxine Treatment

Women's Health Research [2018; 2(2):1-8]
Received: 24 October 2018, Accepted: 16 November 2018, Published: 21 November 2018

*Corresponding Author:

Anna Maria D’Ursi, Osservatorio interdipartimentale per gli Studi di Genere e le Pari Opportunità (OGEPO), Universityof Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, I-84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy. Email: dursi@unisa.it; magrimaldi@unisa.it


Please cite this paper as: Rita Patrizia Aquino, Manuela Grimaldi, Massimo UldericoDe Martino, Paola Sabatini, Antonio Grasso, Anna Maria D’Ursi. Menopausal Women In South Italy: Assumption Of Soy Isoflavone Based Products, Effects And Interference With Levothyroxine Treatment. Women’s Health Research [2018] 1(1): 1-8.




Menopause is a physiological condition that all women experience as a normal part of aging which main symptoms are hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, vaginal dryness, moodiness, and irritability. However, women in menopause may have unfavourable levels in several risk factors for osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. This study was carried out to determine the effect of soy isoflavone dietary supplements in reducing menopause symptoms and in causing potential side effects in a population of women from Salerno District, Campania Region, South Italy.



Personal data, reasons for the soy isoflavone assumption, menopausal symptoms and their improvements by isoflavones intake as well as potential undesirable effects were recorded using a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed by the OLAP method (Online Analytical Processing).


Data from a total of 117 women (sample A) in menopause over three year’s period were analysed. The age of the participants ranged from 39 to 68 years. A subset of the target population (53 participants, sub-sample B) suffered from thyroid dysfunction and co-assumed isoflavones supplements and levothyroxine.

The participants used soy isoflavones supplements in response to the advice of the pharmacist (44% in B compared to 37% in A), medical prescription (32% in B compared to 36% in A) whereas marketing advertising or for self-medication account for 24% in B and 27% in A.

102 participants (87.18% of A) described an improvement of menopause syndrome; all symptoms disappeared in 46.85% of sample A and 51.22% of sub-sample B. Interestingly, hot flashes, sweating and moodiness decreased in 20.72, 12.61 and 10.81% of A, respectively, and in very similar manner in B. Fifteen women described no improvement of menopause syndrome, and two out these participants reported gastrointestinal disorders. Eight participants reported very mild undesired effects. Worthy of notice five out the above eight undesired effects were registered in sub-sample B.



The effective of soy isoflavone supplements in improving quality of life seems to be substantially high in women in menopause and only slight side effects were registered, mainly in the sub-sample taking levothyroxine. Efforts to minimize the problem by accurate information should be promoted and provided to women as well as a careful monitoring of so-called “natural” supplements.

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