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Impact of microbiota on the use and effects of isoflavones in the relief of climacteric symptoms in menopausal women – A review

Monteiro, Naice E.S., Queirós, Lívia D., Lopes, Danielle B., Pedro, Adriana O., Macedo, Gabriela A.
Journal of functional foods 2018 v.41 pp. 100-111
adverse effects, bioavailability, chemical structure, estradiol, hormone replacement therapy, intestinal microorganisms, isoflavones, menopause, metabolism, neoplasms, plant estrogens, probiotics, risk, stroke, women, women's health
Menopause is a natural event that occurs in women around the age of 50 years, causing irregularities in the menstrual cycle until its complete end, due to the hormonal deficit, especially estrogen, that causes several unpleasant urogenital and vasomotor symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy has many benefits, but should be prescribed with caution in women with a history of stroke, thromboembolic events, certain types of cancer, or increased risk (genetic predisposition) for these events, so many women seek alternatives to hormonal therapy. Phytoestrogens, especially isoflavones, have many benefits in the climacteric phase, due to the similarity of their chemical structure with the hormone estradiol (E2), reducing the rate of menopause side effects and resulting in symptom relief. Furthermore, the isoflavones may still have their effects potentiated by an intestinal microbiota modulated with probiotic strains, which act on metabolism and increase the bioavailability of these phytoestrogens, and can benefit menopausal women's health.