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Fermented or Unfermented? Soy for Menopause

Soy is often talked about as being something to try for relief from menopause symptoms, but there are so many different kinds of soy available, from tofu to soy milk and various soy derivatives, as well as both fermented and unfermented varieties, that it can be difficult to know which is likely to be best.

Fermented soy and unfermented soy might originate from the same source, but they can actually have very different effects on the body, and one may be more beneficial than the other in menopause.

Let’s take a look at which type is most likely to have benefits for you during menopause, and how you can incorporate it into your lifestyle more.

What is Fermented Soy?

Fermenting typically refers to the process of converting carbohydrates into an organic acid, so when you buy a product that contains fermented soy, you can be sure you’re getting a natural ingredient.

This process is believed to make soy healthier than leaving it unfermented. Examples of fermented soy products include miso and naturally brewed soy sauce.

Unfermented Soy

In contrast, unfermented soy has been left in its original state, with examples of this type of soy including soy milk, tofu and edamame beans.

There is some concern that consuming too much unfermented soy could result in a nutritional imbalance in your body, as you may not be able to absorb important nutrients quite as easily.

What’s more, unfermented soy contains oxalic acids, which may promote inflammation, and enzyme inhibitors that could affect your body’s ability to break food down into essential nutrients.

Fermented Soy for Menopause

While unfermented soy products such as tofu and soy milk can be healthy when consumed in moderation, it’s fermented soy that is more likely to have benefits for you in menopause.

You might have read that women in Japan typically experience fewer or less severe menopause symptoms than women in the UK, and that’s believed to be due to the higher levels of fermented soy in their diet.

In addition, fermented soy contains vitamin K2, which can help to maintain nerve, muscle and bone health, meaning it could have multiple benefits for you during menopause, assisting you with managing brain fog, aches and pains, and weakening bone density, all of which are common symptoms.

Vitamin K2 may also help to support the vascular flow in your brain, contributing to maintaining your memory and concentration, which can both decline as your oestrogen levels naturally fall around the time of menopause.

Where to Find Soy for Menopause Support

Eating more miso soup and adding naturally brewed soy sauce to your food aren’t necessarily long-term options for incorporating more fermented soy into your lifestyle, but menopause supplements can be.

Many contain ingredients that have been derived from fermented soy, such as DT56a, which is found in each product in the Femarelle® range.

Soy itself is a phytoestrogen, or plant oestrogen, and DT56a is able to mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body, targeting the areas where it is likely to have the most impact, without leading to unwanted negative effects in the breast and uterine tissues.

Interested in seeing if Femarelle® could help you on your menopause journey? Shop this range of natural supplements here.