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Why Do Women in Japan Have Fewer Hot Flushes?

Are you suffering from hot flushes, experiencing severe mood swings and wishing you could feel more like your old self? You’re not alone - this is a perfectly normal way to feel during menopause.

Did you know that very few women in Japan actually experience hot flushes, despite them being one of the most debilitating menopause symptoms of all? Could the answer to feeling better in yourself lie in whatever it is that means they aren’t affected by menopause in the same way?

Do Japanese Women Go Through Menopause?

Menopause occurs in all women, but it affects every individual differently. There are 34 symptoms of menopause in total; some women are lucky enough not to experience any, while others experience many different symptoms.

But in Japan, it is believed that only around seven per cent of women going through menopause suffer from hot flushes, compared to 55 per cent of those in the US.

In her book Hormone Deception, Dr Lindsay Berkson suggests that this may be due to Japanese women typically eating diets that contain a lot of soy, which naturally contains the compounds genistein and daidzein - both of which are classed as oestrogenic.

This means that they can act a little like natural oestrogen in the body, mimicking the hormone’s effects, which may explain why hot flushes are not as common in Japanese women.

Hot flushes can occur when a woman’s oestrogen levels drop, making her hypothalamus (internal thermostat) oversensitive, meaning the slightest change in temperature can result in an extreme level of sweating.

A study carried out in 2009 found that women in Japan tended to be less likely to report menopause symptoms overall, which could mean that they are simply suffering in silence. But the oestrogenic properties of soy may really be that powerful.

And if it is eating a soy-rich diet over a long-term period that’s responsible for women in some parts of the world avoiding hot flushes, can women in the UK do anything to make up for the lack of soy in their own diets?

Using Soy to Manage Menopause Symptoms

Soy extracts can be found in many menopause supplements due to their ability to mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body, therefore helping women to manage their menopause symptoms.

Natural ingredients derived from soy, like the DT56a found in Femarelle® supplements, can help to restore the balance of a woman’s hormones during menopause, when taken as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Taking soy extracts as part of a supplement can not only help with reducing the risk of hot flushes, but also other menopause symptoms, such as night sweats, mood swings, low energy levels and even loss of sex drive.

Find soy-based supplements to help you feel more like the best version of yourself during menopause here.