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  • Updated:15 Sep 2006

05.Soy linseed and phytoestrogens

The claims

  • “Soy and linseeds contain phytoestrogens, reported to be beneficial for women’s wellbeing.”
    - MOLENBERG Swiss Bake.
  • “For women’s wellbeing … including soy and linseed that are beneficial for women’s health.”
    - BURGEN Soy-Lin.

The facts

Phytoestrogens are substances found in some plants, such as soy and linseed, which mimic the hormone oestrogen.

The theory is that they relieve the symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flushes, and protect against heart disease and some cancers, including breast cancer.

The verdict

There’s no consistent evidence that soy phytoestrogen extracts or soy products reduce the severity or frequency of hot flushes, and no evidence at all that linseed helps to relieve menopausal symptoms.

There’s also little evidence that phytoestrogens lower the risk of heart disease or breast cancer. So there’s no point buying soy and linseed bread unless you just like the taste.


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