Although many women consider soy products a natural alternative to estrogen, post-menopausal women who take daily powder supplements don’t get a boost to their overall critical-thinking ability, according to new research. The conclusion comes from the Women’s Isoflavone Soy Health Trial, a study founded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Researchers evaluated a large sample of postmenopausal women given soy or milk protein (as a placebo) in soy or bar form. The soy testers were given 25 grams of the protein daily.
At the start of the study and again, two and a half years later, the subjects were given a variety of cognitive tests to determine if the soy supplements had an effect. Among functions studied were verbal memory (such as names), visual memory (such as faces) and other cognitive benchmarks.
Overall, researchers found no significant differences between the two groups and determined that soy had little impact on memory, although they did note some improvements for soy takers in the area of visual memory.