Menopause is characterized by a decrease of estrogen and progesterone levels. It is also associated with deleterious changes in body composition and blood lipids that increase the risks of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Physical activity and hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) have been suggested to act in synergy on important risk factors. However, HRT has recently been associated with a greater risk of CVD in older women, which has lead to an acute interest in alternative therapies. Soy isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogens, have shown beneficial effects on body composition of peri- and postmenopausal Japanese women. Recently, some studies combining isoflavones and exercise have suggested potential actions on risk factors of CVD.
Keywords: Aged, Menopause, Cardiovascular diseases, Physical activity, Body composition, Phytoestrogens, Soy isoflavones
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