The Estrogen Alternative: The Soy Solution for Menopause (Book)

Article Conference CoverageFrom the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Seattle Washington, October 2002

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Hugo Verhoeven, MD: “Good afternoon my name is Hugo Verhoeven from the Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Dusseldorf, Germany. I’m on the Editorial Board of and I’m reporting from the ASRM meeting in Seattle. It is a great pleasure to talk this afternoon with Professor Machelle Seibel who is Professor of Clinical OBGYN at University of Massachusetts. I had the pleasure to read his newest book, it’s called “The Estrogen Alternative, the Soy Solution for Menopause”. Dr. Seibel, thank you very much for giving me this possibility to talk to you. So I heard this is the tenth book you wrote?”

Machelle Seibel, MD: “That’s correct.”

Hugo Verhoeven, MD: “Why did you write this book?”

Machelle Seibel, MD: “Well, as you know about the recent published data of the Women’s Health Initiative, women are incredibly worried about taking estrogen, and in my practice, and I’m sure in practices throughout the world, many women are coming off of estrogen in great numbers. In fact, even a year ago with the AGRS study, already we knew there were concerns about estrogen. So what I attempted to do was to realize that even before only 15% to 20% of women were taking estrogen for more than one year and only 30% really try it ever. For that reason, most women who approach menopause are actually looking for something else besides estrogen so one of the things that I was interested in looking at, and writing about, was soy because it is so beneficial for so many reasons.”

Hugo Verhoeven, MD: “This is a book for patients?”

Machelle Seibel, MD: “It is intended for patients but it is written at a level that a doctor could gain information and it’s highly referenced. Every bit of the information that’s in this book has a reference to support the back up of what it says.”

Hugo Verhoeven, MD: “Could you give us an overview of the content of the book?”

Machelle Seibel, MD: “Yes, indeed. In fact it starts off with a discussion of what is menopause and perimenopause which of course is important for people to understand, and then it goes into the story of the estrogen question because what is the confusion about estrogen? Why is it so worrisome to women? What are the risks and the benefits? And tries to balance that for them. And after that it goes into talking about soy, the basics of Soya, understanding what that’s about. Soy for hot flashes, soy for osteoporosis, soy for heart disease, soy for cancer and cancer prevention, and then other health benefits of soy. And then for those individuals who are not keen on soy for whatever reason, or would like to think about other herbal approaches or non-estrogen approaches, I have another section that speaks about the black cohosh and ginseng and all of the many alternatives to estrogen other than soy that women use and then it concludes with a discussion of how to incorporate soy into your life. For instance, do you want to eat it as a food, and if so, in the state of the bean or in the ground beans, or tofu, or edamame which are the small green peas, or in the form of supplements? And I even go through a discussion of the regulation of the herbal industry and how we came to have the current recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration. About how it works, the DeShay Regulations, which are the guidelines for the guidance in the supplement industry, so that people can have an understanding. And then I go in and explain how it interacts with different foods you might eat, how these herbs might interact with different medicines you might take. So it gives people a chance to really help themselves and to come to the doctor forewarned and armed with information that can be useful to them because, in America, I don’t know what it’s like in other parts of the world, but in America the number of minutes you get with a doctor is reduced to about eight minutes per visit. So many times the woman doesn’t get to ask her questions and if she doesn’t have her questions really formulated, so she’s in a position to come in and say ‘this is my concerns’, she can’t even get them answered at all. So this allows the woman to help herself, empowers her to come in and have that opportunity.”

Hugo Verhoeven, MD: “So you give the patient practical tips how to manage herself, her therapy, is that correct?”

Machelle Seibel, MD: “Well, what I’m saying is, it does do that, and it gives you …but it’s not intended to be the doctor. It’s to provide, to give unbiased information so that when the woman does come in, she in fact has the information to ask you questions and to make decisions and to help herself along the way.”

Hugo Verhoeven, MD: “So this book is available everywhere and it cost $14.00. Maybe we should show the book quickly. So, once again it’s called: “The Estrogen Alternative: The Soy Solution for Menopause” by Dr. Seibel, available everywhere. Well, Dr. Seibel, thank you very much for giving me this interview.”

Machelle Seibel, MD: “It’s a pleasure.”

Hugo Verhoeven, MD: “And I wish you all the best for your 11th book.”

Machelle Seibel, MD: “Thank you so much for inviting me and for having me.”

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