News: Equol supplement improves menopausal mood

June 1, 2009

An S-equol supplement significantly improved mood-related symptoms associated with pre-, peri-, and postmenopause.

An S-equol supplement made from Lactococcus garvieae spp in a dosage of 10 mg, three times daily for 12 weeks, significantly improved mood-related symptoms associated with pre-, peri-and postmenopause, including anxiety, depression, and listlessness, according to the findings of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Researchers randomly assigned 134 Japanese women between the ages of 40 and 59 years to receive either 10 mg of equol daily, 10 mg of equol three times daily (EQ-3), or placebo. Dietary intake of isoflavones for all of the women was limited to 20 mg daily.

Approximately one third (34%) of the participants were found to be natural equol producers, meaning after consuming approximately 50 mg of isoflavones at dinner, they excreted more than 10 ng/mL of equol in a 24-hour urine sample. S-equol supplementation made less of a difference in this group; their scores on the Profile of Mood States questionnaires were lower from the start.

Almost 95% of participants completed the study. Other than one systemic rash in the EQ-3 group, no adverse events or significant changes in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, or progesterone levels from baseline to the end of the 12-week study, regardless of menopausal status, were noted.

Ishiwata N, Melby MK, Mizuno S, et al. New equol supplement for relieving menopausal symptoms: randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Japanese women. Menopause. 2009;16:141-148.