Isoflavones as a Treatment for Anxiety and Depression?

Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals that belong to the larger polyphenol class. Flavonoids have been shown to have particular health effects, one of which may be improvements in mood. This may relate directly to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of flavonoids. One sub-group of flavonoids is the isoflavones. These flavonoids possess some of the metabolic effects of other flavonoids, but in addition may be able to act on the hormonal system. In this regard they can balance oestrogen excess or deficiency and are therefore useful in the treatment of female hormone disorders including the menopause. The menopause is associated with mood changes and can be a risk factor for the development of anxiety and depression. By helping alleviate the negative symptoms of the menopause, isoflavones may indirectly improve mood and lower the risk of developing anxiety and depression in females of menopausal age. Isoflavones are present in a number of herbs including red clover (Trifolium pratense).

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Lipovac, M., Chedraui, P., Gruenhut, C., Gocan, A., Stammler, M. and Imhof, M. 2010. Improvement of postmenopausal depressive and anxiety symptoms after treatment with isoflavones derived from red clover extracts. Maturitas. 65(3): 258-261

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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