Soy image Soy contains substances called isoflavones that possess both antioxidant and estrogen-like effects. Soy isoflavones occur in several forms: as free isoflavones (“isoflavone aglycones”) and as “isoflavone glycosides,” in which the isoflavone is attached to one or another sugar-like substance (a “glycone”). Isoflavone aglycones are the most pure form of isoflavones, and it has been hypothesized (but not proven) that they are more effective than other forms.

A study published in May 2007 tested the effectiveness of isoflavone aglycones for treatment of aging skin . In this double-blind trial, 26 Japanese women in their late 30s and early 40s were either given placebo or 40 mg daily of soy isoflavone aglycones for 12 weeks. Researchers monitored two types of wrinkles near the eye: “fine” wrinkles and “linear” wrinkles. The results indicated that use of the soy product significantly reduced “fine” wrinkles as compared to placebo. Effects on “linear” wrinkles were not significant.

As a secondary measure, researchers also analyzed skin elasticity, and found an improvement in the women given the isoflavones as compared to those given placebo.

NOTE: This was much too small a study for its results to be taken as reliable. In addition, it was funded and conducted by a major supplier of soy products.

For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full isoflavone article .