Soy miracle food for women

Shannon O'Neil

Dr. Victoria Rand addressed an audience of 300 women concerned with how to prevent and heal the effects of menopause, breast cancer, weak bones, and cholesterol.

She spoke at the 11th Annual Women and Wellness Conference Saturday with a speech titled, “Herbal Therapies & Women’s Health; What Harms, What Helps.”

Aging women are faced with the challenge of choosing the right treatments and supplements to deal with their health problems. Some treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, may help relieve the side effects of menopause, but they also have the potential to cause breast cancer.

Rand rated supplements on a scale of red, yellow, and green lights. Most are considered yellow lights because they have sufficient data on side effects and pros and cons. Supplements marked by red lights often have no available data and severe side effects.

Rand received her doctorate at Cornell University Medical College and is board certified in internal medicine with training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other complimentary therapies.

She is a volunteer professor at the University of California at San Francisco, and also maintains private practice in both internal medicine and acupuncture in the San Francisco area. She ha s written articles and journals on herbal medicine including “Curbside Consent: Where Can I Find Quality Information about Herbal & Other Complimentary Medicines?” which provides links to books, newsletters, and websites about her studies. “One of our biggest responsibilities as women is to maintain our health,” Rand said.

For menopausal symptoms, she suggests black cohosh, which originated to heal female ailments. Today, this supplement is recommended for women with a low risk of breast cancer and shouldn’t be taken if pregnant.

She went on to focus on soy. She said that soy products are better for younger women with a greater chance to prevent disease, whereas older women are already at risk. She doesn’t always recommend soy because there are precautions to take while on other medications.

She does, however, recommend flax. Flax contains phytochemicals providing estrogen and health benefits to females, but Rand suggests flax for everyone, including males. The seeds can be ground and taken with food as a form of hormonal therapy.

In closing her speech, Rand offered two websites to consult when questioning supplements. She said to visit www. consumerlab.com to learn what ingredients each supplement contains, and www.naturaldatabase.com for informational on herbs and supplements.

-Shannon O’Neil is a

Journalism 101 student.