Phytoestrogen supplementation to improve cognition

Resveratrol, a phytoestrogen, can improve cognitive function in postmenopausal women by enhancing cerebral vasodilator responsiveness (1) . In this study, the authors examine the effects of supplementation on cognition and compare resveratrol to other phytoestrogens. Databases were searched and randomized controlled trials were included in an analysis. Six soy isoflavone studies showed positive cognitive effects of medium size. Greater benefits were seen in women who were less than 10 years postmenopausal and supplemented for less than 6 months. 150-200mg of resveratrol daily for at least 14 weeks showed benefits. No benefits were seen in three studies using red clover or grape formulations. The authors conclude that supplementation with either soy isoflavone or resveratrol improved executive function and memory domains of cognitively normal older adults in half of the included studies, mostly with medium effect sizes. The cognitive benefit of resveratrol was related to improved cerebral perfusion.