loading page

Effects of phytoestrogens in the treatment of postmenopausal depressive disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  • +4
  • Li Jieyun,
  • Huijuan LI,
  • Yan Peijing,
  • Jingwen Li,
  • Jie Qiu,
  • Jiani Han,
  • Kehu Yang
Li Jieyun

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Huijuan LI
Author Profile
Yan Peijing
Author Profile
Jingwen Li
Author Profile
Kehu Yang
Evidence Based Medicine Center
Author Profile


Background:Menopause-related symptoms are now a major public health concern and depression is one of the most common and specific symptoms of post-menopause. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of different kinds of phytoestrogens in the remission of depression for postmenopausal women. Methods: A comprehensive search for relevant studies published between January 1, 1951 and June 30, 2020 was conducted in PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, Web of Science and EMBASE. Endnote X9 was used for screening articles, the Stata12.0 and Review Manager 5.3 for analyzing data. Results: Phytoestrogens had a have a significant positive effect on depressive symptoms for climacteric women compared to the placebo (SMD=-0.51; 95% [CI]=-0.74 to -0.29; I2=72.4%; P<0.05). The effectiveness in isoflavones (SMD=-0.64; 95% [CI]=-0.97 to -0.32; I2=56.2%, P>0.05) is slightly better than non-isoflavones (SMD=-0.5; 95%[CI]=-93 to -0.07; I2=72.8%, P<0.05). The total intake of phytoestrogens in the high dose group was the most effective in alleviating the symptoms of postmenopausal depression (SMD=-0.69; 95%CI=-1.09 to -0.35, P<0.05). Postmenopausal women in Europe had the best improvement in efficacy after taking phytoestrogens (SMD=-0.72, 95% CI=-1.09 to -0.35, I2=65.5%, P<0.05). Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that phytoestrogen significantly reduce depression among postmenopausal women, with more effect for larger dosages. Phytoestrogen should be considered as a safe and effective complementary medicine for postmenopausal symptoms in place of estrogens.