Equol + resveratrol supplements may improve quality of life for healthy women

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/aga7ta
© iStock/aga7ta

Related tags Menopausal symptoms Menopause

A combination of equol and resveratrol may improve “quality of life” measures in healthy, post-menopausal women, says a new study from Italy.

Results of the randomized, placebo-controlled study indicated that 12 weeks of supplementation with 200 mg of fermented soy containing 10 mg of equol and 25 mg of resveratrol resulted in improvements in measures of quality of life, including vaginal dryness, heart discomfort, work and activities, and sleep.

“To our knowledge, this is the first human study specifically conducted to investigate the effectiveness of equol and resveratrol on [health-related quality of life (HRQoL)] in healthy menopausal women,”​ wrote the researchers in Maturitas​.

Equol & resveratrol

Individuals have different abilities to produce equol – an isoflavandiol that may have beneficial effects on prostate health, bone health, and for managing menopausal symptoms. Equol is produced in the gut by bacteria, but only 30-50% of people are reported to have the intestinal bacteria necessary to produce it.

The researchers used a daily dose of equol of 10 mg, which they state is effective for menopausal symptoms without any serious adverse events, according to several clinical trials  

Resveratrol is a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical often touted as the bioactive compound in grapes and red wine.

“Although there are no human studies regarding the effects of resveratrol on menopausal signs and symptoms, a recent trial demonstrated that resveratrol may enhance mood and cognition in postmenopausal women,” ​explained the researchers.

Study details

Woman walking © DonFord1
Image © iStock/DonFord1

Sixty health, post-menopausal women were recruited to participate in the study and randomly assigned to consume the equol-resveratrol supplement or placebo for 12 weeks.

Results showed that, according to scores on the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS), vaginal dryness was reported by 93% of participants in both groups at the start of the study, but by only 13% after three months of supplementation with equol and resveratrol. In the placebo group, 90% of  still reported the issue after three months. Similar reductions were seen for heart discomfort (from 63% to 13% for the active group) and sexual problems (from 100% to 27%).

Improvements were also recorded on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), said the researchers. “Interestingly, we found a significant improvement at 3 months from baseline in reducing anxiety and loss of interest in activity,” ​they wrote. “Due to the high co-occurrence of depression, anxiety and menopause complaints in the postmenopausal population, this finding is particularly important because there is a paucity of human studies with phytoestrogens that address these aspects in the menopause management.”

Improvements in sleep quality were also recorded after equol-resveratrol supplementation, according to the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). 

“The present study provides evidence in support of the hypothesis that a combination of phytoestrogens has the potential of a safe and effective approach for reducing menopausal symptoms,” ​wrote the researchers.

“Replication of the study in larger cohorts with multiple HRQoL assessments is necessary.”

Source: Maturitas
Volume 96, Pages 77-83, doi:
“Influence of equol and resveratrol supplementation on health-related quality of life in menopausal women: A randomized, placebo-controlled study”
Authors: S. Davinelli, et al. 

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