Q. Recently you wrote an article about the menopause and said that tofu (soya bean curd), helps to reduce hot flushes. I hate the taste of the tofu and wondered what are the specific benefits of soya regarding flushing and is there any other way to take it ? Mrs J. Wright. Newcastle.

A. Soya beans are a rich source of isoflavones, hormone like substances which have a similar chemical structure to the oestrogen produced within our bodies. There is no such word as flushing in the Japanese ( or Mexican) language, because the staple diet for the majority of the population is rich in soya beans which are high in isoflavones.

However – when Eastern women begin eating a Western diet high in animal protein, processed, pre-packaged and refined foods, they too suffer flushes. Soya flour and milk, vegetables and certain grains also contain these substances, but in smaller quantities. As you hate the taste of tofu, try taking soya extract tablets (that do not contain genetically engineered soya) twice daily for several months which should help. For details call Blackmores on 0208 843 3956 . For further help read Beat The Menopause without HRT by Maryon Stewart. £10-00 Headline.