Phytoestrogens: Dietary phytoestrogens and menopause in Japan

by Paul Bergner

Medical Herbalism 4(4):9

Researchers evaluating the levels of plant estrogens in Japanese women who eat a low fat diet high in soy products have suggested that unusually high levels of isoflavonoids found in their urine may help account for the low incidence of menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes in that population. The isoflavonoids genestein, daidzein, and equol were found in levels from one hundred to one thousand times those in women in control groups in the U.S. and Finland. The authors say these compounds bind to estrogen receptors and have weak estrogen effects.

Look for a lengthier article on isoflavonoids in medicinal herbs in a future issue of Medical Herbalism.

Adlercreutz H, Hämäläinen E, Gorbach S, Goldin B. “Dietary phyto-estrogens and the menopause in Japan” (letter) Lancet 339:1233 (May 16, 1992)

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