Did you know plants also have female hormones? It is phytoestrogen or. So, is hormonal from plants safe for the human body? What are the benefits or harms that it brings? Who should or should not supplement phytoestrogen?
These questions will be answered in this article below
Table of Contents
What is Phytoestrogen?
The word "Phyto" in Greek word means plant, while "Oestrogen" is a hormone, which causes fertility in females of all mammals including humans. In the diet, ''phytoestrogens" are also called Oestrogens because they are not created by the endocrine system. They can only be supplemented through diet.
In nature, phytoestrogens exist in plants as a natural against herbivores. Plants produce these hormones to regulate the fertility of the animals that eat them.
Phytoestrogen Chemical Formulae Example
Benefits of Phytoestrogens?
Reducing or preventing certain types of cancer
Hormone-related cancers can be partially treated by eating the proper foods to regulate hormone levels in the body. There have been many studies on Phytoestroge's association with breast, and ovarian cancer, with a lot of results showing that they may actually be cancer treatments for some people.
Phytoestrogens are substances that have antioxidant effects, protecting the body's cells against carcinogens. Many studies show that in countries or regions with high consumption of phytoestrogens, the incidence of breast cancer is low. Women who received a phytoestrogen-rich diet reduced their risk of breast cancer by 54%. In addition, for women undergoing breast cancer treatment, adequate phytoestrogen supplementation will reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence and extend the lifetime!
Improving cardiovascular health
Phytoestrogens have been shown to improve cardiovascular health, especially for women who are in postmenopause. They can be used to treat arteriosclerosis, a disease characterized by an accumulation of fat in the arteries. They do this because they can regulate the levels of hormones and various chemicals in the body.
Improve health during menopause
Women over 40 usually are in menopause. Meanwhile, the body will stop producing many female hormones, including Oestrogen. After at least 12 months, the body will officially go through menopause and no longer have fertility
Premenopause can cause unpleasant symptoms including body heat, mood swings, decreased libido, and can continue after menopause.
One study found that phytoestrogens can significantly reduce hot flashes in people. Many other studies are finding their positive effects on body heat and other premenopausal symptoms.
Today, the use of phytoestrogens has become one of the common trends in the treatment of Oestrogen deficiency, such as perimenopause and menopause in women.
One study found that menopausal phytoestrogen supplements helped reduce 40--50% of hot flushes by consuming 50 to 80 mg/phytoestrogen a day for one year (Albertazzi and Purdie, 2002).
Another study also showed a significant improvement in hot flashes in women who used phytoestrogen capsules 50 mg/day for 6 weeks (Scambia et al., 2000).
Genistein phytoestrogen is emphasized in research to determine the impact of phytoestrogens on obesity. Because of its effects, genistein appears to be able to regulate obesity, although the reason why is still unclear.
The benefits of weight loss require more research to give specific conclusions, but these findings are encouraging. Of course, the best thing to combat obesity is a balanced diet and an active lifestyle.
Some reports recommend that phytoestrogens, especially in beer, can prolong the time to ejaculate and boost libido. The estrogenic effect of phytoestrogens from hops, bourbon and beer on the male body seems to help increase the duration and level of sexual satisfaction.
However, keep in mind that frequent phytoestrogen supplementation over the long term is not recommended for men - moderation is key.
Disadvantages of Phytoestrogens?
May adversely affect fertility
Studies show that a phytoestrogen-rich diet reduces the occurrence of pregnancy in humans, California quails, and fleas. In some of these examples, removing phytoestrogens from the diet reverts fertility.
Besides, exposure to two phytoestrogens, genistein and coumestrol, as a child, may have reproductive problems later. They may reduce sperm levels, but this is still unclear in various studies.
Of particular concern is the presence of phytoestrogens in soymilk, the long-term consequences of which are not fully understood. However, a number of studies suggest a possible negative correlation, including an increased likelihood of allergies, and menstrual bleeding. more severe and cramping in girls. Genistein has been identified as the most likely culprit.
There are conflicting opinions on whether they are toxic in the long-term. At least one study found no difference in soy milk drinkers compared to those given cow's milk, therefore, more research is needed to draw firm conclusions.
Stimulating potential breast cancer development
As I mentioned, phytoestrogens can prevent the growth of some cancers, such as breast cancer. However, a study from Canada found that low levels of phytoestrogens could actually accelerate breast cancer growth, as well as inhibiting the effects of tamoxifen, the drug used to treat advanced breast cancer. At higher concentrations, the opposite effect, causing tumours to shrink and enhance the effect of the drug.
Increased risks of cognitive impairment and memory loss
Another concern to note is the potential for mental impairment due to the high consumption of phytoestrogens. Many studies have shown a link between cognitive impairment, dementia, and phytoestrogen levels, but it is currently inconclusive.
The factors that can cause this impairment are numerous, depending on your age and thyroid condition, but it's important to take care of your brain - Don't over-add phytoestrogens, especially if you are endangered of cognitive disorders like dementia.
Supplements Containing Phytoestrogen
Many different supplements on the market are claiming to contain Phytoestrogen, many with low strengths and high strength, but what is exactly is safe and what is dangerous? Are there any supplements that I should be aware of? Or what supplements should I buy containing Phytoestrogen? We can answer both of these right below:
List of Phytoestrogen supples
- Breast enlargement oil - enhancement oil is extracted with natural ingredients, the majority of known breast increasing natural oils extracts are what most of the use commonly in our day to day lives anyway, check out our list on our article.
- Breast enlargement cream - many different breast enhancing creams contain an ingredient extremely powerful to increase breast size called Pueraria Mirifica. This ingredient is mixed in with Vitamin E and other natural ingredients that have been extracted and mixed with special machinery together.
- Breast enlargement tablets - tablets that can increase breast size "supposedly" have different ingredients, it depends on which tablets you purchase. The issue with these is that it increases your hormones everywhere, whereas other supplements you can directly apply to certain areas for extra benefit.
What foods contain Phytoestrogens?
As mentioned earlier, phytoestrogens are a number of compounds that are found in plant-based foods. Due to their potential for their beneficial effects on women, phytoestrogens are now available in a supplement form, which can be purchased from any chemist/health and supplement store. When deciding to purchase the supplement form, it's important to get advice from a doctor on the matter.
The supplement form can contain much higher levels of phytoestrogens than common food sources, which in turn could lead to too undesirable side effects. Hormone levels are best being checked before going down this road for the reasons just mentioned. As for the food sources, you would be surprised how many foods contain phytoestrogens. With that being said, here is a list of 10 food/beverage sources containing these phytoestrogens so you can be more aware of what to look out for.
List of Phyoestrogenic Foods
- Soy-based products
- Liquorice root
- Black cohosh
- Evening primrose
- Vegetable oil
Read More: 12 Foods That Increase Oestrogen Levels
A Few Things You Should Remember About Phytoestrogen
As we see, phytoestrogens are not easily classified as either healthy or unhealthy. The problem depends on the users, they are especially beneficial for women of menopause, but they also have adverse side effects, especially for men.
You should consult your doctor before adding phytoestrogens to your diet or remove them completely.
However, one thing for sure is that you should avoid soy as a main source of phytoestrogens. Instead, choose healthier, nutritious options like essential oils or certain vegetables. The debate is still raging in the research, but if you use it in moderation - properly, you can optimize its benefits while limiting their negative side effects.