Phytoestrogens: Do they work?
Black Cohosh Ginkgo Biloba Dong Quai Ginseng Red Clover Soy Vitex Macafem
Black Cohosh
Black cohosh grows in the woods of eastern North America
Ginkgo Biloba
Traditionally used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Dong Quai
Dong Quai is often referred to as "the female ginseng"
Ginseng
The Chinese word "rénshén" means "man root" in English
Red Clover
Originates from Asia, parts of Northern Africa, and Central Europe
Soy
Traditionally used in the Orient as a source of protein and medicine
Vitex
Vitex agnus-castus is also called chaste tree
Macafem
Originates from the Andean mountains of Perú

Phytoestrogens: Do they work?

Do Soy Products Contain Phytoestrogen?With so many therapies to treat menopause available on the market today, it´s hard to find out which one is right for you. One of the popular options seems to be phytoestrogens. But what are phytoestrogens and how do they work? Read on to find out the properties of phytoestrogens and their effects on menopause.

What are Phytoestrogens?

Phytoestrogens are a group of plant compounds similar to human hormones in their structure. Although most are non-steroidal, some plants do contain tiny amounts of steroidal estrogens that match those found within our body. They are categorized as either steroidal or non-steroidal. Steroidal phytoestrogens as the name suggests, contain either estradiol, estrone or estriol in small amounts. Non-steroidal phytoestrogens belong to the family of compounds called phenolics. These include the flavones, flavanones, flavanols, isoflavones and lignans. Isoflavones are especially prevalent in legumes such as soybeans and herbs such as Red clover.

How do Phytoestrogens Work?

Phytoestrogens work by mimicking estrogen activity when introduced into the body. They act either as weak estrogens or supply precursors to substances that affect our body´s estrogen activity. How they affect our tissue depends in part on how much estrogen our bodies are already producing and how saturated our receptor sites are. If estrogen levels are low, like in menopause, empty estrogen receptor sites can be filled by phytoestrogens, which exert a weak pro-estrogenic effect.

Do Soy Products Contain Phytoestrogen?If estrogen levels are high, such as women who suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and endometriosis, phytoestrogens will compete with our own natural estrogen stores for receptor sites. When phytoestrogens successfully bind, they decrease overall estrogenic activity because their effects on tissues is less than if estradiol (estrogen) had been allowed to bind.

Some studies indicated that the health benefits of phytoestrogens include cardiovascular disease and protection against osteoporosis.

Where Are Phytoestrogens Found?

The variety of plants that contain phytoestrogen number in the hundreds and a few of the more common ones include Red clover, Soy, Black cohosh, Licorice, Flax and Alfalfa. Additional foods high in phytoestrogens include garlic, tofu, dried apricots, almonds, blueberries, peanuts, chestnuts, olive oil, onions, hummus and corn.

Phytoestrogens side effects

Although phytoestrogens can be very effective in relieving the symptoms of menopause, and also cheaper than other types of treatment, has recently been criticized, because the plants add hormones to the body artificially and thus can trigger a range of undesirable side effects, including serious problems like breast cancer.

Click here to learn more information about phytoestrogens and menopause.

Main Sections
Macafem
Is an Andean plant regarded as one of the best treatments for menopause symptoms because of it boosts the endocrine system.
Dong Quai
Is an Asian plant that has been used for thousands of years to treat gynecological problems, blood disorders, and as a sedative.
Ginkgo Biloba
Is a popular and ancient Chinese herbal remedy used to improve circulation, mental performance, and menopause symptoms.
Ginseng
Is a root widely used by Chinese, Koreans and Native Americans as a preventative treatment and to increase vitality.
Soy
Is a healthy, low-fat source of protein and is used as treat menopause because of its high amount of phytoestrogens.
Red Clover
Is a variety of Clover with a high nutritional value and it's widely used as an immune-booster and menopause relief, but it has some side effects.
Black Cohosh
Is a phytoestrogenic herb from eastern North America and it is used as a supplement to treat several illnesses, including menopause symptoms.
Vitex
Used since roman times to help women with hormonal imbalances, but pregnant women should avoid it.
Which herb should women try? Today women are looking for relief from their menopause symptoms with herbs. Phytoestrogenic herbs and non-estrogenic herbs are good in relieving menopause symptoms, but recent studies show that non-estrogenic herbs have no side effects because they help the body to produce its own hormones instead of introducing hormones like the phytoestrogenic ones. Learn more about non-estrogenic herbs for menopause.
Phytoestrogens: Do they work?