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Article - Phytoestrogens - Plant Hormones

Phytoestrogens - Plant Hormones

 

Phytoestrogens are part of a plants natural defence mechanism. During times of stress, such as drought or insect infestation, levels of phytoestrogens increase dramatically. Therefore it is very difficult to determine the precise phytoestrogen level of a food. Levels are highest in the dry soybean before processing or cooking, with values ranging from 47-363mg isoflavone/100g. A dose of 126mg isoflavones/day has been suggested as a short term preventative for post menopausal bone loss.1 A daily dose of 28.5mg isoflavones has shown a decrease in HDL “bad” cholesterol levels after 6 months.2


A dose of 40-80mg/day of phytoestrogens is considered sufficient to manage most menopausal conditions. That is the level of phytoestrogens found in traditional diets and is considered a safe level for long term use.


Phytoestrogens require activation via gut microflora so it is important that you have an optimal digestive system. Some people may require pre and probiotics to improve their gut microflora. Seek advice from your naturopath in this area. Fermented soy products such as miso and tempeh are better if you have a compromised digestive system as they have been partially digested and are easier to utilize.


It is always preferable to obtain phytoestrogens via whole foods instead of isolated ingredients in a tablet. It is the synergistic properties of all the plants active ingredients that will give the best results. Eat according to traditional diet - tofu, tempeh, whole soy beans, soy milk made from organic, non-GMO ( as seen in the Japanese traditional diet) as well as various fruits, vegetables, beans and grains (as seen in the European traditional diet).


Avoid processed GMO soy foods and always buy organic where possible.

 

Dietary Sources of Phytoestrogens

Herbs

Fruits

Vegetables

Beans

Grains

Alfalfa
Aniseed
Caraway
Chervil
Cumin
Dill
Fennel
Fenugreek
Licorice root
Oregano
Parsley
Sage
(Herb teas can
be made from a selection of these)

Apples
Berries
Cherries
Plums
Rhubarb

Broccoli
Buckwheat
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Capsicum
Celery
Corn
Cucumber
Eggplant
Green Beans
Linseed
Potatoes
Seeds
Sprouts

Soy beans   
Including:
Tofu
Tempeh
Miso
Soy milk
Chickpeas
Lentils
Peas
All other dried beans

Brown rice
Barley
Bulgur
Millet
Oats
Whole Wheat

 

Ground Linseeds – One dessertspoon daily provides hormonal support, essential fatty acids and fibre.  If possible, grind in small batches yourself and keep in the fridge. The essential fatty acids go rancid rapidly when exposed to air so if buying them pre-ground ensure it is as fresh as possible, well sealed and kept in the fridge.

 

Caution
Excessive amounts of soy protein can have a suppressive effect on the thyroid. If you have hypothyroidism please see your naturopath before consuming large quantities of soy foods.

 

Levels of Isoflavones in Common Soy Foods

 

25 grams soy flour

45 – 69 mg

250ml non soy milk

15 – 60 mg

115 gram block of tofu

13 – 43 mg

2 slices  soy & linseed bread

7 – 15 mg

200 grams tub soy yoghurt

26 mg

 

1.medscape.com/viewarticle/540858
2.menopausejournal.com/pt/re/menopause/abstract

 

 

Article provided by useNature's Editor > Dieter Luske ND.:

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