Phytoestrogens Make Breasts Grow
The purpose of this chapter is to stimulate thinking, not just about the potential benefits of the soy phytoestrogens in the brain, but also about the larger issue of the role of diet in general in determining late life health. This chapter will discuss experimental approaches taken to address whether soy phytoestrogens, or isoflavones, can have neuroprotective actions in the mammalian brain. The structural similarity between the soy isoflavones and the natural estrogen, 170-estradiol (Figure 8.1), has been the rationale for experiments by many others that have shown that soy isoflavones can have beneficial effects in models of cardiovascular disease (Anthony et al., 1996 Clarkson et al., 1997), breast cancer, and prostate cancer (both
if you can get kidney stones by drinking milk That's a common myth. Research doesn't support this mis-perception. In fact, drinking milk may reduce the risk. A high-calcium diet may decrease the absorption of oxalate, a substance in some plant-based foods that can form calcium oxalate kidney stones. . . . if phytoestrogens in soybeans protect your bones Maybe, since they act much like mild estrogens in the body. After menopause, as natural estrogen declines, phytoestrogens in soy products may help prevent bone some loss. See What's 'Soy' Good in chapter 11.
Substituting steaks, burgers, and franks with tofu, tempeh, miso, and veggie burgers can work to your advantage. (You vegetarians are definitely on to something.) That's because soy foods contain phytoestrogens called isoflavones, weak estrogens that help fight against certain cancers, including prostate. However, soy protein may sometimes be contraindicated for women with
What about phytoestrogens Foods with estrogenlike compounds called isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) in soy are getting research attention. Under study, these substances, found in many soy foods (tofu, tempeh, soy beverages not soy oil) may help offset the effects of reduced estrogen production by the ovaries for some women. Currently there's no solid
Available data on the impact of dietary components such as phytoestrogens, fiber, and fat, intakes of which may differ between vegetarians and non-vegetarians, are not consistent. 4. Soy phytoestrogens may reduce the frequency of menopausal hot flushes slightly in comparison to placebo, but do not appear to affect the severity of other menopausal symptoms.
Phytoestrogens in soy and other foods may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and heart disease and protect men against prostate and other testosterone-dependent cancers. Extrusion can transform soy into food products with broad appeal for consumers, but processing effects on soy isoflavones and other phytoestrogens should be evaluated for any products for which health effects are intended. Blends of soy protein concentrate and cornmeal (20 80) were processed under different extrusion conditions (Mahungu et al, 1999). Increasing barrel temperature caused decarboxylation of isoflavones, with increased proportions of acetyl derivatives, but total isoflavones also decreased.
Are foods with phytoestrogens-for example, soy with the isoflavone genistein-an appropriate alternative to hormone therapy if you're at high risk for breast cancer On one hand, the estrogenlike effects in isoflavones may be harmful for women already at high risk for breast cancer. New research also suggests that phytoestrogens in soy are selective and don't have much effect on breast tissue. Since the jury's still out, talk to your physician before adding soy to your meals and snacks if you have breast cancer, if you're at high risk for breast cancer, or if you're taking tamox-ifen, a hormone-blocking drug related to estrogen. Dietary soy supplements aren't advised, either. Research is under way to explore another food that may protect against hormone-sensitive cancers flaxseed, which contains a type of phytoestrogen called lignan.
. . . what's the difference between a lignin and a lig-nan The terms often get confused. Classified as an insoluble fiber, lignin actually isn't a carbohydrate but a complex molecule that's a woody part of the stems and seeds of fruits and vegetables and the bran in cereals. Its properties may help prevent cancers. Lignans are phy-tonutrients found in whole grains and flaxseeds research is examining their roles as phytoestrogens and anticancer agents.
That intact soy protein, but not soy protein depleted of the isoflavones, protected against pathology-relevant tau phosphorylations implies that some component(s) in the isoflavone fraction contributed to this effect, independent of the soy protein. These data were corroborated by Pan et al. (2000), who showed that a similar soy isoflavone fraction, or 17P-estradiol, against a casein protein background, prevented ovariectomy-induced cognitive impairment in rats. An important control that Pan and his colleagues carried out was to show that neither soy isoflavones nor 17P-estra-diol inhibited the beneficial actions of the other when administered together. However, again consistent with our data, the combination of soy isoflavones and 17P-estradiol did not have greater protection than either one alone, suggesting that the two were acting through complementary pathways. This latter concept may become important as experiments continue to define the actions and effects of soy and other...
Calcium intake and or poor vitamin D status. b At levels used to fluoridate water supplies. High fluoride intake causes fluorosis and may also alter bone matrix. c Several components of fruits and vegetables are associated with a decreased risk at levels of intake within the normal range of consumption (e.g. alkalinity, vitamin K, phytoestrogens, potassium, magnesium, boron). Vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) results in osteopenic bone disease.
Phytoestrogens, which are present in foods such as soy, red clover, flaxseed, and other beans and legumes, are natural plant estrogen-type chemicals that can help replace human estrogen without some of the risk factors of ERT. Epidemiological observations indicate that in some cultures where soy is a staple food, women do not suffer from hot flashes during and
Water intake is emphasized in older women and men, since the thirst sensation becomes dulled as people age. Six to eight glasses of fluid per day are recommended for this age group. Water, fruit juices, other nonalcoholic beverages, and fresh fruits can help provide variety in fluid intake. In addition, an increased consumption of legumes (e.g., dried chick peas, varieties of beans, lentils, soy and soy products) is recommended to provide phytoestrogens and isoflavones. There are other alternatives that are used by people around the world to reduce hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, including herbs such as ginseng, black cohash, kava, and wild yam. However, there has been little scientific data to determine the effectiveness and safety of these supplements.
Which are inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase in the biosynthesis of cholesterol. Hence, tocotrienols are effective hypocholesterolemic agents, as well as potent cancer-preventive substances.68-70 Peanuts contain substantial levels of trans-resveratrol, the protective compound in red wine and grape juice shown to inhibit the formation of blood clots. As far as phytoestrogens are concerned, nuts and sunflower seeds have a substantial lignan content, while peanuts contain small amounts of isoflavones.65,85
Phytoestrogens In another open trial, Baird et al.85 compared the responses of women at least 2 years postmenopause to a control (usual) diet (n 25), and to a soy diet in which approximately 33 of energy was provided as soy products (n 66). Urinary phytoestrogens were monitored, and the vaginal maturation index was assessed as an index of estrogenicity. After 4 weeks A number of trials that may provide more definitive results are currently under way in this area. Presently, however, it appears that there is a substantial placebo response to interventions. Although modest differential effects of soy phytoestrogens may exist for hot flushes, other menopausal symptoms do not appear to be affected. In addition to phytoestrogens, various herbal preparations have been used by women to relieve menopausal symptoms.89 Although little systematic
A comprehensive catalog of bioactive food components has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation in vitro at physiologically relevant doses, although there is specificity in the effects depending on dose, length of treatment, and cell type tested. A prominent example is genistein, an isoflavone and the major phytoestro-gen in soybeans and other legumes. Genistein and other phytoestrogens have a chemical structure reminiscent of 17P-estradiol, can bind the estrogen receptors (ERa and ERP), although with stronger affinity to ERP, and exhibit estrogenlike biological activity.9 Human breast and prostate cancer cell lines stimulated by EGF are inhibited by genistein independently of whether the cells express estrogen or androgen receptors. When all cell culture media are depleted of estrogens, genistein at concentrations 5 pmol L, genistein causes a dose-dependent decrease in 17P-estradiol-induced cell proliferation.30
Many plants contain compounds that behave like estrogens, the female sex hormones. Because only animal bodies can produce true hormones, these plant chemicals are called hormonelike compounds or phytoestrogens (plant estrogen). Seems fair. The three kinds of phytoestrogens are The most-studied phytoestrogens are the isoflavones known as daidzein and genistein (found in soy), two compounds with a chemical structure similar to estradiol, which is the estrogen produced by mammalian ovaries. Like natural or synthetic estrogens, daidzein and genistein hook onto sensitive spots in reproductive tissue (breast, ovary, uterus, prostate) called estrogen receptors. But phytoestrogens have weaker estrogenic effects than natural or synthetic estrogens. It takes about 100,000 molecules of daidzein or genistein to produce the same estrogenic effect as one molecule of estradiol. Every phytoestrogen molecule that hooks onto an estrogen receptor displaces a stronger estrogen molecule. As a result,...
There is some evidence that lower doses of glutamate can cause the early onset of puberty.254 Therefore, it is not surprising to learn that young girls are now undergoing early breast development and premature onset of menses in large numbers. Could this be the result of excess glutamate in the diet We may never know since no one is looking. One problem is the widespread promotion and use of soy products. Soy is not only high in glutamate, it is also a source of phytoestrogens. The effect of this combination on the developing hypothalamus is anyone's guess.
Awad is an associate professor of nutrition and biochemistry at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in nutrition from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and completed postdoctoral training in biochemistry at the University of Iowa. He has supervised more than 75 M.S. and Ph.D. students. He has published 70 papers and has presented more than 70 abstracts at scientific meetings. His research focus is in the area of dietary lipids and disease prevention, including the effects of phytochemicals, such as phy-tosterols and phytoestrogens, on cardiovascular disease and cancer.
International differences in breast cancer occurrence might be partly explained on the basis of lifestyle factors, such as diet and alcohol consumption. Among the dietary factors, the most of the studies have focused on diet content of fat and fiber. As for micronutrients, phytoestrogens have been largely and still inconclusively investigated. Alcohol consumption has shown a moderate effect on breast cancer risk. The existing evidence about dietary components and alcohol intake in affecting breast cancer risk is discussed in detail further in the following chapters of this manuscript.
The active phytochemicals are located principally in the bran and the germ, which compose less than 20 of the kernel. Hence, the refining of wheat causes very substantial losses of phytochemicals.114 The protective substances include those that affect the gut environment, such as dietary fiber, resistant starch, and oligosaccharides compounds that function as antioxidants, such as selenium, tocopherols, tocotrienols, flavonoids, ellagic acid and phenolic acids, such as ferulic, caffeic, vanillic and p-coumaric acids (these phenolic acids occur in high levels in whole grains) and lignans (phytoestrogens).107,108 Rye and barley contain the highest level of lignans among the grains, while wheat and corn have the least.65 Other important health-promoting phytochemicals in whole grains include phytosterols, phytates, and saponins.107
The isoflavones are well known for their estrogenic activity, which varies substantially from one compound to another. These nonsteroidal phytoestrogens have an array of potent biological activities, of both a hormonal and non-hormonal nature, which influence the development of chronic diseases. The isoflavones can undergo enterohepatic recycling and reach circulating levels that exceed, by several orders of magnitude, the amounts of natural endogenous estrogens.82 The major tissues targeted by the phytoestrogens are the reproductive tissues (uterus, breast, and prostate), the cardiovascular tissues (arteries and blood lipids) and the skeletal tissues.83 About 30-60 mg of isoflavones, per day appear to be the required threshold level needed to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer in humans. Higher levels are apparently needed for improving bone health.82,84 These levels can be achieved from a modest intake of a variety of soy products in the diet (see Table 14.3). The growth of...
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