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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Soy and estrogenicity or antiestrogenicity

 Posted by Chantel M. Contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

In the study of "Phytoestrogens: food or drug?" by Bacciottini L, Falchetti A, Pampaloni B, Bartolini E, Carossino AM, Brandi ML. posted in US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, researchers found that the phytoestrogens are bioactive molecules present as nutritional constituents of widely consumed vegetables. Their name derives from the fact that they are able to bind to estrogen receptors and to induce an estrogenic/antiestrogenic response in target tissues. Natural estrogens are involved in a multiplicity of programmed events in target tissues as uterus, breast, pituitary gland and hormone responsive tumors. Phytoestrogens are present in many human foodstuffs including fruits (plum, pear, apple grape berries, …), vegetables (beans, sprouts, cabbage, spinach, soybeans, grains, hops, garlic, onion,…), wine, tea, and they have been identified in a number of botanical dietary supplements. They include a wide variety of structurally different compounds such as isoflavones, mainly found in soy, lignans found in grains, stilbenes found in the skin of grapes. Other less investigated compounds include flavones, flavans, isoflavanes and coumestans. The estrogenic or antiestrogenic activity of any chemicals depends on the ability of the compound to interact with the ERs (ERα , ERβ ).This article reported the knowledge about the activity of phytoestrogens from a pharmacological point of view for their estrogenicity or antiestrogenicity.

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