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Written by: Kathryn Danzey

Phytoestrogens are plant oestrogens which have a similar structure to human oestrogens

What food products are rich in phytoestrogens?

Phytoestrogens are found in a diverse number of plants including cereals, legumes and grasses. Food items particularly rich in phytoestrogens include:

soya beans, soya milk
bean curd (tofu)
bread enriched with soya, linseed and wheat grains (burgen bread)

How will phytoestrogens benefit me?

If you are already taking an adequate dose of oestrogen (hormone replacement therapy – HRT) or you are not yet menopausal or approaching the menopause, phytoestrogens will not benefit you. If you are menopausal and do not wish to take conventional HRT you may find it beneficial. Studies in SE Asia (including Japan) and Australia suggest that perimenopausal women with high phytoestrogen consumption are less likely to experience certain menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes.

How much should I take?

Unfortunately, there is still very little scientific data to assess the amount of phytoestrogen required for optimal results.

Are there adverse effects?

Probably not, but the correct answer is that we do not know. Many more clinical studies are required. Our knowledge about phytoestrogen is still very limited.

Further reading

Phytoestrogens – a short review
David C Knight and John A Eden
Maturitas (Journal of the Climacteric and Postmenopause) 22 (1995) 167-175

Prof T C Li
Consultant Gynaecologist
7 Williamson Road
Sheffield S119AR
Tel: 0114 2550365
March 2007

About the Author

Kathryn Danzey
I have a passion to bring to you what really works in the beauty industry, from a moisturiser to the latest advanced treatment for anti ageing. After almost 4 decades in the industry I'm packed with info to share but never tire of looking for new things and would love you to share your experiences with us too. We're here to help you find that treatment or product that will make a change for you. Can't do without My Collagen Shots and H3O Night Repair. Love a great serum and UV protection

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