Maturitas. 1995 Nov; 22(3): 167-75.
Phytoestrogens--a short review.
Royal Hospital for Women, New South Wales, Australia.
The wide distribution of plant estrogens or 'phytoestrogens' in cereals, vegetables and medicinal plants raises questions concerning the possible health risks and benefits associated with their consumption. In this article, we provide a synopsis of the literature relating principally to the clinical effects of phytoestrogens on the diseases associated with ageing. The sources, metabolism and properties of the different phytoestrogens are also discussed. The studies included were primarily restricted to those with data pertinent to clinical practice. Our contention is that phytoestrogens are at least part of the reason why vegetarians and Asian populations have a low rate of cancer and heart disease.