Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens functioning as the primary femalesex hormone (see estrogen) not generated within the endocrine system but consumed by eating phytoestrogonic plants. Also called "dietary estrogens", are a diverse group of naturally occurring nonsteroidal plant compounds that, because of their structural similarity with estradiol (17-β-estradiol), have the ability to cause estrogenic or/and antiestrogenic effects.Their name comes from the Greekphyto = plant and estrogen, the hormone which giving fertility to the female mammals (for "estrus" -Greek οίστρος- meaning sexual desire and "gene" -Greek γόνο- for "to generate").
The similarities, at molecular level, of estrogens and phytoestrogens allow them to mildly mimic and sometimes act as antagonists of estrogen. but it was unknown if they could have any effect in human or animal metabolism. In the 1940s it was noticed... Read More