Phytoestrogens as Hormone Replacement Therapy for Postmenopausal Symptoms

  • Susan R. Davis
Part of the Endocrine Updates book series (ENDO, volume 8)


Plant constituents with a phenol structure similar to estrogen are known as phyto (plant) estrogens. These compounds, found in a wide variety of edible plants, may display both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects. Epidemiological studies, primarily comparing Asian and Western populations, have been interpreted to indicate that consumption of a phytoestrogen-rich diet ameliorates estrogen deficiency symptoms in postmenopausal women, and may protect against breast cancer, bone loss and cardiovascular disease. Consequently there is a global movement towards increased consumption of phytoestrogen rich foods and tablet formulations of concentrated isoflavone extracts are being heavily promoted. More recent intervention studies question the validity of the proposed benefits of phytoestrogen supplementation, with little data in postmenopausal women to support a role for phytoestrogens as an alternative for conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT).


Breast Cancer High Performance Liquid Chromatography Postmenopausal Woman Soybean Isoflavones Vaginal Cytology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan R. Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.The Jean Hailes FoundationMelbourneAustralia

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