Saturday, January 13, 2007

Estrogen, Phytoestrogens and Health

I have received many questions concerning the estrogenic properties of the soy sprouts and the potential promotion of cancer. I would like to answer these questions and to reassure you of the incredible benefits of the Super Soy Sprouts in the prevention of cancer.

Estrogen, which is often thought of as a female sex hormone, actually plays several important roles in both men and women. In women, normal estrogen levels are crucial for fertility, a healthy pregnancy and lactation.

Furthermore, higher estrogen levels in premenopausal women may partially explain the low risk of heart disease and osteoporosis in this group.

However, too much estrogen in women can lead to cancer. Few people realize that men produce estrogen in their testicles, and it is even present in sperm. Again, a balanced amount is the key -- too much estrogen can interfere with male fertility and lead to prostate cancer.

Estrogen circulates throughout the body, but certain tissues contain receptors that bind with estrogen. In women, estrogen receptors are most common in the breast, vagina and uterus. When estrogen is bound to a receptor it sends a message for that tissue to start growing. While this is healthy and natural during pregnancy, at other times it increases the risk of cancer.

Synthetic estrogen's -- called xenoestrogens -- are common in pesticides, household chemicals and many plastics. They inflict damage in several ways. First, they bond with estrogen receptors just like a woman's own estrogen, called estradiol, does.

When they attach to the receptors, they transmit a molecular message that tells breast cells to grow larger and to create new cells, much as they would during pregnancy. Second, estrogen's prompt the body to release a chemical called "tumor growth factor." Third, xenoestrogens can even increase the number of receptors, which act like estrogen magnets. Plants have been suspected of containing their own estrogen like compounds since the 1920s.

During the 1940s, Australian sheepherders noticed that sheep fed on certain pastures of clover were plagued with infertility problems and showed signs of excessive estrogen levels. The animal husbandry enigma was soon traced to the high levels of "estrogen mimickers" contained in the clover. Research into these newly discovered plant estrogens during the 1950s and 1960s uncovered even more plants with weak estrogenic activity.

These natural plant estrogens -- called phytoestrogens -- appear to block the effect of dangerous xenoestrogens. Kenneth D. R. Setchell, Ph.D., Director of the Clinical Mass Spectrometry Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio, spoke about the phytoestrogens at a recent workshop sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

He explained that "all weak estrogen's (such as isoflavones) can also have antiestrogenic activity." Phytoestrogens that are found in the Super Soy Sprouts compete with estrogen's produced in the body or introduced from the environment and are antiestrogenic. They actually prevent other estrogen's from attaching to estrogen receptors.

It's analogous to a broken key in a lock; the phytoestrogen does not open the lock, but neither does it allow another estrogen "key" to operate the lock. In this way the isoflavones and coumestrans or phytoestrogens found in the Super Soy Sprouts become a powerful anti-carcogenic agent by preventing the fermentation of natural occurring or synthetic estrogen's. Research indicates that a diet that supplies its isoflavone, protein, fat and carbohydrate from vegetable sources, especially from Super Soy Sprouts, will reduce the risk of several cancers, including prostate, breast and uterine. So enjoy your organically sprouted Super Soy Sprouts daily! In love and InnerLight, Dr. Robert O. Young

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