Years of partial information made phytoestrogens a plant-based boogeyman.
Don't believe the hype.
Phytoestrogens can have powerful and positive effects on women's health and well-being, starting especially around our magical 40+ time.
What are Phytoestrogens?
Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that mimic how estrogen works in in the body.
By binding to estrogen receptors, phytoestrogens can stimulate or suppress certain enzymes and hormones. They are believed to prevent or treat conditions associated with estrogen deficiency or imbalance, such as osteoporosis or menopausal hot flashes.
Phytoestrogens are compounds that grow naturally in some plants. They mimic how estrogen works in the body.
Estrogen Receptors—You’ve Got a Lot of Them
Of course, most of us have only the vaguest sense of how estrogen works in the body.
Our body has estrogen receptors, not just in the reproductive organs but throughout our bodies.
These phytoestrogens can bind to these receptors much as estrogen made in the body or in a lab can do. They can stimulate or suppress certain enzymes and hormones, which can influence the cross-talk and workings in the body.
1. Phytoestrogens Can Help Estrogen Rebalance To Ease Resulting Issues
This activity means phytoestrogens can rebalance estrogen to prevent issues associated with estrogen deficiency or imbalance, such as hot flashes or osteoporosis. They’ve also been linked to possible production from heart disease.
This core superpower is why we at Wile embrace phytoestrogens fully in our formulations and philosophy, such as our Perimenopause Support blend.
2. Phytoestrogens Can Help The Body Manage Excess Estrogen
While mid-life typically brings the concern that our estrogen is dropping, the environment is awash in xenoestrogens these days. These are the effects of the endocrine disruptors you read about in stories about clean cosmetics or natural cleaning products. From microplastics in the water to hormones in our milk and meat, our world has an estrogen imbalance.
Phytoestrogens help by binding to estrogen receptors. Their estrogenic effect is softer than synthetic estrogens or those made by the body. Those stronger, heavier estrogens are no longer a threat and the body achieves stronger balance.
This means managing suddenly heavier periods, PMS, breast tenderness or moodiness amongst other signals that the body has a high estrogen level.
3. Phytoestrogens Can Help The Body Manage Lower Estrogen
Conversely, when the body produces less estrogen, phytoestrogens can boost the estrogenic effects. That can show up in greater moisture in the body, crisper cognition and energy, libido and more.
4. Phytoestrogens Are Mood Food
Estrogen plays a key role in brain health and mood regulation. So a healthier estrogen balance can help boost a lack of focus or energy related to lower estrogen levels, or irritability, nervousness or the blues (all often seen in PMS, which is driven by a pre-menstrual surge of estrogen.
5. Phytoestrogens Even Help Women Post-Menopause
Even though the body may produce far less estrogen after menopause than before, the estrogen receptors remain. Safe phytoestrogens like those in our Wile Perimenopause Support supplement can return a bit more vigor, focus and vitality to women who are utterly done with menstruation.
While the demonization of estrogen and phytoestrogens have made many fear them, many clinical studies as well as integrative healers support the positive power of phytoestrogens.
Get them in foods like sesame seeds, flax seeds, soys like tofu or edamame, or cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or brussel sprouts.
It’s also a holistic part of many Wile formulations. Estrogen levels are critical to hormonal or emotional well-being. The one go-to we recommend to any woman after 40 (and yes, even after menopause) is our Perimenopause Support supplement.
Bracy, Kate. “An Overview of Hot Flashes.” Verywell Health, April 9, 2021. https://www.verywellhealth.com/cool-ways-to-stop-hot-flashes-2322681.
Verywell Health. “Osteoporosis,” August 14, 2022. https://www.verywellhealth.com/osteoporosis-overview-4581909.
This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. Wile, Inc researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.