Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Sandra
Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds found in a variety of plant foods such as beans, seeds, and grains, though they are concentrated in soy foods and flax. Phytoestrogens appear to be helpful in the prevention of diabetes and cancers of the colon, liver, brain, breast, ovaries, and skin. “Bad” cholesterol appears to be reduced, cardiovascular risk decreased, and weight loss increased when they are consumed. Soy phytoestrogens do not decrease male fertility; however, xenoestrogens, which are found mainly in fish, have been shown to drastically lower sperm counts. Replacing dairy with soy may decrease abdominal fat.