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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Black Cohash??
Date: 18 Sep 1996

In <> Bernie Simon
<> writes:
> B. Harris) writes:
>> If you must use an herbal
>> preparation, you'd be much better off eating tofu, or (better) using a
>> commercial soy extract containing standardized quantities of genistein
>> and related isoflavones.  VRP (Vitamin Research Products) in Carson
>> City, NV sells one, for instance.
>And I thought soy had an anti-estrogenic effect. Soy isoflavones will
>occupy the estrogen receptors but only weakly stimulate them. That is
>why soy is thought to reduce the risk of breast cancer. BTW, black
>beans also contain as much genistein as soybeans, but only have a
>fraction of the fat.

Soy does have a *net* antiestrogenic effect if you're "ON" a potent
estrogen (are taking a commercial estrogen supplement, or are a
pre-menopausal female).  That is because when genistein binds to the
estrogen receptor it prevents estrogen from doing so.  But genistein
itself has weak estrogenic activity, and provides some estrogenic
effect for people who are low (i.e., post-menopausal women, if they are
skinny).  Bottom line: Soy/genistein moves women toward the "middle" of
the estrogenic effect spectrum, no matter which end they are on.

                                   Steve Harris, M.D.

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