Healthful plant nutrients also found in meat and milk

Nov 17, 2008
Beneficial nutrients called phytoestrogens found in plant-based food are also found in meats, seafood and soy products, according to a new study. Credit: Lisburncity.gov.uk

Counterintuitive as it may seem, those healthful phytoestrogen nutrients that consumers usually associate with fruits and vegetables also exist in foods of animal origin. After all, "phyto" means "plant." Now the first comprehensive study of phytoestrogen content in foods has identified the best sources of these nutrients. The study is scheduled for the November 26 issue of ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In the study, Gunter G. C. Kuhnle, Laure Thomas and colleagues point out that phytoestrogens have garnered increasing attention for their beneficial role in preventing several diseases, including osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers. But much of the scientific research on these compounds has focused on their occurrence in plant-based foods, which has led to an underestimation of actual amounts people consume, the study says.

The researchers analyzed 115 foods of animal origin and found that all food groups studied contained phytoestrogens. Isoflavones — one of the three major classes of these compounds — were considerably higher in soy-based foods. In fact, the amount of phytoestrogens in soy-based infant formula was more than 300 times higher than in normal infant formula. In animal products, phytoestrogens are low when compared to foods containing soy, the paper notes, but the range is similar to that of many commonly consumed vegetables.

Article: "Phytoestrogen Content of Foods of Animal Origin: Dairy Products, Eggs, Meat, Fish, and Seafood", dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf801344x

Source: ACS

Explore further: New antimicrobial edible films that increase the lifespan of cheese

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Compounds from soy affect brain and reproductive development

Jul 31, 2008

Two hormone-like compounds linked to the consumption of soy-based foods can cause irreversible changes in the structure of the brain, resulting in early-onset puberty and symptoms of advanced menopause in research animals, ...

Soy foods are associated with lower sperm concentrations

Jul 24, 2008

Men who eat an average of half a serving of soy food a day have lower concentrations of sperm than men who do not eat soy foods, according to research published online in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal, Human Re ...

Soy estrogens and breast cancer: Researcher offers overview

May 16, 2007

Are soy products healthy additions to a person's diet, safe alternatives to hormone-replacement therapy or cancer-causing agents" The answer, according to University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.