T Nation



I dont want to sound really stupid, but a woman at work today told me that sprouts contain phytoestrogens. Does anybody know if this is true? Regardless of the truth i will still eat my sprouts like a good boy.



Studies in humans, animals and cell culture systems suggest that dietary phytoestrogens play an important role in prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. Broadly defined, phytoestrogens include isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans. Alfalfa sprouts, soybeans, clover and oilseeds (such as flaxseed) are the most significant dietary sources of isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans, respectively. A number of these compounds have been identified in fruits, vegetables and whole grains commonly consumed by humans.

Proposed mechanisms include estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects, induction of cancer cell differentiation, inhibition of tyrosine kinase and DNA topoisomerase activities, suppression of angiogenesis, and antioxidant effects. Although there currently are no dietary recommendations for individual phytoestrogens, there may be great benefit in increased consumption of plant foods; especially sprouts such as Alfalfa, Clover and Soybean, and flaxseed. Alfalfa contains saponins. Results indicate that some dietary saponins may reduce iron absorption and hence have an adverse effect on iron status in man and simple-stomached animals.
Alfalfa sprouts can induce systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in monkeys. This property of alfalfa sprouts has been attributed to their non-protein amino acid constituent, L-canavanine.
Don't worry, I copied and pasted that from different sources. Do you mean brussel sprouts or alfalfa sprouts?


i meant brussels sprouts.
thanks for answering my question so comprehensively.


In all the articles about the dangers of soy is says that having it once in a while isnt bad but it is bad to use large amounts of soy protein. I'm not sure if brussell sprouts have phytoestrogens but unless you were eating them several times a day there shouldnt be a problem. I love brussell sprouts but they seem to be out of season here at the moment.