Certain plants contain phytoestrogens, a group of naturally occurring compounds similar to the hormone oestrogen. Some claim that since oestrogen is the dominating hormone in females, it may cause adverse effects on fertility in men. Whistle, it is also claimed that it doesn’t cause any such problem and in fact, is beneficial for both males and females health.
They are known as “phytoestrogens” as their chemical structure resembles the sex hormone oestrogen, which is responsible for women’s fertility. They may also benefit the health of postmenopausal females.
Most studied phytoestrogens include:-
Lignans: Found in fibre-rich plant foods, such as seeds like flaxseeds, whole grains, nuts, fruits.
Isoflavones: Abundantly present in soybeans and other legumes, grains, nuts and wine
Resveratrol: Fruits, berries, red wine, chocolates and peanuts
Quercitin: Antioxidant flavonoid present in fruits, vegetables and grains
Reduced blood pressure: Reveratrol and quercetin may help control blood pressure.
Improved blood sugar levels: Resveratrol, lignans and isoflavones may help benefit blood sugar control.
Reduced risk of prostate cancer: Supplementation of isoflavone may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer
Lower cholesterol levels: Soy isoflavone supplements can aid in lowering blood pressure
Less inflammation: It may help benefit postmenopausal women in lowering the inflammatory markers.
There is a contradiction about whether phytoestrogen-rich foods should be consumed by men or not. Many studies have shown that Isoflavones, mainly present in soybean doesn’t seem to cause any fertility issues in men as high oestrogen levels don’t affect testosterone hormones level. Also, certain studies have shown that its consumption leads to lower sperm count and do not hold any strong evidence to prove anything and lack proper justification, and evidence directly linked to the effect of phytoestrogens.
So, further investigation is needed to evaluate the consequences of the intake of phytoestrogens and how it affects a man’s fertility. It is therefore advisable that men should consume phytoestrogen-rich foods in moderation.