What is Estrogen? What Are Estrogen-Containing Foods?

What is Estrogen?

Estrogen is a group of sex hormones that promotes the development and maintenance of female characteristics in the human body.

They play an important role in the growth and development of female sexual characteristics such as breast, pubic and armpit hair, and in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and reproductive system.

During the menstrual cycle, estrogen provides a suitable environment for fertilization, implantation and nurturing of an early embryo.

An imbalance of this hormone can cause a host of health problems and unwanted physical changes.

Fast facts on estrogen

  • The ovaries are the main location for estrogen production.
  • Estrogen influences structural differences between male and female bodies, such as having a wider pelvis and more permanent hair.
  • Synthetic estrogen has a variety of uses in medicine, including birth control and managing the effects of menopause.

Foods containing estrogen What are they?

You can get estrogen from different foods. These are in summary;

  • vegetables
  • soy
  • strawberry
  • pulses and grains
  • Hazelnut
  • Fruits
  • Wine

Some scientists consider phytoestrogens to be endocrine disruptors. They appear to have dual functions at times, which can increase or decrease estrogen activity.

It’s a common misconception that phytoestrogens can negatively affect health, but some studies confirm that the phytoestrogen-containing foods listed above may reduce cancer risk, reduce hot flashes, improve other menopausal symptoms, and provide health benefits.

The effects of soy’s phytoestrogens depend on the type of soy being studied at the time, and this has led to inconsistent findings. Soy protein isolate will have a different effect from whole soy foods.

What is EstrogenWhat is it called?

Estrogen is a vital hormone in female development.

Hormones are chemical messengers that tell certain tissues to behave in a certain way.

During puberty, the ovaries begin to secrete estrogen hormones in parallel with the monthly menstrual cycle. Estrogen level rises suddenly during the cycle triggering the release of an egg. This level then drops rapidly after spawning.

Estrogens often travel through the blood stream in fluids, interact with cells in various tissues in the body, and deliver a message or instruction.

Next to progesterone, it is one of the most important hormones for women. Progesterone helps maintain pregnancies and implant an egg in the uterus.

Related Hormones in the Estrogen Family Are:

Estrone (E1): This is a weak form of estrogen and the only type found in postmenopausal women. Small amounts of estrone are found in most tissues of the body, mostly fat and muscle. The body can convert estrone to estradiol and estradiol to estrone.

Estradiol (E2): This is the strongest type of estrogen. Estradiol is a steroid produced by the ovaries. It is thought to contribute to a variety of gynecological problems such as endometriosis, fibroids, and female-occurring cancers, particularly endometrial cancer.

Estriol (E3): This is the weakest of the estrogens and is a waste product made after the body uses estradiol. Pregnancy is the only time a significant amount of estriol is made. Estriol cannot be converted to estradiol or estrone.

Men also have very low estrogen levels.

What is the Function of Estrogen?

Estrogen is crucial to a woman’s reproductive function and cycle.

In women, estrogen affects the following areas of the body:

Ovaries: Estrogen helps stimulate the growth of an egg follicle.

Vagina: It also causes the adult size of the vagina, thickening of the vaginal wall and increased vaginal acidity which reduces bacterial infections. It also helps to form the wetness of the vagina.

Fallopian tubes: Estrogen is responsible for the growth of a thick, muscular wall in the fallopian tubes and contractions that carry egg and sperm cells.

Uterus: Estrogen develops and protects the mucous membrane surrounding the uterus. In addition to increasing blood flow, protein content and enzyme activity, it also increases the size of the endometrium. Estrogen also allows the muscles in the uterus to develop and contract. Contractions assist in the delivery of a baby and placenta and also help the uterine wall get rid of dead tissue during menstruation.

Cervix: Estrogen is thought to regulate the flow and thickness of uterine mucous secretions. This increases the movement of a sperm cell into an egg and ensures its fertilization.

Mammary glands: Estrogen forms unique relationships with other hormones in the breast. They are responsible for the growth of the breasts during puberty, the pigmentation of the nipples, and eventually stopping the flow of milk when the baby is unable to breastfeed.

Estrogen is responsible for the differences between male and female bodies.

For example, in the female body:

Estrogen shrinks the bones, making them shorter, the pelvis wider and the shoulders narrower.

It increases fat storage around the hips and thighs, which means the body is more curved and contoured.

Estrogen helps slow the growth of women during puberty and improves insulin sensitivity. Insulin affects the amount of body fat and lean muscle a person can develop.

It makes the hair on a woman’s head more permanent while the body hair becomes thinner and less prominent.

Estrogen shortens the vocal cords, giving women a thinner and higher octave voice than men.

Estrogens suppress the activity of glands in the skin that produce oily substances. This reduces the chances of acne in women.

Other Areas That Estrogen Has an Effect On Are:

Brain: May help maintain body temperature, regulate the part of the brain associated with sexual development, and increase the effects of the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals.

Skin: Estrogens improve the thickness and quality of the skin, as well as its anti-aging collagen content.

Bones: Estrogen helps maintain bone strength and prevent bone loss.

Liver and heart: The hormone helps protect the heart and arteries by regulating cholesterol production in the liver.

Why Estrogen Levels Matter and How Are They Affected?

Normal estrogen levels can vary a lot. Typically, two women’s estrogen levels can occur on the same day of their cycle, such as the same day, on different days.

However, when levels get too low or high, bodily functions can become erratic.

Certain conditions, lifestyle choices, and processes can reduce the amount of estrogen in the body.

These include:

  • ovarian failure
  • an underactive pituitary gland
  • pregnancy failure
  • menopause and perimenopause
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • anorexia nervosa
  • strenuous exercise or training
  • certain medications, such as clomiphene
  • childbirth
  • Breast-feeding

Other factors can cause a rise in estrogen, such as:

  • puberty
  • obesity and obesity
  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • healthy pregnancy
  • tumors of the ovaries or adrenal glands
  • a number of drugs, including steroids, ampicillin, estrogen-containing drugs, phenothiazines, and tetracyclines

Estrogen Food Supplements

Natural alternatives and supplements, such as black cohosh, are often used for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Research findings have been inconsistent, but side effects from taking black cohosh have been reported to be minor and infrequent.

Experts recommend caution for supplements containing estrogen. Estrogen is linked to many cancer and health risks, so it’s vital to consult a doctor before taking any supplements.

Because estrogen is linked to many cancers and health risks, it is very important to consult a doctor before taking any supplements.

Problems Experienced in Estrogen Imbalance

The effects of unstable estrogen levels can include:

  • decrease or cessation of menstruation
  • light or heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • hot flashes, night sweats, or both
  • noncancerous lumps in the breast and uterus
  • mood swings and sleep problems
  • Weight, hips, hips and waist
  • low sexual desire
  • tiredness
  • mood
  • feelings of depression and anxiety
  • dry skin
  • In men, high estrogen levels can cause infertility, erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer, and the development of larger breasts, also known as gynecomastia.

It is important when taking medications containing estrogen to monitor for symptoms and to make sure you maintain balanced estrogen levels.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor.

Medical News Today, Everything you need to know about menopause, 2018

References

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17113977

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074428/

http://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/4/2/18

https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/contraceptive-use-united-states

http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/changes-at-midlife/changes-in-the-vagina-and-vulva

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh-HealthProfessional/

https://www.thieme-connect.de/DOI/DOI?10.1055/s-0033-1350876

https://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/hormones/estrogen

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