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Brain Res. 2013 Jun 13;1514:123-7. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.02.013. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Does phytoestrogen supplementation affect cognition differentially in males and females?

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Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Institute for Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research, Fort Worth, TX 76107, USA.


Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds found mainly in soy with known estrogenic properties and a potential for benefits to human health. Increased intake in phytoestrogens stemmed from the search for safe alternatives to hormone replacement therapies. Based on epidemiologic evidence comparing Western and Asian populations and clinical studies, phytoestrogens show promise to improve health and brain function. This review is focused on the effects of phytoestrogens on cognition by examining clinical and animal studies, with special attention placed on (1) a window of therapeutic opportunity which may explain the discrepancy among studies, and (2) whether a sex/gender difference exists in response to phytoestrogen intake and what the possible underlying mechanisms may be.

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