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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1995 Jan;208(1):13-7.

Phytoestrogen content and estrogenic effect of legume fodder.

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Department of Basic Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Helsinki, Finland.


This study is a summary of Finnish investigations of the phytoestrogen content of legume plants, red clover, white clover, alfalfa, and goat's rue. In addition to the chemical analyses, biological studies were performed. Uterine weight of immature rats was used as an indicator of the estrogenic effect of the fodder used. All red clover varieties studied contained estrogenic isoflavones, especially formononetin and biochanin-A. The phytoestrogen content varied from 1.0% to 2.5% of dry matter. The biological study of white clover showed a clear estrogenic effect not visible through chemical analysis. Alfalfa contains small quantities of formononetin and biochanin-A, but 25-65 ppm coumestrol in dry matter. The estrogenic effect of alfalfa was obvious in the biological study. Goat's rue did not contain any known phytoestrogens, and the biological study was completely negative.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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