Controversies concerning the use of phytoestrogens in menopause management: bioavailability and metabolism

Maturitas. 2010 Apr;65(4):334-9. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2009.12.019. Epub 2010 Jan 18.


It has been proposed that the use of phytoestrogens (PE) in menopausal therapy could be beneficial to woman health, particularly with respect to hot flushes. Indeed, PE may compensate the lack of endogenous 17beta-estradiol occurring during menopause. However, therapeutic benefits remain questionable, as highlighted by recent publications. Indeed, data are often subjected to controversy since a number of exogenous and endogenous factors influencing the responsiveness of patients are not sufficiently taken into account. In the present paper, we will discuss the role of bioavailability and metabolism in the instability of individual response to PE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Availability
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause / drug effects*
  • Phytoestrogens / metabolism*
  • Phytoestrogens / pharmacokinetics


  • Phytoestrogens