Dietary administration of an extract from rosemary leaves enhances the liver microsomal metabolism of endogenous estrogens and decreases their uterotropic action in CD-1 mice

Carcinogenesis. 1998 Oct;19(10):1821-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/19.10.1821.


We evaluated the effects of a methanol extract from the leaves of the plant Rosmarinus officinalis L. (rosemary) on the metabolism and action of estradiol and estrone. Treatment of female CD-1 mice with 2% rosemary in AIN-76A diet for 3 weeks increased the liver microsomal 2-hydroxylation of estradiol and estrone by approximately 150%, increased their 6-hydroxylation by approximately 30% and inhibited the 16alpha-hydroxylation of estradiol by approximately 50%. Treatment of female CD-1 mice with 2% rosemary diet for 3 weeks also stimulated the liver microsomal glucuronidation of estradiol and estrone by 54-67% and 37-56%, respectively. In additional studies, feeding 2% rosemary diet to ovariectomized CD-1 mice for 3 weeks inhibited the uterotropic action of estradiol and estrone by 35-50% compared with animals fed a control diet. The results of this study showed that feeding female mice a 2% rosemary diet increased the liver microsomal oxidation and glucuronidation of estradiol and estrone and inhibited their uterotropic action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Estrogens / physiology
  • Female
  • Glucuronates / metabolism
  • Hydroxylation
  • Lamiaceae / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • Microsomes, Liver / drug effects*
  • Microsomes, Liver / metabolism
  • NADP / metabolism
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Uterus / physiology*


  • Estrogens
  • Glucuronates
  • Plant Extracts
  • NADP
  • Steroid 16-alpha-Hydroxylase