Flavonoids and isoflavones are found in plants and are anti-estrogenic, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant. Isoflavones are readily absorbed into breast and ovary tissue and are used as natural estrogen replacement therapy (ERT.) Genistein and daidzein flavonoids reduce the risk of advanced endometriosis.
Puerarin is a flavonoid from Pueraria lobata, a Chinese herb called Gegen (Radix puerariae.) It is beneficial in cardiovascular disease, alcoholism, hypercholesterolemia, liver fibrosis, neurotoxicity and other neurological diseases.
Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) are both anti-estrogenic and estrogenic depending on the dosage and the length of exposure of the cells to the chemicals. One study showed that plant estrogens are anti-estrogenic at low doses and estrogenic at high doses. (The dose-response curve on a graph is U-shaped.)
Aromatase enzyme is necessary for estrogen production. Uterine endometrial tissue contains excessive aromatase and abundant estrogen. Excessive estrogen is believed to be responsible for endometriosis, endometrial cancer and uterine fibroids. Aromatase inhibitors block aromatase, reduce estrogen and treat endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Endometrial cancer is estrogen-dependent.
This study tested the ability of puerarin to inhibit aromatase and reduce estrogen. The results were that puerarin reduced aromatase activity in endometrial cancer cell cultures which express excessive aromatase. Puerarin did not work as well as a chemical, letrozole. At low dosage, puerarin reduced both the mRNA and protein levels of aromatase.
CONCLUSION: Endometriosis can be treated with puerarin from Pueraria lobata due to aromatase enzyme inhibition.
NOTE: Isoflavones are a type of flavonoid chemical found in the bean family. Many have phytoestrogen activity. Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is part of the bean (legume) family. The puerarin U-shaped dose response curve is common if wide ranges of doses of chemicals are studied. This explains variations of human responses to different doses of treatments. This is hormesis.
Read about the anti-aromatase activity of damiana.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.