Since Pueraria mirifica (Thai kudzu) is rich in phytoestrogens, such as miroestrol, deoxymiroestrol and isoflavonoids, it is used to treat symptoms of menopause. Thai kudzu is a vine that is native to Thailand, where it is known as White Kwao Krua. Thai kudzu estrogens cause feminization in male and female rats. It protects them from osteoporosis when their sex glands have been removed. P. mirifica has some potential against breast cancer.
Pueraria lobata (kudzu,) a phytoestrogen-rich plant is used to treat hypertension and alcoholism. Kudzu has the isoflavonoids, puerarin and daidzein. Puerarin blocks colon cancer cell growth.
P. lobata reduces estrogenic activity compared to P. mirifica. Both P. mirfica and P. lobata are rich in isoflavonoids, puerarin, daidzein, genistein and daidzin.
Salmonella typhimurium is a bacteria used to test for the tendency of an herb to cause or treat cancer (mutagenicity.) Both species of kudzu showed only mild cell toxicity against S. typhimurium cells at high doses. Puerarin showed no cellular toxicity. The phytoestrogens of Thai kudzu show greater estrogen effect than genistein and daidzein. Neither plant showed significant tendency to cause mutations, even at high doses. Both plants caused suppression of mutations, especially P. mirifica.
The non-mutagenic and anti-mutagenic natures of the two plants are the result of isoflavonoids, partly. They seem to be safe for consumption. The phytoestrogen products made from these plants include cosmetics, dietary supplements and ingredients for foods.
CONCLUSION: Both kudzu and Thai kudzu are safe to use as dietary supplements and in cosmetics. Thai kudzu appears safe for estrogen replacement therapy for menopause. The present study, in combination with previous studies, supports the belief that Thai kudzu can help in treating breast cancer and as estrogen replacement therapy. Both kudzu and Thai kudzu have anti-cancer effects.
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