New Information on the Quantities of Phytoestrogens in the Foods We Eat and Feed our Pets

Posted on November 6th, 2014

For many years, there has been a medical controversy whether to eat and to feed your pet foods that contain plant based estrogens (phytoestrogens).

The controversy involves whether phytoestrogens bind the estrogen sites in the body, thus stopping harmful estrogen from other sources from binding these sites. Or do the phytoestrogens actually cause a health risk adding to the amount of estrogen occurring in the body, as do xenoestrogens and other estrogen mimickers?

This is a question that should be easily answered by first doing a baseline, total estrogen blood test. Once this has been done, the person or animal can eat large amounts of phytoestrogen containing foods for 2 to 3 weeks.

At the end of this period, another total estrogen blood test can be taken.

Comparing the amount of total measured estrogen between the first and second test will indicate which direction the phytoestrogen is going in that particular human or animal.

Because of the difference in total estrogen between males and females the following direction may help. In male humans, canines, spayed females and post-menopausal females, this test can be done at any time using a 2 to 3 week phytoestrogen ingestion period.

If a female human is still menstruating, it would be best to do the total estrogen test at the time her ovarian estrogen is the lowest and ingest foods high in phytoestrogens for one month and then retest the total estrogen again at the same time her ovarian estrogen is the lowest.

This will provide more accurate results.

Recent information published by researchers from the University of Toronto, measures and lists the actual amounts of phytoestrogens that occur in many foods we eat and feed our pets.

Phytoestrogens in food were rarely measured and if they were, they never included the amounts of nine different groupings of phytoestrogens. The sub groups of phytoestrogens that were measured are as follows:

  • Genistein
  • Daidzein
  • Glycitein
  • Formononetin
  • Secoisolariciresinol
  • Matairesinol
  • Pinoresinol
  • Lariciresinol
  • Coumestrol

I have listed in my article Natural Estrogens That Occur in Nutrients, a list of foods from various sources, including the University of Minnesota, along with my own clinical experience.

The following list of foods, for the first time, measure all nine sub-groupings that contain phytoestrogens and measures the actual amount of phytoestrogen each food contains.

Foods Containing Phytoestrogens (based on 100 grams of that specific food):

  • Alfalfa (sprouts) 441
  • Apples – 4.9
  • Meats from mammals (ham 2.3, hotdog 3.1, breakfast sausage 1.2) Note: Please realize that meats and dairy products may be low in phytoestrogens, but contain total mammalian estrogen.
  • Carrots – (Raw) 6.7
  • Dates (Dried) 329
  • Flaxseed – 379,380
  • Garlic - 603
  • Licorice (Black) 862
  • Oats (Oat Bran Bread is 13.2)
  • Olives - 39
  • Pumpkin – 5.3
  • Red beans – 10.4
  • Sesame seeds – 8,008
  • Sweet potatoes – 36.7
  • Soybean sprouts - 789
  • Soybeans – 103,920
  • Sunflower seeds – 216

Estrogen Inhibitors - Foods Low in Phytoestrogens and high in an aromatase inhibitor:

  • Berries (Blueberries 17.5, Raspberries 47.6, Strawberries 51.6)
  • Broccoli – 94.1
  • Cabbage - 80
  • Citrus Fruits (Oranges 19, Grapefruit 6.2)
  • Corn - 9
  • Most Fruits (Peaches 64.5, Banana 2.6, Cantaloupe 7.1)
  • Green beans – 105.8
  • Melons (Watermelon) 2.9
  • Squashes zucchini 5.1 – winter squash 113.7
  • White rice – 6.2
  • White flour (White Bread is 5.7)

Other Foods:

  • Tofu – 27,150
  • Veggie Burger – 1,671
  • Hummus – 993
  • Almonds – 131
  • Peanut Butter – 80
  • Pistachios – 382
  • Olive Oil -180
  • Multi Grain Bread – 4,798
  • Doughnuts – 2,903
  • Cookies – 3.9
  • Lasagna – 1.4
  • Pancakes – 3.9
  • Pizza – 27
  • Protein Bar – 2,723
  • Tuna – Canned – 1.3
  • Milk – Cow - 1.2
  • Coffee – Regular – 6.3
  • Tea – Black – 8.9
  • Orange Juice – 8.6
  • Red Wine – 53.9
  • White Wine – 12.7

Note: Carrots, sweet potatoes and apples are frequently mentioned on high phytoestrogen lists. However, according to the latest studies, carrots, sweet potatoes and apples contain only limited amounts of phytoestrogen.

This discrepancy could possibly be explained by the fact that most apples, sweet potatoes and carrots are sprayed with pesticides that contain an estrogen mimicker referred to as a xenoestrogen. This additional form of chemical estrogen may be the reason why carrots, sweet potatoes and apples are included on the high phytoestrogen lists. Please be beware of any fruit or vegetable that may be low in phytoestrogens, yet high on the pesticide risk list. Remember apples are number one on most pesticide lists!

Hopefully this will give you an idea about foods that contain phytoestrogens to eat or not to eat.

Estrogen deficient humans or animals will actually know the food they need to eat.

Those humans and animals that are estrogen dominate will know the foods to stay away from.

Please also make sure none of these plant foods come from GMO seeds.

For more information, please read the article titled, Effects Of GMOs For You And Your Pet.

Hopefully the information in this article will help keep you and your pet healthier, happier, and live a longer life.


Dr. AL Plechner