Effects of Nutrition Relevant Mixtures of Phytoestrogens on Steroidogenesis, Aromatase, Estrogen, and Androgen Activity

Camilla Taxvig, Anders Elleby Engell-Kofoed, Katrine Sonne-Hansen, Eva C. Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Anne Marie Vinggaard, Anne E. Lykkesfeldt, Christine Lydia Nellemann

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Phytoestrogens (PEs) are naturally occurring plant components produced in a large range of plants. They can induce biologic responses in vertebrates by mimicking or modulating the action or production of endogenous hormones. This study examined mixtures of 12 food relevant PEs for effects on steroid hormone production, aromatase activity, estrogenic activity, and for interaction with the androgen receptor. The results show that a mixture of all tested PEs increased estradiol production and decreased testosterone production in H295R human adrenal corticocarcinoma cells, indicating an induced aromatase activity. Furthermore, exposure of the H295R cells to isoflavonoids caused a decrease in testosterone production, and various mixtures of PEs significantly stimulated MCF-7 human breast adenocarcinoma cell growth and induced aromatase activity in JEG-3 choriocarcinoma cells. The estrogenic effect in the MCF7 cells of the isoflavonoid mixture and coumestrol was supported by an observed increase in progesterone receptor protein expression as well as a decreased ER expression. Overall, the results support that nutrition-relevant concentrations of PEs both alone and in mixtures possess various endocrine disrupting effects, all of which need to be considered when assessing the effects on human health.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Volume62
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)122-131
ISSN0163-5581
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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