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Phytoestrogen in soy impedes egg, embryo growth, finds mouse study

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | 0 comments

Phytoestrogen in soy impedes egg, embryo growthWomen who are having difficulty conceiving may want to cut back on their soy consumption after a mouse study reveals that dietary exposure to genistein, a compound found in soy foods, can reduce the odds of a successful pregnancy in multiple ways.

The study examined the impact of genistein exposure on oocytes, or eggs, from adult mice and found it can impair oocyte maturation, reduce their potential to become fertilized and hamper the growth of the newly formed embryo. The results reveal how natural compounds like genistein may have both risks – it can act as an endocrine disurptor to affect female reproduction – and benefits - such as protecting the heart.

Jefferson, W, R Newbold, E Padilla-Banks and M Pepling. 2006. Neonatal genistein treatment alters ovarian differentiation in the mouse: inhibition of oocyte nest breakdown and increased oocyte survival.
Biology of Reproduction 74(1): 161-168.

Jefferson, WN, E Padilla-Banks and RR Newbold. 2005. Adverse effects on female development and reproduction in CD-1 mice following neonatal exposure to the phytoestrogen genistein at environmentally relevant doses. Biology of Reproduction 73(4): 798-806.

Kuhnle, GG, C Dell'Aquila, SM Aspinall, SA Runswick, AA Mulligan and SA Bingham. 2008. Phytoestrogen content of beverages, nuts, seeds, and oils. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56: 7311-7315.

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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