Phytoestrogens are dietary components that have a chemical structure similar to that of endogenous estrogens. The primary phytoestrogens in the diet are obtained from soybean isoflavones (including genistein and daizein). These compounds appear to be able to weakly mediate some the genomic and nongenomic effects of estrogen and may function as agonists or antagonists, depending on the tissue and type of estrogen receptor involved. To date, supplemental sources of these compounds have not been found to decrease fracture risk. Additional clinical trials will assist in determining the long-term impact of phytoestrogens on bone health and fracture risk.
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