Plant Estrogens and Abdominal Obesity

Two plant estrogens, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, also known as Chinese liquorice and Pueraria montana, also known as Kudzu are being studied by American researchers because of their apparent benefits in reducing abdominal obesity.

“Long-term estrogen deficiency increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women. Menopausal hormone therapy containing estrogens might prevent these conditions, but its prolonged use increases the risk of breast cancer, as wells as endometrial cancer if used without progestins.

One strategy to improve the safety of estrogens to prevent/treat obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome is to develop estrogens that act as agonists in adipose tissue, but not in mammary gland and uterus.”

The researchers concluded that these plant extracts are promising in the reversal of postmenopausal weight gain in women. Offering the benefits of weight loss without the cancer risk associated with pharmaceutical estrogens. They add more studies are needed. (1)

Understanding Glycyrrhiza uralensis and Kudzu.
Chinese Licorice or Liquorice root, is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine. It is used as a natural pain-reliever and for cramps. It is also used to help detox the body.

Kudzu contains isoflavones, including daidzein (an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent) and daidzin.

The Magaziner Center for Wellness treats five to 10 women per day for menopausal syndrome. Until the year 2002, most women were placed on (synthetic) Hormone Replacement Therapy by their gynecologists. HRT, as it is known, was highly controversial because of the link between synthetic hormones and increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots. Since that time, use of synthetic hormones has become virtually obsolete.

At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we use bio-identical hormones (BHRT). Bio-identical hormones are different than synthetic hormones because they are structurally and chemically the same as the three estrogens naturally produced by the body – Estriol, Estradiol and Estrone and natural progesterone, testosterone and others, depending on the needs of the patient. Synthetic hormones – namely conjugated estrogens feature a manipulated form of the three estrogens while Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA), which is found in Provera, is a synthetic form of progesterone.

The body responds to and metabolizes synthetic hormones differently than bio-identical hormones. Bio-identical hormones are far safer and more effective than synthetics and, therefore, have grown in use. At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we have been treating patients for more than 25 years with BHRT.  Each is compounded by pharmacists – meaning they are handmade using a mortar and pestle – so that they are customized for each patient based on the strength needed by each individual according to her needs and wants.

Before formulating a treatment plan, the doctors at the Magaziner Center for Wellness analyze each patient individually using 24 hour urine specimens and comprehensive blood work. We look at the metabolites of estrogen in a woman’s body, as certain metabolites can increase the risk of breast or gynecological cancers. We also look at both thyroid and adrenal function. We rarely use saliva tests as they are not comprehensive enough to give information about hormone metabolites and to ascertain the best course of treatment for a patient.

We use a self-scoring system each time a patient comes in so that we can further customize and assess the success of her treatment as it progresses. This allows us to tweak the dosages so that we can optimize the patient’s results.

We have successfully treated thousands of menopausal and perimenopausal women and continue to be recommended by actress, author and women’s health activist Suzanne Somers, who refers to the doctors at the Magaziner Center for Wellness as leaders in the use of bio-identical hormone therapy. 

1. Saunier EF, Vivar OI, Rubenstein A, Zhao X, Olshansky M, Baggett S, Staub RE, Tagliaferri M, Cohen I, Speed TP, Baxter JD, Leitman DC. Estrogenic plant extracts reverse weight gain and fat accumulation without causing mammary gland or uterine proliferation. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28333. Epub 2011 Dec 7.