This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Are all "phenol" compounds estrogenic? Are phytoestrogens "antiestrogenic"?

"A feature of this molecule, and of all other molecules that “act like estrogen,” is the phenolic function, an oxygen and hydrogen group attached to a resonant benzene ring. Phenol itself is estrogenic, and the phenolic group is so extremely common in nature..."

For starters, melanin (both brown eumelanin and red pheomelanin) have phenol groups, as does tyrosine.

I really know very little about the underlying biochemistry of these things, so if someone could explain this, or point to a source with some good information on this stuff, that'd be great.

My second question; what is the legitimacy behind this reasoning: "This substance has mild estrogenic activity, so if we ingest it, it will compete with actual estradiol, thereby reducing estrogenic burden"

asked Jan 30, 2015 by lvysaur

I have noticed that a large amount of olive oil or red palm oil per day (like 6 tablespoons) quickly lowers estrogen symptoms. It lowers a lot of water weight within a few days and gives a libido boost. I assumed it had something to do with vitamin E, but now that I think about it there probably isn't enough for it to have that fast of an effect.

I guess it could be the polyphenols then, which are phytoestrogens right? It's definitely effective, but I don't consistently consume that much olive oil. Maybe it's the oil as a carrier that makes it so effective.

It's probably just the fat increasing testosterone and possible lowering estrogen (see the first link.)

"Men's daily urinary excretion of testosterone also was 13% higher
with the high-fat, low-fiber diet than with the low-fat, high-fiber
diet (P = 0.01). Conversely, their urinary excretion of estradiol and
estrone and their 2-hydroxy metabolites were 12-28% lower with the
high-fat, low-fiber diet (P < or = 0.01)."

Kasra, couldn't that mean the opposite of what you claim? You could say that high fat low fiber causes testosterone to be "wasted" in the urine, while it prevents estrogen from being detoxified and excreted in the urine.

Brian, I noticed some good effects while eating small amounts of red palm oil per day, but I was also getting a lot of fiber (from bread).

Red palm oil has a TON of vitamin E in tocotrienol form, it is most definitely a lot.

Ivysaur: Yeah, you could be right.

I can't say that I notice the same effect from eating a high amount of coconut oil. Butter seems a little more pronounced, but olive oil seems to have the highest effect when I eat a large amount of it, so maybe it is just the E more effectively absorbing and circulating.

Could the excretion of estrogen be lower, because less is being produced?

In this similar study, there was a parallel decrease in serum and urinary androgens after the switch from a high-fat low-fiber diet to a low-fat high-fiber diet.

1 Answer

from my exp yea a lot of phenolic compounds are estrogenic. Not all but most are pretty obvious right away. The ones that are dark colors or rough or astringent...are almost always estrogenic. It might not be a direct effect, cuz a lot of them block sugar absorption and inhibit protein digestion, so they might be indirectly estrogenic by limiting energy you absorp, actually precipitating digestive enzymes, and thereby causing more endotoxin from those nutrients fermenting later. Tannins which are the main class of phenolics, are known to do those exact can look up animal studies and feeding livestock and all that. Its a known detriment, preventing digestibility and wasting protein digesting enzymes (trypsin). However, these 'antioxidants' as they are called at health food stores, are advertised as benefit to humans cause they assume everyone is overweight from eating too much and blocking absorption of macro nutrients is somehow a good thing (which is isn't). Theres a few phenolics that actually have aromatase inhibiting properties and aren't that offensive, but you usually only find them in the inner juice of ripe fruits, without too deep a color and without astringency.

I don't think they block estrogen sites and have a benefit at all, that's kind of a purely marketing wrong theory

Some foods have so much nutrition or other aspects that help, that the phenolic estrogenic effects are much less to non noticeable, such as dark chocolate (cacao is full of estrogenic polyphenols, but all the minerals and theorbromine and other stuff usually outweighs it) Coffee is kind of the same

basically the phenols that stain things...deep colors, or ones that astring or dry the mouth or seem like theyre interfereing with saliva are the bad estrogenic ones..they have like a gripping effect

answered Jan 31, 2015 by pboy