Sunday, November 14, 2010

Plant Estrogens may Protect Brain Health

Glycyrrhiza glabra from Koehler's Medicinal-PlantsImage Glycyrrhiza glabraLiquorice, soy and many other plants contain estrogen, called phytoestrogen , as derived from the plants. These phytoestrogens help in easing the symptoms of certain diseases like post-menopausal symptoms, degenerative brain diseases and some cancers.
The extracts of root of Liquorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra; a plant of class of peas and beans was first used in treating gastritis. It was proved to have anti-ulcer effects, possibly from the antioxidant activity. Consequently, it lowered the acidity in stomach and helped in healing the ulcers.
Now scientists in search of some neuroprotective resources studied its effect on the health of brain. An active ingredient called liquiritigenin, from the roots of liquorice is found to be helpful in preventing brain cell degeneration.
There are two types of estrogen receptors in the body alpha and beta. Alpha receptor is located in many parts of body where as beta receptor is widely distributed in brain.
Liquiritigenin found to act on beta receptors and may protect brain in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Soy also contains phytoestrogen that act on alpha receptors to help patients of breast cancer. Soy is found in cereals, breads and legumes.
Liquorice was long in use in eastern culture in many remedies.
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