WHAT IS COUMESTROL?
Coumestrol is a coumestan which is part of the phytonutrient (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health) family. There is relatively little information available on coumestrol although it is believed to have strong cancer fighting properties. In this article I will be providing a full breakdown of coumestrol.
WHEN WAS COUMESTROL DISCOVERED?
Coumestrol was first discovered in 1938 by the Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi as part of the flavonoid family. He initially referred to the flavonoids as vitamin P but it was later discovered that they are not essential to human health and therefore not technically vitamins. Coumestrol was later identified as a unique flavonoid in alfalfa by E.M. Bickoff in 1957.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY USE COUMESTROL?
There is little research available on the health benefits of coumestrol although studies have revealed it can prevent cancer and fight the action of estrogen. The list below discusses the health benefits of coumestrol in greater detail:
– Acting as a phytoestrogen (a compound which regulates estrogen levels in the body and can help prevent cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis (reduced bone mineral density) and negative menopausal symptoms).
– Preventing cancer (particularly stomach cancer).
HOW MUCH COUMESTROL DO YOU NEED?
Coumestrol is not considered essential for human health so no official recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN COUMESTROL?
Alfalfa, peas, soya beans and red clover are all good sources of coumestrol. Green peas contain 6.25 milligrams (mg) of this coumestan per 100 grams (g) but the exact amounts in other foods is not known.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH COUMESTROL?
Currently there are no negative overdose symptoms associated with coumestrol.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH COUMESTROL?
Coumestrol is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms associated with its consumption.
Although there is very little information available on coumestrol it is definitely a nutrient worth including as part of your diet for its cancer and estrogen fighting ability. Green peas are a highly versatile food that can be added to most meals. Try including them as part of your usual dishes and start enjoying the benefits that coumestrol can provide.
Alfalfa Extract (Gentcare Natural Ingredients Inc)
Coumestrol (The Hysterectomy Association)
Green Peas (WHFoods)
List of Phytochemicals in Food (Wikipedia)
What is Phytochemical? (Juicing For Health)