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2010, vol. 60, iss. 2, pp. 226-240
Hormonelike substances from plants
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Pharmacy
Keywords: natural hormones; phytohormones; bio-identical hormones; diosgenin; phytoestrogens
Abstract
The plants are not capable to synthesise substances with the same chemical structure like hormones from humans or animals. But it is quite clear that substances which can influence the homeostasis of hormones in other living organisms can be found in plants. Some constituents of the plants are chemically very similar to hormones and they can demonstrate some activities of hormones. Besides, they can influence the concentration of hormones in the humans, mainly trough the changes in the metabolic pathways or they can change the effects of hormones without influence in concentration or natural activity of endocrine glands; gossypol prevents spermatogenesis without altering the other endocrine function of the testicles. Plants can be used as a row material for the extraction of substances which can be transformed to the hormones or their derivatives. This transformation can be obtained only in laboratory conditions and can not be performed in the human body. From this approach plant's steroids are the most important. Diosgenin from the tuber of Dioscorea species is the main and the most important molecule for the semi-synthesis of sex hormones as well as cortisone. The substances known as phytoestrogens have a great importance for the every day use as OTC or dietary supplements for the prevention and/or therapy of mild symptoms of menopause. Some plants are capable to accumulate substances with estrogen like activities known as phytoestrogens. Those substances do not have steroid structure. Mainly, they belong to polyphenols (coumestanes, isoflavones, flavonoids, stilbenes, lignans). Because of specific chemical characteristics, these compounds have affinity for binding to α and/or β oestrogen receptors. Up to day, the best knowledge we have for isoflavones and their application in the treatment of mild symptoms of menopause. The results of clinical studies of isoflavons have shown only the positive effect on the ratio between lipid fractions in serum and influence to the reduction of cardiovascular diseases. The isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) are the most used as soybean (Glycine max) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) preparations. Daily dose with confirmed therapeutic efficacy corresponds to 40-160 mg of isoflavones.
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article language: Serbian
document type: Professional Paper
published in SCIndeks: 22/06/2010

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