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Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Aug 2023 - 18 Aug 2023


Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Abdominal/Pelvic Pain, Inflammation/Inflammatory

2023 Jul 30

Int J Mol Sci




Insight into the Potential Mechanisms of Endocrine Disruption by Dietary Phytoestrogens in the Context of the Etiopathogenesis of Endometriosis.


Szukiewicz D


Phytoestrogens (PEs) are estrogen-like nonsteroidal compounds derived from plants (e.g., nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables) and fungi that are structurally similar to 17β-estradiol. PEs bind to all types of estrogen receptors, including ERα and ERβ receptors, nuclear receptors, and a membrane-bound estrogen receptor known as the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER). As endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) with pro- or antiestrogenic properties, PEs can potentially disrupt the hormonal regulation of homeostasis, resulting in developmental and reproductive abnormalities. However, a lack of PEs in the diet does not result in the development of deficiency symptoms. To properly assess the benefits and risks associated with the use of a PE-rich diet, it is necessary to distinguish between endocrine disruption (endocrine-mediated adverse effects) and nonspecific effects on the endocrine system. Endometriosis is an estrogen-dependent disease of unknown etiopathogenesis, in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus with subsequent complications being manifested as a result of local inflammatory reactions. Endometriosis affects 10-15% of women of reproductive age and is associated with chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, and infertility. In this review, the endocrine-disruptive actions of PEs are reviewed in the context of endometriosis to determine whether a PE-rich diet has a positive or negative effect on the risk and course of endometriosis.