Phytoestrogens. Yams, and Hormonal Effects

Many women want to treat their menopause completely naturally: no treatment at all. Others want therapies from nature: such as plant hormones. Plant hormones are tried for a variety of gyno treatments. No end to the talk (or YAMmer)  of Yams and hormones, be the talk estrogen or progesterone. A reader sent me this web quote. "The Yoruba, a large Nigerian ethnic group, have the highest rate of twinning in the world, at 45 twins per 1,000 live births. Some researchers have claimed this may be because of high consumption of a specific type of yam, Dioscorea rotundata or white yam containing a natural hormone phytoestrogen which may stimulate the ovaries to release an egg from each side." This yam is more commonly called the Kokoro, and it's commonly in the diet of  in Benin and Togo as well as Nigeria. Usually the talk is of the yams producing progesterone, and it is true the Yams do contain progesterone precursors, and serve as a cheap source of progesterone and cortisol hormone production. Some Internet talk mentions high rates of fraternal twinning in West Africa due to the high yam intake. And its the fraternal twinning rates that do seem to vary. Of course in the Western world we rock the dual baby bed  due to infertility ovulation induction treatments having sky rocketed in the past few decades.Our natural rate of twins is about 1/100 and fraternal make up the vast majority.And as for bilateral ovulation we ovulate mostly on the right, and mostly one egg at a time. And mostly ovulation, if from both ovaries would be at once, but in fact it's possible to release an egg when there's already a fertilized egg in the womb, and, yes, you've guessed, wildly different aged or different parented twins have been reported. But as for munching the yams, another issue: we would have to have the right enzymes in our body to convert the precursors to a hormone that would be at all potent, and we don't. So you cannot treat your menopause or your PMS just with yams. You can buy hormones made from the yams, but by themselves most plant hormones are weak, even for those that do release hormones into the system. We usually read about wild yams, ( Dioscorea villosa  and other  Dioscorea  species), as the treatment for those conditions. And you may ask if you are serving hubby some hormones tonight if you bought a "yam", nope, us Americanos eat sweet potatoes, they're not yams at all.

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