Estimated intake of dietary phytoestrogens in Australian women and evaluation of correlates of phytoestrogen intake
Lahmann, P. H., Hughes, M. C., Ibiebele, T. I., Mulligan, A. A., Kuhnle, G. and Webb, P. M. (2012) Estimated intake of dietary phytoestrogens in Australian women and evaluation of correlates of phytoestrogen intake. Journal of Nutritional Science, 1. e11. ISSN 2048-6790
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1017/jns.2012.11
The role of dietary phytoestrogens in health has been of continued interest and debate, but available data on the distribution of intake in the Australian diet is scarce. Therefore, we aimed to estimate phytoestrogen consumption in Australian women, describe the pattern of intake and identify correlates of high phytoestrogen intake. Study participants were 2078 control women (18-79 y) from two population-based case-control studies on gyneacological cancers (2002-2007). Dietary information was obtained using a 135-item semiquantitative FFQ and intakes of isoflavones, lignans, enterolignans and coumestans, including their individual components, were estimated using a database of phytoestrogen content in food developed in the UK. Median total intake (energy-adjusted) of phytoestrogens was 1.29 mg/d, of isoflavones 611 μg/d, of lignans 639 μg/d, of enterolignans 21μg/d and of coumestrol 8 μg/d. Both isoflavone and lignan intake were strongly skewed towards higher values and positively correlated with age. Women consumed on average 2 serves of soy foods/week. Compared to low phytoestrogen consumers (≤1.29 mg/d, median split), high phytoestrogen consumers (>1.29 mg/d) were slightly older, less likely to be smokers, had a higher educational and physical activity level, lower BMI, lower intake of dietary fat, and higher intake of fibre, selected micronutrient and soy food (all p<0.03). The daily intake of phytoestrogens in Australian women with predominantly Caucasian ethnicity is approximately 1 mg, similar to other Western populations, but considerably lower than among Asian women. However, those with a relatively high phytoestrogen diet seem to have healthier lifestyle and more favourable dietary profile compared to others.