Estroven is a natural, herbal-based treatment for menopause and other female health concerns. Estroven contains supplements such as black cohosh and soy isoflavones that are often used to balance female hormones.
Soy contains phytoestrogens, which are very weak plant-derived estrogens. Women are affected by the milder levels of estrogen in soy, but the effects on men are less well known. Male sperm counts have steadily declined in recent decades, but it is not known if this is due to greater exposure to soy in the diet or other environmental factors. A 2008 study by Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden found that when mothers consume large amounts of soy during pregnancy, it can have a feminizing effect on male babies, but other studies have not confirmed similar results.
Estroven also contains other supplemental herbs and nutrients, which vary in their effects. The most serious ingredient with potential to affect health is black cohosh, which is best known to help menopausal women. While it is used most often for female health concerns, black cohosh also has some reported effects on both genders, including on cholesterol and rheumatism.
Estroven contains some herbs that are used in traditional Chinese medicine, such as date seed and magnolia, which are thought to calm stress and anxiety.
Estroven also contains minerals and vitamins including calcium and vitamin B-12, which are unlikely to have significant health effects on either gender.
The phytoestrogens in soy, the main ingredient in Estroven, have been linked to feminizing effects on men. The 2008 Swedish study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, linked high maternal consumption of soy during pregnancy to a specific birth defect in the penises of their male infants, a condition called hypospadias. However, while soy has some slightly feminizing properties, cumulative consumption of it is not likely to be enough to have lasting health effects. A 2002 study by the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, published in the Journal of Nutrition reported no significant effects of soy isoflavones on testosterone.
While supplements like Estroven may be unlikely to feminize a man, that does not mean that the ingredients are harmless. Black cohosh has been associated with heart problems in some cases. As soy is one of the most allergenic foods, soy consumption could have serious consequences in the case of severe allergies.
Will Estroven Significantly Alter Male Hormones?
It is possible that Estroven could mildly disrupt male hormone functions, but Estroven contains low enough levels of its weak active ingredients that such effects are unlikely. If men have taken this product on accident and experience any unusual health conditions, they should discuss their concerns with their doctor. Men seeking to use Estroven to intentionally change their hormones would be better off seeking traditional hormone medications from doctors who could monitor their use.