Effects of dietary phytoestrogens on core body temperature during the estrous cycle and pregnancy

Li Hong Bu, Edwin D. Lephart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Phytoestrogens have received increased investigative attention due to their potential protective effects in connection to age-related diseases and hormone-dependent cancers. Phytoestrogens appear to be an effective treatment during perimenopause where symptoms, such as hot flashes are reduced. However, little is known about the influence of phytoestrogens on core body temperature during various hormonal conditions. This study examined the effects of dietary phytoestrogens on core body temperature during estrous cycles or pregnancy by feeding Long-Evans rats either a diet rich in phytoestrogens (Phyto-600) versus a diet relatively low in phytoestrogens (Phyto-free). Independent of treatments, body temperature was highest at proestrus and declined during estrus and diestrus. Moreover, the consumption of the Phyto-600 diet moderately decreased body temperature during proestrus, estrus and diestrus versus Phyto-free-fed animals. During pregnancy, independent of treatments, core body temperature decreased as a function of increasing gestational length. Phyto-600-fed rats displayed significantly decreased body temperatures (by approximately 0.5°C) from gestation days 6 to 19, compared to Phyto-free values. The results from this study indicate that consumption of dietary phytoestrogens alters the neuroendocrine mechanism of core body temperature regulation that may help explain, in part, the beneficial effects of phytoestrogens for hot flashes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported, in part, by grants from the USDA (2002-00798; EDL), the BYU Research Office (21-223566; EDL) and The BYU Dean's Graduate Fellowship in Neuroscience (LB).


  • Body temperature regulation
  • Estrogens
  • Isoflavones
  • Neuroendocrine metabolism
  • Rat
  • Soy


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