There are many claims out there about different types of milk and estrogen. If you drink almond milk, you might ask yourself, “Does almond milk have estrogen?”
Almond milk contains phytoestrogens, which are not the same as human estrogen. Phytoestrogens come from almonds and have not been found to be harmful to humans.
This article will teach you all about the phytoestrogens in almond milk and how it relates to human estrogen. By the end, you will understand the impact of phytoestrogens from almond milk on your health.
Does almond milk have estrogen?
No, there is no estrogen in almond milk. However, almond milk does contain phytoestrogens, which is a substance found in almonds that mimics the effects of estrogen and is considered safe to consume.
Is There Estrogen in Almond Milk?
The simple answer is no.
However, there are phytoestrogens in almond milk. But this is not the same as estrogen found in the human body.
Phytoestrogens are substances found in plants that mimic the effects of estrogen on the human body.
However, their overall impact on the human body is less than the estrogen produced by your body.
Phytoestrogens are not harmful to consume. In fact, research indicates that phytoestrogens may help treat the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Neurological diseases
- Immune dysfunction
So while almond milk does not contain pure estrogen, the phytoestrogens may give beneficial estrogen-like effects in your body.
What is Estrogen?
We all have some sense that estrogen is a hormone. But what does estrogen do, and why should you care about it?
Estrogen is a steroid hormone naturally produced by both males and females. For both sexes, it helps regulate sexual function and other physiological processes.
In females, it tends to play a more vital role in developing physical features in the human body. It also plays a more significant role in reproductive health for females.
However, you need adequate estrogen balanced with testosterone to promote hormone balance in both sexes.
When your hormones are imbalanced, you can see disease or dysfunction in many areas of the body.
These effects extend beyond sexual reproduction. Estrogen-related issues can impact bone health, heart health, cognition, and more.
Check out this video from Dr. Aditi Nadkrni to learn more about the symptoms of low estrogen levels.
What is a Phytoestrogen?
While most people have heard of estrogen, phytoestrogens aren’t quite as well-known. It’s a fancy word for a natural compound found in many plants.
Phytoestrogens will interact with your body to produce estrogen-like effects on a much smaller scale.
You’re likely already consuming phytoestrogens in many of the foods in your diet.
Some common plants that have phytoestrogens include the following:
This list is by no means all-inclusive.
But it helps you understand that phytoestrogens are present in many of the foods we eat daily.
Are Phytoestrogens the Same as Human Estrogen?
With the word estrogen in the word itself, you might wonder how phytoestrogens are different from estrogen.
Let’s start by remembering that both males and females produce estrogen.
Our bodies generally do a good job of keeping our estrogen and testosterone hormone levels balanced to keep us healthy.
Estrogen is typically produced by ovaries in females. Our adrenal glands and fat cells in both males and females also produce it. This estrogen is released into our bloodstream to affect various body parts.
Because phytoestrogens are substances that occur in plants, they do not have the same chemical makeup as our estrogen.
This is partly what makes their overall effect on the human body weaker.
However, phytoestrogens can bind to estrogen receptors in the human body.
But because their chemical makeup is different, they won’t exert the same response strength as our natural estrogen.
How Much Phytoestrogen is in Almond Milk?
It’s difficult to determine the exact amount of phytoestrogens in almond milk.
Part of why it’s difficult to determine is because researchers have found that various almond types can have different amounts of phytoestrogen.
The amount of phytoestrogen can vary based on the region where the almonds are grown, the soil, and the fertilizer used.
Because of all these factors, the amount of phytoestrogen in almond milk may vary widely.
According to an article published on Livestrong, almonds contain 131.1 ug of phytoestrogens per 100g serving.
However, until science better understands the relationship between almond type and phytoestrogens, it's nearly impossible to say how much phytoestrogen gets passed through to almond milk.
Are Phytoestrogens Safe to Consume?
Now you know what phytoestrogens are and that they are in almond milk. But are they safe to consume?
However, some people may want to be more mindful regarding phytoestrogens.
People with severe endocrine disorders and unhealthy gut microbiomes may want to consult a doctor before consuming phytoestrogens.
With these conditions, phytoestrogens could further aggravate these individuals’ symptoms if consumed in large amounts.
But if you are healthy with no known hormonal issues, phytoestrogens are perfectly safe to eat or drink.
Will Drinking Too Much Almond Milk Disrupt My Hormones?
While phytoestrogen is not estrogen, recall that it does produce some estrogen-like effects. So it’s only natural to wonder if drinking a lot of it could alter your hormones.
Currently, no substantial evidence indicates that consuming too many phytoestrogens in your diet will disrupt your hormones.
However, the research done so far has been on healthy individuals without hormonal issues. So we can’t assume that the same response would occur in people with hormonal issues.
If you struggle with hormonal balance or are receiving hormone therapy, consult your doctor. They can guide you to a safe milk option and advise you on the best amount.
Health Benefits of Phytoestrogen
We know phytoestrogens are generally safe to eat or drink. But are they good or bad for your overall health?
Generally speaking, phytoestrogens have positive effects on the human body.
Because of its ability to mimic estrogen mildly, phytoestrogens have been found to help reduce menopausal symptoms, fight osteoporosis and hormonal cancers, and combat heart disease.
Other research studies indicate that phytoestrogens may also improve cognition and fight off neurodegenerative disease.
Keep in mind everyone’s hormonal balance and needs are different.
It’s best to consult with your doctor if you are concerned about the effects of phytoestrogens on your health.
Does Dairy Milk Have Estrogen?
Dairy milk does have estrogen in the form of estradiol. However, research shows that most of this estradiol is inactive in dairy milk.
Because it is inactive, it has been assumed that it doesn’t affect the human body. But the research on whether or not estradiol does impact humans is mixed.
One research study examined all the evidence that is currently available. This study concluded that most of the research indicates that the amount of estrogen in cow’s milk is too low to affect the human body.
However, dairy milk higher in fat will have higher estrogen levels because estrogen is fat-soluble. So if you want to minimize your estrogen exposure, opt for skim or low-fat dairy milk.
Can I Have Almond Milk If I’m Receiving Hormone Therapy?
If you are receiving hormonal therapy, you might wonder if you should drink almond milk.
The answer to this question is best answered by consulting your physician.
Depending on why you’re receiving the hormone therapy, your doctor may want you to limit anything that could impact your estrogen levels.
In other cases, they may be trying to encourage estrogen production. In this case, almond milk could potentially be helpful alongside hormone therapy.
Because it’s unlikely that the phytoestrogens in almond milk could strongly increase estrogen-like effects in your body, it’s most likely safe.
But it’s better to be safe and consult your doctor before making that decision alone.
No, Almond Milk Does Not Contain Estrogen
Almond milk does not contain estrogen, but it does contain phytoestrogens. The phytoestrogens come from almonds and have been found to be safe to consume.
Phytoestrogens mimic estrogen in the body, but their effect on the human body is weaker when compared to your own natural estrogen. Many foods that we eat contain phytoestrogens.
We don’t know the exact amount of phytoestrogens in almond milk because it depends on several factors. But we know that phytoestrogens can positively impact your health and help treat various health conditions.
Dairy milk does contain estrogen in the form of estradiol. And while the research is mixed, the consensus is that the amount of estrogen is so low in dairy milk that it won’t affect your health.
If you have a hormonal imbalance, it’s best to consult a doctor regarding your dietary choices to optimize your health. But otherwise, drink that almond milk knowing that the phytoestrogens are boosting your health!