About Red Clover

Red clover

Trifolium pratense (red clover) is a species of clover, native to Europe, Western Asia and northwest Africa, but planted and naturalised in many other regions.

It is an herbaceous, short-lived perennial plant, variable in size, growing to 20–80 cm tall. The leaves are alternate, trifoliate (with three leaflets), each leaflet 15–30 mm long and 8–15 mm broad, green with a characteristic pale crescent in the outer half of the leaf; the petiole is 1–4 cm long, with two basal stipules. The flowers are dark pink with a paler base, 12–15 mm long, produced in a dense inflorescence.

Red clover contains isoflavones (oestrogen-like compounds). Women have been using Red clover for centuries to help in a number of women’s health areas. For more information about red clover, click here.

Isoflavones

Supporting Good Health During The Menopause Naturally

Promensil assists in supporting your good health during your menopause as nature intended - with a source of plant oestrogens (phytoestrogens) called isoflavones.

A Dietary Connection

Oestrogens play a vital role in maintaining a woman's health and well-being over her lifetime. If oestrogens are so important to a woman's health, why would nature purposely deprive the body of them?

Scientific research suggests that the answers may lie in our diet. Nature didn't get it wrong. Many of us in the West changed our diet away from the type of diet our ancestors ate--the same type of diet typically still eaten in Asian, Central American, and Mediterranean countries. A key factor in traditional Eastern diets is that they contain greater quantities of legumes, which are rich in a group of phytoestrogens (plant oestrogens) called isoflavones 1.

Natural Dietary Approach

Asian, Mediterranean and Latin American communities consume on average 30-50mg of isoflavones each day while it is estimated that women from Western countries, such as Australia, consume only a few milligrams of isoflavones daily 2. Asian type diets have traditionally included legumes rich in isoflavones such as lentils and soy. Legumes are a major source of protein in these countries while meat and dairy products have become a major source of protein in Western diet.

More than 1,000 isoflavones have been identified in plants. Of these, four specific isoflavones have been shown to possess significant individual and specific biological activity. These are: genistein, daidzein, formononetin and biochanin A.

What are the dietary sources of isoflavones?

Isoflavones are found mainly in legumes, such as red clover, lentils, split peas, chick peas, broad beans and soy. However, not all legumes contain all four important isoflavones. For example, red clover contains all four isoflavones whereas soy contains only the two isoflavones daidzein and genistein. The isoflavone content of food also varies, for example red clover also contains 10 to 20 times the quantity of isoflavones found in soy.

Adapted from Reinli K, Block G. "Phytoestrogens Content of Foods - A Compendium of Literature Values", Nutr. Cancer 26 (2): 123-148, (1996). Data on file.
 

How can women improve their consumption of these four important isoflavones?

It is suggested that two or more servings of food high in isoflavones are required each day to achieve an intake similar to that of traditional Asian diet. As not all legumes contain all four isoflavones people need to consume a wide range of legumes on a regular basis.

For people accustomed to a Western diet, it may be difficult to increase isoflavone intake to the recommended levels with dietary changes alone. It may be hard for some people to consume the quantity of legumes required and to become accustomed to the taste and texture of these foods.

An alternative approach is to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle with Promensil, a standardised dietary supplement, containing all four biologically important isoflavones.