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Red Clover Phytoestrogens

Why red clover is regarded as such a good source of isoflavones?

Red clover has very high levels of isoflavones. About 2% of isofalvones are in the leaves. This is ten times the amount in soy. Unlike other legumes and soy, red clover contains all four estrogenic isoflavones: biochanin, formonoetin, daidzein, and genistein.

Why is red clover preferred to other sources of isoflavones?

    • It delivers all four major estrogenic isoflavones
    • It has estrogenic effects when consumed
    • The estrogenic levels in red clover are high so it doesn’t have to be concentrated
    • It is considered to be a safe plant for human consumption
    • It does not have any anti-nutritive factors and no known to cause allergies

What benefits does red clover offer to menopausal women?

    • A convenient and safe way to obtain all four main estrogenic isoflavones
    • Isofalvones in red clover provide an estrogenic effect. As isoflavones increased, hot flashes decreased.

Will red clover make me gain weight?

Red clover is a mild diuretic. It causes the body to shed water instead of retaining water.

Are there any side effects from red clover?

    • There are no major side effects; however some people have reported a minor skin rash.
    • These people may have been allergic to other ingredients in the red clover supplement rather than to red clover itself.

Interactions you should know about

If you are taking blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin or even aspirin, red clover should be used only under a physician’s supervision. Red clover has mild blood-thinning properties that may increase the risk of bleeding when used with anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs.

Red clover may:

  • Elevate or balance moods
  • Improve sleeping patterns
  • Reduce menopausal symptoms
    (hot flashes)
  • Support cardiovascular health
  • Promote maintenance of bone mass


Aatkinson, C. The effects of phytoestrogen isoflavones on bone density in women: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2004; vol 79: pp.326-333. News release, North American Menopause.

Baber R. J. , Templeman C. , Morton T., Kelly G. E., West L. Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of an isofalvone supplement and menopausal symptoms in women. Climacteric. 1999b; 2(2): 85-92.

North American Menopause Society (NAMS). The role of isoflavones in menopausal health: consensus opinion of the North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2000;7(4): 215-229.

Nachtigall LE. Isoflavones in the management of menopause. Journal of the British Menopause Society.