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Estrogen & Yam: The Journey from Diosgenin to Body-Identical Estrogen

Updated: Jun 14

The synthesis of estrogen from yams involves a multi-step process that transforms specific compounds found in yams into body-identical estrogen. Here's a simplified overview of the process:




  1. Yam Harvesting: The process begins with the harvesting of yams, which are tuberous root vegetables.

  2. Extraction of Diosgenin: Yams, particularly wild yams, contain a compound called diosgenin. Diosgenin serves as a precursor to estrogen. The yams are processed to extract diosgenin.

  3. Conversion of Diosgenin to Progesterone: Diosgenin is then chemically transformed into progesterone through a series of reactions. Progesterone is a hormone that serves as a precursor to estrogen.

  4. Conversion of Progesterone to Estrogen: The progesterone obtained from diosgenin is further modified to produce estradiol. This form of estrogen is structurally identical or bioidentical to the estrogen produced in the human body.

  5. Purification and Formulation: The synthesized estrogen is purified to remove impurities and ensure the final product meets pharmaceutical standards. It is then formulated into various delivery methods, such as pills, patches,for use in hormone replacement therapy (HRT).



The term "body-identical" means that the molecular structure of the synthesized hormones is identical to those naturally produced in the human body. This process allows for the production of hormones that match the hormones our bodies produce, reducing the risk of side effects.



By Dr Purity Carr

GP & Menopause Doctor

Harvey WA

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