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Phytoestrogens: adverse effects on reproduction in California quail

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Science  09 Jan 1976:
Vol. 191, Issue 4222, pp. 98-100
DOI: 10.1126/science.1246602

Abstract

Phytoestrogens, largely formononetin and genistein, are produced in the leaves of stunted desert annuals in a dry year. When ingested by California quail, these compounds apparently inhibit reproduction and prevent the production of young that will not have adequate food. In a wet year, forbs grow vigorously and phytoestrogenic substances are largely absent. Quail then breed prolifically and the abundant seed crop carries the enlarged population through the winter.

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