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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gut bacterial metabolism of the soy isoflavone daidzein

Posted by Chantel M. Contributed by US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health 

In the study of Gut bacterial metabolism of the soy isoflavone daidzein: exploring the relevance to human health. by Atkinson C, Frankenfeld CL, Lampe JW., posted in PubMed, showed that Daidzein, an isoflavone phytoestrogen found in soy, is metabolized to equol and O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA) by intestinal bacteria. The specific bacterium/bacteria responsible for equol and O-DMA production in humans have yet to be identified definitively, but in vitro and animal studies have suggested that equol and O-DMA are more biologically active than their precursor daidzein. Interestingly, substantial interindividual differences in daidzein metabolism exist; following soy or daidzein consumption, approximately 30%-50% of the human population produce equol, and approximately 80%-90% produce O-DMA. Observational and intervention studies in humans have suggested that the ability to produce equol and O-DMA may be associated with reduced risk of certain diseases including breast and prostate cancers.

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