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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Isoflavones are members of the large flavonoid family of plant compounds, which are in turn members of the larger group of plant constituents known as polyphenols. The principle isoflavones in soy are genistein, daidzein, and their metabolites.
  • Isoflavones are a subclass of a larger and more ubiquitous group of nutraceuticals called flavonoids. In comparison to most flavonoids, isoflavones have a very limited distribution in the plant kingdom. While flavonoids are found in many plant foods such as onions, apples, and grapes, soybeans are the only food to contain nutritionally relevant amounts of isoflavones.

Production

  • In soybeans and nonfermented soyfoods, isoflavones are present primarily as beta-glucosides, esterified with malonic or acetic acid. In fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso, due to microorganism-induced fermentation and hydrolysis more of the isoflavones are present in aglycone (unconjugated) form. Isoflavones are quite heat stable. Baking or frying does not alter total isoflavone content and although the chemical structure of the isoflavone is very slightly changed, this change is not thought to be nutritional relevant.
  • The majority of the isoflavones found in soybean tissues are present as conjugated forms that are glucosides and malonyl-glucosides (Graham, 1991). In all of the analyses  the samples were treated with hot HCl to hydrolyze any isoflavone conjugates. This treatment would convert possibly multiple derivatives into the single aglycone form for easier
    detection.

Applications

  • Isoflavones have a strikingly similar chemical structure to mammalian estrogens. Therefore, it is not surprising that isoflavones bind to estrogen receptors and affect estrogen-regulated gene products. Although isoflavones possess estrogenic and possibly antiestrogenic activity,37 the physiological effects of isoflavones, especially genistein, are likely only partially related to direct interaction with or binding to estrogen receptors.
  • Isoflavones are present in relatively large amounts in virtually all soy products, with the exception of soy-protein concentrate. Whole soy contain about 200 mg isoflavones per 100g. Soybeans contain three types of isoflavones in four chemical structures.

Benefits

  • Isoflavones are widely believed to have beneficial effects on human health. This view stems mainly from epidemiological data, indicating an inverse correlation between levels of soy-derived food consumption and the incidence of certain types of cancer. Similar data support the general belief that soy consumption at the level characteristic of Asian society prevents cardiovascular ailments and post-menopausal effects, including osteoporosis.
  • Our soy isoflavone supplement contains 10.73 mg of genistein and 22.25 mg of daidzein per capsule. Cognition: Three human trials have found that soy foods and isoflavone supplements improve certain aspects of cognition. There are also isoflavone supplements on the market containing significant amounts of daidzein and genistein, another anti−cancer phytoestrogen found in soy.

Products

  • Isoflavones are secondary metabolites of higher plants arising from the malonate–shikimate biosynthetic pathway, which produces great variety of phenylpropanoid aglycones. Two kinds of post-translational modification are characteristic of this group of natural products – O- (and occasionally C-) glycosylation and esterification by biogenic carboxylic acids.
  • Isoflavone-containing soybeans are among the most important agri-cultural crops, a traditional source of food in Asian countries, and an im-portant source of food additives and modifiers used throughout the world (e.g. in the manufacture of meat products). Because isoflavones are clearly estrogenic, among other distinct biological activity, and tons of them end up in food and animal feed, they should be traced as a matter of basic toxicological and environmental protection.
  • Soy isoflavone products are marketed as dietary oestrogens to women over the age of 50 as a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but since this is also the age group in which most breast cancers occur, these new findings - if supported - could have widespread implications.

Market

  • In 2004, the soy market surpassed the $4 billion mark, growing approximately 5% over the previous year, according to Peter Golbitz, president and publisher, Soyatech, Bar Harbor, ME, which publishes the Soya & Oilseed Bluebook.
  • For soy isoflavones, the primary market remains dietary supplements and the association between indication areas like menopause is well known. In the study, slow release formula actually demonstrated that the specific soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein could actually be sustained over an entire day
  • Central Soya will introduce Prevastein soy isoflavones for use in functional foods, and cogins will offer the product to the nutritional supplement market for use in tablets

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