What is Daidzein?Daidzein belongs to the group of isoflavones and has the typical C6-C3-C6 structure. Isoflavones are also called phytoestrogens because they have some estrogen activity. Daidzein is the aglycone (molecule without sugar) of glycoside daidzin. Other well known isoflavones are genistein and glycitein.
DistributionSoy beans, kudzu, red clover.
Health Benefits of DaidzeinDaidzein has both weak estrogenic and weak anti-estrogenic effects. Daizein has also antioxidant activity. Foti P. et al of the Department of Food Science and Microbiology (University of Milan) compared the antioxidant activity daidzein and genistein. antioxidant activity in primary and cancer lymphocytes. Their results showed that daidzein is just as effective as genistein in protecting cells against oxidative damage of DNA. The antioxidant activity of daidzein was measured at concentration which could be obtained by consumption of soy products.
The anti-estrogenic effect of daidzein may explain its anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherogenic and anti-osteoporotic activity. Epidemiological studies have long shown that people who consume a lot of soy have reduces incidences of prostate cancers. This benefit of soy could be explained by the anti-cancer and antioxidant activity of daidzein.
Constantinou AI et al (Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Illinois at Chicago) studied the effect of daidzein on the capacity of tomaxifen to prevent mammary tumours. They concluded that the combination of daidzein and tamoxifen produces increased protection against mammary carcinogenesis: tumour multiplicity was reduced by 76 percent and tumor incidence by 35 percent.
Daidzein seems to reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Studies have shown that daidzein stimulates the formation of osteoblasts, which are cells that produce bone mass.
There are also indications that daidzein may reduce the dependence on alcohol. Keung WM et al of the Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences and Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, showed that an extract of Radix Puerariae suppressed the free-choice ethanol intake of ethanol-preferring hamsters. The herb Radix Puerariae contains daidzein and is used in China as a traditional Chinese medicine for alcohol addiction and intoxication.
AbstractsHealth Benefits of Daidzein
Synonyms7-hydroxy-3- (4-hydroxyphenyl)-4H -1-benzopyran-4-one, 4', 7-dihydroxyisoflavone