The health benefits of
Genistein (4'5, 7-trihydroxyisoflavone) occurs as a glycoside (genistin) in the
plant family Leguminosae, which includes the soybean (Glycine max). [6]
Thus, genistein is found in soybeans and soy products like tofu.

Genistein is believed to benefit those at risk of certain types of
such as breast, colon, prostate, thyroid, and head and neck cancers. [8]  
Warri A and co-workers at University of Turku, finland, reviewed many
articles and concluded that consumption of soy foods or an exposure to a
soy isoflavone genistein during childhood and adolescence in women, and
before puberty onset in animals, reduces later mammary cancer risk. A
meta-analysis of human studies indicates a modest reduction in pre- and
postmenopausal risk when dietary intakes are assessed during adult life. [1]
Perabo FG and co-workers at University Hospital, Bonn, Germany, stated
that the preclinical data of many studies for genistein show a remarkable
efficacy against prostate cancer cells in vitro with molecular targets ranging
from cell cycle regulation to induction of apoptosis. [3]

Szkudelska K and Nogowski L at Cieszkowski University of Agriculture said
that genistein could decrease body and fat tissue weight gains
accompanied by reduced food intake. I definitely agree with them that
reduction of food intake can lead to weight loss. [4]

Williamson-Hughes PS at Archer Daniels Midland Company, Decatur, IL,
pointed out that intake of genistein at right doses could lead to a statistically
significant decrease in hot flash symptoms. [5]

Genistein may offer benefit of heart protection. Si H and Liu D at Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University stated that genistein has a weak
estrogenic activity and it is a non-specific tyrosine kinase inhibitor.
Epidemiological studies show that genistein intake is inversely associated
with the risk of cardiovascular diseases. [2] Genistein in vitro relaxes rat
arteries by a nitric oxide dependent mechanism and enhances the dilator
response to acetylcholine of atherosclerotic arteries. Genistein
supplementation improves endothelial dysfunction induced by
oophorectomy in rats and reduces infarct size in an experimental model of
myocardial ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Furthermore, genistein in
postmenopausal women increases plasma nitric oxide breakdown
products, reduces endothelin-1 levels and improves endothelial dependent
vasodilation in post-menopausal women. [7]

Genistein appears to have benefits of bone health. Cotter A, Cashman KD.
at University College, Cork, Ireland stated that supplementation with the
dietary phytoestrogen genistein (54 mg/day) may be as effective as
hormone replacement therapy in attenuating menopause-related bone loss
without causing the associated side effects. [9]

What are the possible side effects of genistein?
Jefferson WN and co-workers at NIH (National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences; found that exposure to genistein
causes deleterious effects on the developing female reproductive system.
Mice treated neonatally on days 1-5 by subcutaneous injection of genistein
(0.5-50 mg/kg) exhibited altered ovarian differentiation leading to
multioocyte follicles (MOFs) at 2 months of age. Ovarian function and
estrous cyclicity were also disrupted by neonatal exposure to genistein with
increasing severity observed over time. Reduced fertility was observed in
mice treated with genistein (0.5, 5, or 25 mg/kg) and infertility was observed
at 50 mg/kg. [10]

This article is for reference only. Please, consult with your doctor for any question and
before taking any supplement. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2011

[1] Warri A, et al, The role of early life genistein exposures in modifying breast cancer risk. Br J
Cancer. 2008 May 6;98(9):1485-93. Epub 2008 Apr 8. [2] Si H, Liu D. Phytochemical genistein in
the regulation of vascular function: new insights. Curr Med Chem. 2007;14(24):2581-9. [3]
Perabo FG  Soy isoflavone genistein in prevention and treatment of prostate cancer. Prostate
Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2008;11(1):6-12. Epub 2007 Oct 9.[4] Szkudelska K, Nogowski L.
Genistein--a dietary compound inducing hormonal and metabolic changes. J Steroid Biochem
Mol Biol. 2007 Jun-Jul;105(1-5):37-45. Epub 2007 May 17. [5] Williamson-Hughes PS, et al,
Isoflavone supplements containing predominantly genistein reduce hot flash symptoms: a
critical review of published studies. Menopause. 2006 Sep-Oct;13(5):831-9. [6] Ravindranath
MH, et al, Adv Exp Med Biol. 2004;546:121-65. Anticancer therapeutic potential of soy isoflavone,
genistein. [7] Altavilla D, et al, Cardiovascular effects of the phytoestrogen genistein. Curr Med
Chem Cardiovasc Hematol Agents. 2004 Apr;2(2):179-86. [8] Radzikowski C, et al, Genistein: a
soy isoflavone revealing a pleiotropic mechanism of action - clinical implications in the
treatment and prevention of cancer Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2004 Feb 27;58:128-39. [9]
Cotter A, Cashman KD.  Genistein appears to prevent early postmenopausal bone loss as
effectively as hormone replacement therapy. Nutr Rev. 2003 Oct;61(10):346-51. [10] Jefferson
WN, et al, Disruption of the developing female reproductive system by phytoestrogens: genistein
as an example. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jul;51(7):832-44.
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