Isoflavones

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Isoflavones

Isoflavones are phytochemicals , which are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that potentially have strong biological activity (and, therefore, a physiological effect) in the body. They may help lower the risk for various diseases, including cancer , heart disease , and diabetes . Similar in chemical structure to estrogen , isoflavones are, in fact, weak estrogens, and may have an effect similar to estrogens on the body. Nonestrogenic effects of isoflavones include reduction of cholesterol levels and inhibition of cancer-cell growth. Food sources include soy products such as soy milk, tofu , tempeh, and miso, but not soy sauce or soybean oil. Isoflavones may or may not be found in soy protein , depending on the processing method.

see also Antioxidants; Functional Foods; Phytochemicals; Soy.

Susan Mitchel

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phytoestrogens (phyto‐oestrogens) Compounds in plant foods, especially soy bean, that have both oestrogenic and anti‐oestrogenic action; may be protective against hormone‐dependent cancer and osteoporosis. See lignans; oestrogens.

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isoflavones See flavonoids.