Article

Dietary flour supplementation decreases post-menopausal hot flushes: effect of soy and wheat.

University of South Wales, Понтиприте, Wales, United Kingdom
Maturitas (Impact Factor: 2.86). 05/1995; 61(1-2):27-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2008.09.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Plants contain compounds with oestrogen--like action called phytoestrogens. Soy contains daidzin, a potent phytoestrogen, and wheat flour contains less potent enterolactones. We aimed to show in 58 postmenopausal women (age 54, range 30-70 years) with at least 14 hot flushes per week, that their daily diet supplemented with soy flour (n = 28) could reduce flushes compared with wheat flour (n = 30) over 12 weeks when randomised and double blind. Hot flushes significantly decreased in the soy and wheat flour groups (40% and 25% reduction, respectively < 0.001 for both) with a significant rapid response in the soy flour group in 6 weeks (P < 0.001) that continued. Menopausal symptom score decreased significantly in both groups (P < 0.05). Urinary daidzein excretion confirmed compliance. Vaginal cell maturation, plasma lipids and urinary calcium remained unchanged. Serum FSH decreased and urinary hydroxyproline increased in the wheat flour group.

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    ABSTRACT: This review brings up regarding the plant derived compounds with estrogenic activity. The authors correctly emphasize the need of foods containing phyto-oestrogens in view of its significant pharmacokinetic profile. This is particularly essential in the light of the current wave of enthusiasm for vegetarian food in general and phyto-oestrogens in particular. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived hormone-like diphenolic compounds of dietary origin. These compounds are weakly estrogenic could play a multidirectional health benefits. They are present in the plant as glycosidic conjugates, some of which contain further chemical modifications. In the gastrointestinal tract, the conjugates undergo hydrolysis catalyzed by enzymes in the intestinal wall and by gut bacteria. On entering the systemic circulation, the phytoestrogens may undergo extensive metabolism to other compounds through reactions involving demethylation, methylation, hydroxylation, chlorination, iodination, and nitration. Besides that the review concludes with the discussion of the several factors affecting gut metabolism of phyto-oestrogen. KEY WORDS: Gut metabolism; Pharmacokinetic profile; Phytoestrogens. INTRODUCTION Epidemiologic studies suggest that consumption of legumes protects against the development of colon, breast, and prostate cancers (1–4). Soybeans (soy) are among the most widely consumed legumes. Soy-derived chemopreventive compounds include isoflavones (daidzein and genistein) (4), a protease inhibitor (Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor) (5), phytosterols (6), saponins (7), and inositols (8). Of these components, metabolites of isoflavones (9–12) and of the Bowman-Birk protease inhibitor have been detected in animals and humans after soy ingestion. Isoflavone consumption is inversely associated with breast cancer risk in premenopausal Chinese women in Singapore (3) and with prostate cancer risk in men of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii (2). Legumes are also a major source of protein for vegetarians, a group with low risk for many cancers (1). The prevalence of prostate carcinoma is lower among Japanese in Japan than among US whites and blacks (13), which may be attributed to a higher intake of soy phytoestrogens by the Japanese (9). Isoflavones exhibit estrogenic activities and may act as estrogen agonists or antagonists (14). Daidzein and genistein inhibit cell proliferation (15) and induce cell differentiation (16). Genistein inhibits angiogenesis (17), is a specific inhibitor of tyrosine kinase (18), and inhibits topoisomerase II (15, 19). Although these isoflavones may play important roles in the reduction of cancer risk, adverse reproductive effects have been observed in sheep. These effects were found to be associated with the ability of sheep to metabolize daidzein (and its precursor, formononetin) to equol (20). Because metabolism and adverse reproductive effects of isoflavones vary greatly among species, it is extremely difficult to extrapolate results from animals to humans. Therefore, it is important to investigate the metabolism and disposition of isoflavones in humans (12, 21, 22). The absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of isoflavones, lignans and other classes of phytoestrogen are not completely defined in humans and more systematic studies are required. Most of the available information on pharmacokinetics concerns the isoflavonoids daidzein and genistein and to a lesser extent, the lignans enterodiol and enterolactone Generally speaking, isoflavonoids and lignans are ingested largely as glycosides, which undergo hydrolysis, possibly in the stomach, under the action of acid, or in the lower gut, under the action of the gut microflora. The deglycosylated (aglycone) compounds may be further metabolised by the gut bacteria and/or absorbed. Once absorbed, these compounds are rapidly and extensively re-conjugated, largely with UDP-glucuronic acid, and excreted in the bile or urine. Biliary conjugates are hydrolysed by the gut bacteria and/or excreted in the faeces or further metabolised and/or reabsorbed (enterohepatic circulation) or degraded. It is clear that the gut microflora play a crucial role in determining the absorption, metabolism, re-absorption (enterohepatic circulation), degradation and excretion of ingested isoflavonoid and lignan phytoestrogens and their metabolites. There is considerable inter-individual variation in metabolite profiles, which are both qualitative and quantitative. Variation seems to be particularly marked for the conversions of daidzein to equol and enterodiol to enterolactone and is due largely to the gut microflora.
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