Emerging evidence of the health benefits of S-equol, an estrogen receptor β agonist.
ABSTRACT Many clinical studies have been carried out to determine the health benefits of soy protein and the isoflavones contained in soy. S-equol is not present in soybeans but is produced naturally in the gut of certain individuals, particularly Asians, by the bacterial biotransformation of daidzein, a soy isoflavone. In those intervention studies in which plasma S-equol levels were determined, a concentration of >5-10 ng/mL has been associated with a positive outcome for vasomotor symptoms, osteoporosis (as measured by an increase in bone mineral density), prostate cancer, and the cardiovascular risk biomarkers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and C-reactive protein. These studies suggest that S-equol may provide therapeutic benefits for a number of medical needs.