Equol, a metabolite of daidzein, inhibits bone loss in ovariectomized mice.
ABSTRACT Soybean isoflavones have structures similar to that of estrogen and have received attention as alternatives to hormone replacement therapy for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Daidzein, a major isoflavone found in soybean, is metabolized to equol by gut microflora, and the metabolite exhibits a stronger estrogenic activity than daidzein. However, there is no direct evidence that equol affects bone metabolism. In this study, we examined the effect of equol on the inhibition of bone loss in ovariectomized (OVX) mice. Female mice (8 wk old) were assigned to 5 groups as follows: sham-operated (sham), OVX, OVX + 0.1 mg/d equol administration (0.1 Eq), OVX + 0.5 mg/d equol administration (0.5 Eq), and OVX + 0.03 microg/d 17beta-estradiol administration (E(2)). Equol and E(2) were administered s.c., using a mini-osmotic pump. At 4 wk after the intervention, uterine weight was less in the OVX mice than in sham-operated mice (P < 0.05). The weight was maintained in the E(2) group. In contrast, administration of equol at doses used in this study did not affect uterine atrophy in OVX mice. Bone mineral density (BMD) for the whole body in the OVX group measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was lower than that in the sham group, whereas administration of 0.5 mg/d Eq as well as E(2) maintained the BMD. The BMD of the femur and lumbar spine in the OVX group was also lower than those in the sham group, and treatment with 0.5 mg/d Eq maintained it. Notably, the BMD of the proximal femur in the 0.5 Eq group was the same as that of the sham group. E(2) inhibited bone loss from all regions induced by OVX. These results suggest that equol, a major metabolite of daidzein, inhibits bone loss apparently without estrogenic activity in the reproductive organs of OVX mice.
Article: Equol, via dietary sources or intestinal production, may ameliorate estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Equol, a product of intestinal metabolism of daidzein, is chemically similar to estrogen (without the lipophilic moiety) and has higher estrogen receptor-beta binding affinity than its parent precursor. In 2004, a long-term, randomized controlled trial that characterized postmenopausal women by their equol-producing status showed stronger advantages to lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) in equol- compared with nonequol-producers. Subsequent studies have related equol status of participants to change in bone turnover markers or BMD in response to soy isoflavone interventions. To our knowledge, we are the first to prescreen women for equol-producing status prior to initiating an intervention. In menopausal Western women, equol status did not affect the modest, but significant, reduction in bone resorption achieved with a soy isoflavone intervention.Journal of Nutrition 07/2010; 140(7):1377S-9S. · 3.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Equol [7-hydroxy-3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-chroman], an isoflavan produced by intestinal bacteria in response to soy isoflavone intake in some but not all humans, exhibits a wide range of biological properties. It exists as the diastereoisomers S-(-)equol and R-(+)equol. Intestinal bacteria produce exclusively S-(-)equol, which has selective affinity for estrogen receptor (ER)-beta. The evidence is conflicting on whether there is an advantage to producing S-(-)equol in response to soy isoflavone intakes, but the ability to now synthesize these diastereoisomers opens the way for future clinical trials to directly examine their potential in a number of hormone-dependent conditions. In this review, the plasma and urinary pharmacokinetics of S-(-)equol and R-(+)equol are reviewed and summarized, and some of the more recent evidence supporting potential biological effects of S-(-)equol is considered.Journal of Nutrition 07/2010; 140(7):1363S-8S. · 3.92 Impact Factor