Correlations of urinary phytoestrogen excretion with lifestyle factors and dietary intakes among middle-aged and elderly Chinese women

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN, USA.
International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics (Impact Factor: 1.3). 01/2012; 3(1):18-29.
Source: PubMed


Isoflavones and lignans, two major groups of phytoestrogens, have been postulated to have multiple health benefits, including anti-estrogenic, anti-cancer, pro-cardiovascular health, and ameliorating menopausal symptoms. Urinary excretion of isoflavonoids, including daidzein, genistein, glycitein, O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA), dihydro-daidzein, dihydrogenistein, and equol, and lignans, including enterodiol and enterolactone, have been used as biomarkers of phytoestrogen exposure in epidemiologic studies. We evaluated the urinary excretion of phytoestrogens and their correlations with lifestyle and dietary factors among 2,165 women who participated in the Shanghai Women's Health Study (SWHS), a population-based prospective cohort study of 74,942 urban Chinese women aged 40-70 years at study enrollment (1996-2000). The medians (in nmol/mg creatinine) were: isoflavonoids, 17.13; daidzein, 5.57; genistein, 2.41; glycitein, 0.94; O-DMA, 1.52; dihydrodaidzein, 0.81; dihydrogenistein, 0.19; equol, 0.11; enterodiol, 0.30; and enterolactone, 1.18. These levels are 2- (enterodiol) to 126- (O-DMA) fold higher than levels among US women similar in age range with the exception of enterolactone, for which a similar level was observed for both populations. Urinary isoflavonoid excretion was higher among older women and women who engaged in regular exercise and significantly associated with soy food intake, but was inversely related to fruit intake. Urinary excretions of dihydrodaidzein, dihydrogenistein, equol, enterodiol, and enterolactone were inversely associated with body mass index (BMI). Urinary excretion of isoflavones correlated with soy food intake and healthy lifestyle but was inversely associated with fruit intake among middle-aged and elderly Chinese women. Our study adds important information to the rapidly growing body of research on the potential health benefits of phytoestrogens.

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    • "In middle-aged and elderly Chinese women, it was reported that urinary excretion of isoflavones was correlated with soy food intake and healthy lifestyle (e.g., regular exercise) but was inversely associated with fruit intake [25]. Also, Wu and colleagues' study showed that urinary dihydrodaidzein, equol, dihydrogenistein, and the metabolites of daidzein and genistein had a significantly negative correlation with BMI [25]. The metabolization of daidzein occurs in the gut through the action of a particular class of bacteria Clostridium sp, Eubacterium ramulus, Bacteroides ovatus, Bifidobacterium breve, etc [36]. "
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