Does equol production determine soy endocrine effects?
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- Shor, D., Sathyapalan, T., Atkin, S.L. et al. Eur J Nutr (2012) 51: 389. doi:10.1007/s00394-012-0331-7
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Isoflavones, a group of phytoestrogens, are selective oestrogen receptor (ER) modulators. They may positively impact endocrine-related conditions but the current evidence is sparse. Equol, a non-steroidal oestrogen, is produced by the metabolism of the isoflavone daidzein by intestinal bacteria. In Western countries, 30–50% of individuals metabolize daidzein into equol and are known as equol producers. Equol production may be the source of benefit from isoflavones in endocrine disease.