European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 389–398 | Cite as

Does equol production determine soy endocrine effects?

  • Dana Shor
  • Thozhukat Sathyapalan
  • Stephen L. Atkin
  • Natalie J. Thatcher


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.


Equol Phytoestrogen Isoflavone Soy Cardiovascular disease Osteoporosis Breast cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana Shor
    • 1
  • Thozhukat Sathyapalan
    • 2
    • 4
  • Stephen L. Atkin
    • 2
  • Natalie J. Thatcher
    • 3
  1. 1.Hull York Medical SchoolHullUK
  2. 2.Department of Diabetes and EndocrinologyHull York Medical SchoolHullUK
  3. 3.Food Standards AgencyLondonUK
  4. 4.Michael White Diabetes CentreHullUK

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