An isoflavone, daidzein is basically a hormone-like substance that is present in soybeans. After genistein, daidzein is considered to be the second most copious isoflavone present in soy. Findings of several scientific studies have revealed that similar to genistein, daidzein is a phytoestrogen as well as an antioxidant. Daidzein is mostly used for treating conditions caused or aggravated by depletion of estrogen levels in the body.

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Basically, daidzein is a phytochemical that is present also in peas as well as other plants like red clover and kudzu. Daidzein is actually a polyphenol belonging to the category of flavonoids called isoflavones. Over the years, scientists have extensively studied soy isoflavones to find their consequences on the health of humans. Daidzein not only possesses antioxidant actions, but also offers protection from various forms of cancer.

Daidzein and genistein are among the main soy isoflavones. The structure of these phytochemicals is quite similar to the estrogen found in mammals. In addition, these compounds readily bind to estrogen receptors present in human and animal cells. Hence, these compounds are also called phytoestrogens or estrogens obtained from plants. Phytoestrogens are considered to be anti-cancer agents for cancers based on hormones, for instance prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Consuming soybeans as well as soy products like tofu, soy flour and soy milk offers various health benefits. In fact, these substances form a main component in the diet of many Asian regions. Countries where these substances are consumed on a regular basis have fewer incidences of specific forms of cancer. For instance, the incidences of breast and prostate cancers are very low in Japan when compared to that in the West. Interestingly enough, it has been found that when Japanese men who migrated to the United States and got used to the American diets, incidences of prostate cancer have increased significantly among them. Hence, it is assumed that the rise in the rate of prostate cancer among such men is mainly owing to their divergence from diets based on soy. Findings of several studies undertaken to compare the diets of people with their rates of cancer have shown a correlation between consuming soy and soy products and the decreased incidences of prostate cancer.

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Findings of several laboratory studies have revealed that daidzein has anti-tumour actions against a number of cancer forms, including breast cancer and those of the cervix, colon, prostate and pancreas. Several dissimilar types of researches have shown that use of soy isoflavones protects women from breast cancer. Since people in Asia consume more soy and soy products, women in this part of the world have lower incidences of breast cancer compared to their counterparts in the West. As in the case of men, population studies undertaken on women showed that when Asian women migrate to the West and get accustomed to the food habits there, they experience relatively higher rates of breast cancer. This has mainly been attributed to their change in diet. The diet of people in the West does not include adequate amounts of soy isoflavones.

Studies undertaken in laboratories have also shown that daidzein promotes healthy growth of bone cells. Therefore, it suggests that this soy isoflavone can be used to help in offering protection against bone loss, especially among the elderly as well as women during menopause. Women in their menopausal phase suffer from bone loss as the levels of hormones continue to deplete, often rapidly giving rise to several disorders. Since long, the female hormone estrogen has been used to prevent bone loss. However, findings of latest studies have shown that the use of estrogen results in several unwanted side effects.

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The roots of kudzu plant (scientific name Pueraria lobata) are employed to prepare a traditional herbal medicine known as Radix puerariae (RP). This herbal medication also encloses daidzein. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using daidzein for treating several conditions, including alcoholism. Several studies undertaken on animals have shown that this soy isoflavone may possibly have some action against alcoholism.

Supplements based on daidzein are sold for protection from prostate cancer. However, as of now, it is not clear how effective these supplements are. Therefore, it is advisable that before you start using any such supplement, you should always consult your physician, because they occasionally interact with many prescription drugs as well as several herbs. Hence, the best way to obtain daidzein is by consuming soy and soy products regularly in your diet.

Health benefits of daidzein

The hormone-like substance daidzein offers a number of health benefits. This natural substance retards the growth of carcinogenic cells by replacing the estrogen on carcinogenic cell receptors. It is worth mentioning here that cancer cells require estrogen for growth. Daidzein also works to restrain tumorous growth by compelling the tumour cells to distinguish normally, instead of the random, exponential growth as seen in the case of tumour cells. It has been found that daidzein is particularly effective in curbing the leukemia cell growth, in addition to the growth of melanoma cells.

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Daidzein is a phytoestrogen and, hence, imitates the actions of estrogen inside our body. Therefore, daidzein may prove to be effective for treating conditions that are either caused or aggravated owing to diminishing levels of estrogen during menopause. It may also be useful in preventing osteoporosis and reducing the risks of heart diseases. It has been found that the isoflavones contained in soy possess the aptitude to reduce the accumulation of LDL low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (also known as "bad cholesterol") in the arteries. In addition, it has been indicated that soy isoflavones may also prove to be effective for treating Alzheimer's disease by means of preventing plaque build-up inside the blood vessels in our brain.

It is possible to increase the daidzein content in your diet by consuming foods that are prepared from soybeans or consuming soybeans directly. In addition, various isoflavone supplements are available in the market that contains considerable quantities of daidzein as well as genistein. An useful phytoestrogen, genistein also possess anti-carcinogenic properties. This phytoestrogen is also present in soy. Apart from these, you can also obtain an excellent amount of isoflavones by consuming herbal kudzu supplements. Kudzu also encloses soy isoflavones.

People who are burdened with osteoporosis may find ipriflavone beneficial. Ipriflavone is a supplement that encloses a chemically altered variety of soy isoflavones. In fact, it has been established that ipriflavone is an isoflavone supplement that is most effectual in putting off bone loss.

As of now, there is no standard recommended dose for daidzein. However, people in Japan take roughly 200 mg of isoflavones on average. Although ingestion of daidzein does not result in any adverse side effects, since it is a phytoestrogen, some people are concerned that this isoflavone may promote the growth of cancers stimulated by excessive estrogen. Moreover, there are fears that daidzein may also get in the way of the effects of oral contraceptive. Therefore, people who have been diagnosed with cancers stimulated by estrogen should avoid isoflavones. This is mainly because findings of some scientific studies hint that daidzein and genistein may possibly worsen their conditions.


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