Daidzein: A review of pharmacological effects
Background: Daidzein is an isoflavone with extensive nutritious value and is mainly extracted from soy plants. It is also called phytoestrogen due to its structural similarity to the human hormone estrogen. However, daidzein is distinct from estrogen due to the specificity of the estrogen receptor (ER) complex. In recent years, the pharmacological properties of daidzein have been extensively investigated and considerable progress has been made. The present review aims to evaluate the pharmacological effects and mechanisms of daidzein as reported in scientific literature.
Materials and Methods: Studies were identified as reported in PubMed, Elsevier, Scholar, and Springer over the last ten years and this resulted in the identification of 112 papers.
Results: Daidzein is reported to play a significant role in the prevention and treatment of a variety of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, skin disease, and neurodegenerative disease. This pharmacological activity is attributed to various metabolites including equol and trihydroxy isoflavone.
Conclusion: Daidzein appears to play a significant role in the prevention of a variety of diseases and has the potential of being used in a clinical setting. However, further research is needed to understand its molecular mechanisms and safety for use in humans.
Keywords: Plant, natural product, phytoestrogen, pharmacology