Soya isoflavones are a type of water soluble pigment known as bioflavanoids. Relatively large amounts of isoflavones are present in whole soybeans, roasted soya nuts, tofu, tempeh, soya milk, meat substitutes, soya flour, and some soya protein isolates.The main isoflavones present in soya are genistein, glycitein and daidzein.
What it does
- Oestrogen Regulating: Isoflavones contain phytoestrogenic components which modify oestrogenic activity in the body due to their ability to bind to oestrogen receptors in cells. If the levels of oestrogen are too high, the isoflavones comparatively weak phytoestrogens can occupy receptors that otherwise could have been occupied by the much stronger hormone. If the oestrogenic activity in the body is too low, phytoestrogens can exert a mild positive oestrogenic effect.
- Cardiovascular Disease: Genistein and daidzein may help prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing oxidation of cholesterol and platelet aggregation.
- Cell Protection: Soy isoflavones such as genistein may help to prevent oestrogen-dependant cell damage and help to inhibit an enzyme that would otherwise stimulate abnormal growth of cells.
Extremely high doses are probably best avoided in those with under-active thyroid.
Do not take soya isoflavones if you are allergic to soya.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using soya isoflavones.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with soya isoflavones.