Daidzein

Daidzein is the second most plentiful isoflavone in soy (after genistein). It is one of important antioxidants, have potent properties to prevent bone loss and the development of osteoporosis. And it can induce leukemia cells to differentiate and revert back to normal cells.

Soy isoflavones, and other naturally occuring biologically active components found in soy are currently under study for their potential role in helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis and in reducing some menopausal symptoms. Daidzein belongs to the isoflavone class of flavonoids. It is also classified as a phytoestrogen since it is a plant-derived nonsteroidal compound that possesses estrogen-like biological activity. Daidzein has been found to have both weak estrogenic and weak anti-estrogenic effects.

Daidzein is an isoflavone found mostly in soybeans, legumes, and peas. Soy isoflavones are free radical scavengers (potent antioxidants) and are antiangiogenic (they interfere with unwanted blood vessel growth in disease states). They have been shown to have a beneficial effect on some types of cancer and bone health. Daidzein is also found in Radix puerariae (RP), an herbal medicine made from kudzu root. RP has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of a wide range of disorders, including alcoholism. It is thought that the antidipsotropic (anti-drinking) effect of RP is due to daidzein.

Daidzein is the aglycone (aglucon) of daidzin. The isoflavone is found naturally as the glycoside daidzin and as the glycosides 6"-O-malonylgenistin and 6"-O-acetyldaidzin. Daidzein and its glycosides are mainly found in legumes, such as soybeans and chickpeas. Soybeans and soy foods are the major dietary sources of these substances. Daidzein glycosides are the second most abundant isoflavones in soybeans and soy foods; genistein glycosides are the most abundant. Nonfermented soy foods, such as tofu, contain daidzein, principally in its glycoside forms. Fermented soy foods, such as tempeh and miso, contain significant levels of the aglycone.

Daidzein and daidzin are also found in Radix puerariae (RP). RP is an herbal medicine prepared from the root of the legume Pueraria labata, commonly known as kudzu. RP has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of a wide range of disorders. It has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine since 600 AD for its "anti-drunkenness" effect and is still used by traditional Chinese physicians for the treatment of those who abuse alcohol. It is thought that the antidipsotropic (anti-drinking) effect of RP is due to daidzein and daidzin.

Daidzein is a solid substance that is virtually insoluble in water. Its molecular formula is C15H10O4, and its molecular weight is 254.24 daltons. Daidzein is also known as 7-hydroxy-3- (4-hydroxyphenyl)-4H -1-benzopyran-4-one and 4', 7-dihydroxyisoflavone. Daidzin, which has greater water solubility than daidzein, is the 7-beta glucoside of daidzein.