Urinary isoflavonoid excretion in humans is dose dependent at low to moderate levels of soy-protein consumption

Susan C. Karr, Johanna W. Lampe, Andrea M. Hutchins, Joanne L. Slavin

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138 Scopus citations


Soybeans contain isoflavones, which have been associated with many health benefits, including decreased cancer risk. The purpose of our study was to measure urinary isoflavonoid excretion in response to daily consumption of soy that contained 0-36 mg isoflavones-a lower range than used in previous studies-and to compare urinary isoflavonoid excretion between equol excreters and nonexcreters. Fourteen men and women aged 20-40 y participated in the study. Half of the subjects were identified previously as equol excreters and the other half as equol nonexcreters. This randomized, double-blind, crossover study consisted of four 9-d diet treatment periods. During each treatment period participants consumed a low-phytoestrogen controlled diet and a beverage containing 0, 5, 10, or 20 g soy protein. Urine collected on the last 3 d of each treatment period was analyzed for isoflavonoid (equol, O-desmethylangolensin, genistein, and daidzein) and lignan (enterodiol and enterolactone) contents by using isotope-dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. There was a highly linear dose response of urinary isoflavonoid excretion to soy consumption, which did not differ significantly between equol excreters and nonexcreters. There were no significant differences in lignan excretion between the two diet treatments. Our results indicate that urinary isoflavonoid excretion is dose dependent in humans at low to moderate levels of soy consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997


  • Daidzein
  • Dose response
  • Enterodiol
  • Enterolactone
  • Genistein
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones
  • Lignan
  • O- desmethylangolensin
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Soy
  • Urine


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