Importance of Equol—A Clue to Effectiveness of Soy Isoflavones
We see a familiar concept here. Soy isolflavones need to be acted on by beneficial bacteria in the gut to produce equol–a nonsteroidal estrogen-like compound that is believed to be one of the most potent antioxidants in this class. This may explain some of the discrepancies in soy benefit studies and is further proof for a holistic approach to health that would include lifestyle changes to support healthy bacterial flora. We see this same concept with soluble fiber and colon cancer–the fiber needs to be acted on by beneficial bacteria to produce butyrate to protect the colonocytes.
Nutrition.org — Abstracts: Setchell et al. 132 (12): 3577