Genistein: A multipurpose isoflavone

Ajay Gaur, Arvind Lal Bhatia


Genistein is a soya isoflavone, mainly found in legumes, such as soybeans. Isoflavones may prove multipurpose biochemicals that have several functions such contribute colour to plant, protect the plant against bacterial and fungal infections, and serve a hormone-like role (as a phytooestrogen) in plant cell regulation. Scientists are discovering that when people eat soy products, such as tofu and soymilk, isoflavones and their derivatives produce health benefits in addition to nutritional values. Among various soya isoflavones, genistein has been shown to have a wide range of activities in animal models and experimental studies. On account of its tyrosine kinase inhibiting, antioxidant and oestrogenic or antioestrogenic activities as well as its p53 regulatory properties, researchers have been making endeavours in studying its effects against oxidative stress and related disorders. Convincing studies on its anticancer, lipid lowering, anti-diabetic, antiradiation, against eye diseases, against photodamage, against obesity and as well as immune system enhancers or stimulants have been heeded upon in the scientific world. This review reports some of the activities of genistein.
Key words: Genistein, soya isoflavone, soyabeans, antioxidants

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