Potential of Soyiso in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer

Animal experiments have revealed the anticarcinogenic properties of SOYISO and soybean products (Messina et al., 1994; Helms and Gallaher, 1995; Lamartiniere et al., 1995). Genistein arrested the cell cycle at the G2-M phase while daidzein did so at the G1 phase (Jing et al., 1993; Matsukawa et al., 1993). Proposed mechanisms include oestrogenic and anti-oestrogenic effects (Adlercreutz, 1990; Messina and Barnes, 1991), induction of cancer cell differentiation, inhibition of tyrosine kinase in cell signalling (Messina and Barnes, 1991) and DNA topoisomerases in DNA replication (Markovits et al., 1989), and suppression of angiogenesis. But, as stated earlier,

SOYISO can protect DNA from oxidative damage caused by UV or H2O2/FeCl2 and inhibit the H2O2 formation induced in cancer cell lines by the tumour promoter, TPA. These data demonstrate that the antioxidant activity of SOYISO may play an important role in their anticancer activity. It must be stressed that soybeans contain a variety of compounds in addition to SOYISO which may have anticarcinogenic activity (Kennedy, 1995).

LDL oxidation is a critical event in atherogenesis; it promotes the formation of foam cells and proliferation of smooth muscle cells. This suggests that suppression of LDL oxidation by SOYISO may help prevent atherosclerosis. This possibility is supported by recent reports indicating that SOYISO can reduce the levels of blood lipids including total cholesterol, LDL and apolipoprotein B (Anthony et al., 1996). However, there are as yet no reports demonstrating that SOYISO prevent atherosclerosis in vivo.

Research in recent years has supported the concept linking free radicals with many diseases and symptoms, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, inflammation, impaired mental functioning and ageing. Experimental studies have supported the potential value of antioxidant treatment. For example, flavone extracts of Ginkgo biloba have been used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases for several decades. In this regard natural antioxidants may be preferable, as synthetic agents often have side effects. SOYISO may prove to be a family of compounds well worthy of further investigation.

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