Absorption in humans of isoflavones from soy and red clover is similar

Nobuyo Tsunoda, Sylvia Pomeroy, Paul Nestel

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40 Citations (Scopus)


The absorption of isoflavones varies substantially among individuals. It is unknown whether isoflavone absorption differs between those originating from soy and those from red clover, which contain different mixtures of isoflavones. Because both soy and red clover are increasingly used in foods and supplements, these issues were studied in 14 subjects in a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Soybean isoflavone glycosides and red clover isoflavone aglycones were incorporated into a breakfast cereal and eaten daily for 2 wk each, separated by a 2-wk control or washout period. The 24-h excretions of isoflavones in urine were measured; ∼25% of each isoflavone was recovered in urine, suggesting that similar amounts were absorbed irrespective of their glycoside/aglycone nature or the differing compositions of their sources (daidzein and genistein in soy and formononetin and biochanin in red clover). Although interindividual variability was high, there was less intraindividual variability; the amounts excreted when subjects consumed the two sources of isoflavone were correlated (r = 0.69; P = 0.007).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2199-2201
Number of pages3
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Absorption
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones
  • Red clover
  • Soybeans

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