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Diet and Nutrition 2023

Genisteína: what é, what it is for and food source

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Genisteína: what é, what it is for and food source
Genisteína: what é, what it is for and food source

Genistein is part of a group of compounds called isoflavones, which are present in soy and some other foods such as beans, chickpeas and peas.

Genistein is a powerful antioxidant and therefore has several he alth benefits, from inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, to preventing and helping in the treatment of some degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Although genistein can be consumed through the food source, it can also be taken in supplement form, which can be found in supplement and he alth food stores.

Regular consumption of good amounts of genistein has the following he alth benefits:

1. Protect against cancer

Genistein has been shown to have a protective effect mainly against breast, colon and prostate cancers. In women who are still menstruating, it works by regulating excess estrogen, which can end up causing cell changes and cancer.

2. Reducing menopausal symptoms

In menopausal women, genistein acts as an estrogen-like compound, which alleviates menopausal symptoms, especially excessive heat, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, which are frequent consequences in post-menopause.

3. Lower cholesterol

Genistein is a potent antioxidant that works by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is the bad cholesterol, and increasing the levels of HDL, which is the good cholesterol. This effect protects blood vessels against the onset of atherosclerosis, which are fatty plaques that clog blood vessels and cause problems such as heart attack and stroke.

4. Strengthen the immune system

Genistein and other isoflavones are powerful antioxidants, which is why they work by strengthening the immune system and bringing benefits such as preventing cellular changes that lead to cancer, reducing the loss of proteins in the body and regulating the life cycle of cells..

These effects, in addition to preventing diseases, also help to prevent premature aging and the increase of expression marks on the skin.

5. Diabetes prevention

Genistein works by stimulating the production of insulin, a hormone responsible for stimulating the reduction of blood glucose, which lowers the blood sugar content. This effect occurs both with the supplementation of the soy protein itself and with the use of tablets with its flavonoids, which must be taken according to medical advice.

Recommended amount of genistein

There is no specific amount recommendation for genistein. However, there is a daily recommendation for the intake of soy isoflavones, which include genistein, which ranges from 30 to 50 mg per day.

In any case, it is always important to have the guidance of a doctor when using any type of supplement.

Food sources of genistein

The main sources of genistein are soy beans and their derivatives, such as milk, tofu, miso, tempeh and soy flour, also known as kinako.

The following table shows the amount of isoflavones and genistein in 100 g of soy and its derivatives:

Food Isoflavones Genistein
Soybeans 110 mg 54 mg

soy flour

191 mg 57 mg
Wholemeal flour 200 mg 57 mg
Textured Protein


95 mg 53 mg
Soy Protein Isolate 124 mg 62 mg

However, these concentrations vary according to the variety of the product, the conditions of soybean cultivation and its processing in the industry. See all the benefits of soy.

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