Soybeans are rich in immuno-modulatory isoflavones such as genistein, daidzein, and glycitein. These isoflavones are well-known antioxidants, chemopreventive and anti-inflammatory agents. Several epidemiological studies suggest that consumption of traditional soy food containing isoflavones is associated with reduced prevalence of chronic health disorders. Isoflavones are considered to be phytoestrogens because of their ability to bind to estrogen receptors. The literature is extensive on the chemistry, bio-availability, and bio-activity of isoflavones. However, their effects on immune response are yet to be fully understood, but are beginning to be appreciated. We review the role of isoflavones in regulation of the immune response and their potential clinical applications in immune-dysfunction. Special emphasis will be made regarding in vivo studies including humans and animal model systems.
- Immune response