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Int J Mol Sci. 2012 Dec 4;13(12):16444-56. doi: 10.3390/ijms131216444.

A comparative analysis of the photo-protective effects of soy isoflavones in their aglycone and glucoside forms.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples "Federico II", via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy.


Isoflavones exist in nature predominantly as glucosides such as daidzin or genistin and are rarely found in their corresponding aglycone forms daidzein and genistein. The metabolism and absorption of isoflavones ingested with food is well documented, but little is known about their use as topical photo-protective agents. The aim of this study was to investigate in a comparative analysis the photo-protective effects of isoflavones in both their aglycone and glucoside forms. In human skin fibroblasts irradiated with 60 mJ/cm2 ultraviolet B (UVB), we measured the expression levels of COX-2 and Gadd45, which are involved in inflammation and DNA repair, respectively. We also determined the cellular response to UVB-induced DNA damage using the comet assay. Our findings suggest that both the isoflavone glucosides at a specific concentration and combination with an aglycone mixture exerted an anti-inflammatory and photo-protective effect that prevented 41% and 71% of UVB-induced DNA damage, respectively. The advantages of using either isoflavone glucosides or an aglycone mixture in applications in the field of dermatology will depend on their properties and their different potential uses.

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