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Arch Microbiol. 2000 Dec;174(6):422-8.

Isolation of human intestinal bacteria metabolizing the natural isoflavone glycosides daidzin and genistin.

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Division of Microbiology, National Center for Toxicological Research, US FDA, Jefferson, AR 72079-9502, USA.


Fecal bacteria from a healthy individual were screened for the specific bacteria involved in the metabolism of dietary isoflavonoids. Two strains of bacteria capable of producing primary and secondary metabolites from the natural isoflavone glycosides daidzin and genistin were detected. The metabolites were identified by comparison of their HPLC/mass, 1H NMR and UV spectra with those of standard and synthetic compounds. Both Escherichia coli HGH21 and the gram-positive strain HGH6 converted daidzin and genistin to the their respective aglycones daidzein and genistein. Under anoxic conditions, strain HGH6 further metabolized the isoflavones daidzein and genistein to dihydrodaidzein and dihydrogenistein, respectively. The reduction of a double bond between C-2 and C-3 to a single bond was isoflavonoid-specific by strain HGH6, which did not reduce a similar bond in the flavonoids apigenin and chrysin. Strain HGH6 did not further metabolize dihydrodaidzein and dihydrogenistein. This is the first study in which specific colonic bacteria that are involved in the metabolism of daidzin and genistin have been detected.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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