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High-throughput quantification of soy isoflavones in human and rodent blood using liquid chromatography with electrospray mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry detection.

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National Center for Toxicological Research, Jefferson, AR, USA.


Soy-containing foods and dietary supplements are widely consumed for putative health benefits (e.g., cancer chemoprevention, beneficial effects on serum lipids associated with cardiovascular health, reduction of osteoporosis, relief of menopausal symptoms). However, studies of soy isoflavones in experimental animals suggest possible adverse effects as well (e.g., enhancement of reproductive organ cancer, modulation of endocrine function, anti-thyroid effects). This paper describes the development and validation of a sensitive high throughput method for quantifying isoflavones in blood from experimental animal and human studies. Serum samples containing genistein, daidzein, and equol were processed using reverse phase solid-phase extraction in the 96-well format for subsequent LC-ES/MS/MS or LC-ES/MS analysis using isotope dilution in conjunction with labeled internal standards. The method was validated by repetitive analysis of spiked blank serum and the intra-day and inter-day accuracy (88-99%) and precision (relative standard deviations from 3 to 13%) of measurement determined. The lower limit of quantification for all isoflavones was approximately 0.005 micro M using MS/MS detection, and 0.03 micro M using MS for genistein and daidzein. The degree of method performance, with respect to throughput, sensitivity and selectivity, makes this approach practical for analysis of large sample sets generated from mechanistic animal studies and human clinical trials of soy isoflavones.

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