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Int J Mol Sci. 2010 Feb 2;11(2):480-91. doi: 10.3390/ijms11020480.

Bioactivity of isoflavones: assessment through a theoretical model as a way to obtain a "Theoretical Efficacy Related to Estradiol (TERE)".

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Center of Pharmaceutical Studies, University of Coimbra, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, Coimbra, Portugal. <>


The increase of human life span will have profound implications in Public Health in decades to come. By 2030, there will be an estimated 1.2 billion women in post-menopause. Hormone Replacement Therapy with synthetic hormones is still full of risks and according to the latest developments, should be used for the shortest time possible. Searching for alternative drugs is inevitable in this scenario and science must provide physicians with other substances that can be used to treat the same symptoms with less side effects. Systematic research carried out on this field of study is focusing now on isoflavones but the randomised controlled trials and reviews of meta-analysis concerning post-menopause therapy, that could have an important impact on human health, are very controversial. The aim of the present work was to establish a theoretical calculation suitable for use as a way to estimate the "Theoretical Efficacy (TE)" of a mixture with different bioactive compounds as a way to obtain a "Theoretical Efficacy Related to Estradiol (TERE)". The theoretical calculation that we propose in this paper integrates different knowledge about this subject and sets methodological boundaries that can be used to analyse already published data. The outcome should set some consensus for new clinical trials using isoflavones (isolated or included in mixtures) that will be evaluated to assess their therapeutically activity. This theoretical method for evaluation of a possible efficacy could probably also be applied to other herbal drug extracts when a synergistic or contradictory bio-effect is not verified. In this way, it we may contribute to enlighten and to the development of new therapeutic approaches.


TERE; isoflavones; menopause; oestrogen-like; soy extracts

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