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J Altern Complement Med. 1997 Spring;3(1):7-12.

A comparative survey of leguminous plants as sources of the isoflavones, genistein and daidzein: implications for human nutrition and health.

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Department of Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-1048, USA.


Over 80 taxa of mostly agriculturally important legumes were surveyed as sources of the metabolites, genistein and daidzein. Remarkably high concentrations (over 2 dry weight) of the anticancer metabolite, genistein, were found in the leaves of Psoralea corylifolia (Indian bread root). All other legumes, with the exception of fermented soybean miso, had genistein levels < 400 dry weight. Concentrations of over 1 dry weight and 0.95 dry weight of the anticancer metabolite, daidzein, were found in the stems of the fava bean (Vicia faba) and roots of kudzu vine (Pueraria lobata), respectively. From this survey, our results indicate that the legumes, lupine (Lupinus spp.), fava bean, (Vicia faba), soybeans (Glycine max), kudzu (Pueraria lobata), and psoralea (Psoralea corylifolia), are excellent food sources for both genistein and daidzein. Miso, a fermented soybean product, is also a rich source of both isoflavones.

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