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Isoflavones and endothelial function

Hall, W.L., Rimbach, G. and Williams, C.M. (2005) Isoflavones and endothelial function. Nutrition Research Reviews, 18 (1). pp. 130-144. ISSN 0954-4224

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1079/nrr2005101

Abstract/Summary

Dietary isoflavones are thought to be cardioprotective due to their structural similarity to oestrogen. Oestrogen is believed to have beneficial effects on endothelial function and may be one of the mechanisms by which premenopausal women are protected against CVD. Decreased NO production and endothelial NO synthase activity, and increased endothelin-1 concentrations, impaired lipoprotein metabolism and increased circulating inflammatory factors result from oestrogen deficiency. Oestrogen acts by binding to oestrogen receptors alpha and beta. Isoflavones have been shown to bind with greater affinity to the latter. Oestrogen replacement therapy is no longer thought to be a safe treatment for prevention of CVD; isoflavones are a possible alternative. Limited evidence from human intervention studies suggests that isoflavones may improve endothelial function, but the available data are not conclusive. Animal studies provide stronger support for a role of isoflavones in the vasculature, with increased vasodilation and endothelial NO synthase activity demonstrated. Cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of isoflavones on endothelial cell function are not yet clear. Possible oestrogen receptor-mediated pathways include modulation of gene transcription, and also non-genomic oestrogen receptor-mediated signalling pathways. Putative non-oestrogenic pathways include inhibition of reactive oxygen species production and up regulation of the protein kinase A pathway (increasing NO bioavailability). Further research is needed to unravel effects of isoflavones on intracellular regulation of the endothelial function. Moreover, there is an urgent need for adequately powered, robustly designed human intervention studies in order to clarify the present equivocal findings.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR)
ID Code:13328
Uncontrolled Keywords:isoflavones, endothelial function, oestrogen, cardiovascular disease, HORMONE-REPLACEMENT THERAPY, ESTROGEN-RECEPTOR-BETA, CORONARY-ARTERY-DISEASE, NITRIC-OXIDE SYNTHASE, HEALTHY POSTMENOPAUSAL, WOMEN, LOW-DENSITY-LIPOPROTEIN, C-REACTIVE PROTEIN, TYROSINE KINASE, INHIBITORS, VASCULAR INJURY RESPONSE, CELL-ADHESION MOLECULES

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