Apparent bioavailability of isoflavones after intake of liquid and solid soya foods

Br J Nutr. 2009 Oct;102(8):1203-10. doi: 10.1017/S000711450937169X. Epub 2009 May 19.


Isoflavone (IFL) intake may provide numerous health benefits, but IFL bioavailability differences among soya foods remains uncertain. Urinary IFL excretion (UIE) was shown to provide a reliable surrogate for systemic IFL exposure and therefore can be used as a measure of 'apparent bioavailability' (AB). We investigated the AB of IFL in fourteen healthy adults, consuming two liquid and two solid soya foods in a crossover designed study. Volunteers consumed the foods with a self-selected breakfast, which was kept identical for all four soya items (soya nuts, soya milk, soya protein bar and soya protein powder drink in water; average 23.7 mg IFL, 88-96 % glycosides, by HPLC analysis) and collected all urine up to 26 h. Liquid foods showed initially higher UIE values than solid foods, but this difference was considerably reduced or disappeared entirely after 24-26 h. Conclusive AB results were obtained only after 24-26 h; earlier collections were not reliable. At 26 h, adjusted UIE values for daidzein (DE) were 20 micromol in the milk and bar and 17 micromol for the nut and powder; urinary genistein excretion was the highest in the milk group (10 micromol) followed by the nut, bar (both 6 micromol) and powder groups (5 micromol); the UIE for glycitein was the highest for bars (4 micromol), followed by powder and nuts (3 micromol), and milk (2 micromol). DE makes the largest contribution to urinary total IFL. The AB of IFL was found to be variable depending on the analyte and soya food consumed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoflavones / analysis
  • Isoflavones / urine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value
  • Soy Foods / analysis*
  • Soy Milk / chemistry
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Time Factors


  • Isoflavones