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Cyno Women Women Men

Females Equol Nonequol Equol

(Plasma) Producers Producers Producers 27% of 73% of 43% of

Subjects Subjects Subjects

Men Nonequol Producers 57% of Subjects

Cyno Women Women Men

Females Equol Nonequol Equol

(Plasma) Producers Producers Producers 27% of 73% of 43% of

Subjects Subjects Subjects

Men Nonequol Producers 57% of Subjects

FIGURE 13.4 Isoflavone metabolite profile of cynomolgus monkey females and humans. Data expressed as mean percent of total isoflavones. (From Clarkson, T.B., Anthony M.S., and Morgan T.M., J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., 186, 41, 2001 and modified from Lampe, J.W. et al., Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., 217, 335, 1998. With permission.)

We concur with Setchell et al. (2002)27 about appropriate interest in the possibility that the conversion or lack of conversion of daidzein to equol may be an important modulator of the effect, or lack of effect, of soy on changes in plasma lipid/lipoprotein concentrations. They report on a reevaluation of a randomized placebo-controlled crossover lipid-lowering study of 23 mildly hypercholester-olemic women who initially had no significant changes in plasma lipids when soy foods were compared with dairy foods. It was found that consuming 5 servings per day of soy for 5 weeks significantly lowered plasma concentrations of cholesterol (8.5%), LDLC (10.0%), TG (21%), and lipoprotein (a) (11%), but only in the equol producers. Although the issue remains speculative, it seems increasingly likely that the very beneficial effects of soy diets on plasma lipoprotein profiles of monkeys may relate to their plasma equol concentrations. The mixed effectiveness observed in studies with humans may be due to failure to separate equol producers from nonequol producers.

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