Disposition of soy isoflavones in normal human breast tissue.Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr; 91(4):976-84.AJ
Despite decades of research on the relation between soy and breast cancer, questions regarding the absorption, metabolism, and distribution of isoflavones in breast tissue largely remain unanswered.
We evaluated the potential health effects of isoflavone consumption on normal breast tissue; isoflavone concentrations, metabolites, and biodistribution were investigated and compared with 17beta-estradiol exposure.
In this dietary intervention study, healthy women were randomly allocated to a soy milk (n = 11; 16.98-mg genistein and 5.40-mg daidzein aglycone equivalents per dose), soy supplement (n = 10; 5.27-mg genistein and 17.56-mg daidzein aglycone equivalents per dose), or control (n = 10) group. After a run-in period > or = 4 d, 3 doses of soy milk or soy supplements were taken daily for 5 d before an esthetic breast reduction. Blood and breast biopsies were collected during surgery and analyzed with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
After soy administration, genistein and total daidzein concentrations, which were expressed as aglycone equivalents, ranged from 135.1 to 2831 nmol/L and 105.1 to 1397 nmol/L, respectively, in hydrolyzed serum and from 92.33 to 493.8 pmol/g and 22.15 to 770.8 pmol/g, respectively, in hydrolyzed breast tissue. The major metabolites identified in nonhydrolyzed samples were genistein-7-O-glucuronide and daidzein-7-O-glucuronide, with an overall glucuronidation of 98%. Total isoflavones showed a breast adipose/glandular tissue distribution of 40:60, and their mean (+/-SEM) derived 17beta-estradiol equivalents toward estrogen receptor beta were 21 +/- 4-fold and 40 +/- 10-fold higher than the 17beta-estradiol concentrations in adipose (0.283 +/- 0.089 pmol/g, P < 0.001) and glandular (0.246 +/- 0.091 pmol/g, P = 0.001) fractions, respectively.
After intake of soy milk and soy supplements, isoflavones reach exposure levels in breast tissue at which potential health effects may occur.