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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Nutrient Data Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #231548

Title: Update of the USDA’s Database for the Isoflavone Content in Selected Foods

item Bhagwat, Seema
item Haytowitz, David
item Holden, Joanne

Submitted to: American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: Global Perspective: A Launch Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/8/2008
Publication Date: 11/7/2008
Citation: Bhagwat, S.A., Haytowitz, D.B., Holden, J.M. 2008. Update of the USDA’s database for the isoflavone content in selected foods. American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: Global Perspective: A Launch Conference, November 6-7, 2008, Washington, D.C.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Isoflavones have weak estrogenic, as well as other, biological properties that may contribute to the reduction of the risk of some chronic diseases. Although evidence for the beneficial role of isoflavones in breast cancer has become conflicted, results of clinical trials for prostate cancer are encouraging and non-hormonal properties of isoflavones, including cell cycle arrest and cell apoptosis, may reduce the risk of some cancers. The database for the isoflavone content of foods is necessary to assess the effects of intake of isoflavone content of on various biological parameters. The Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) of ARS/USDA released a Special Interest Database on isoflavones in 128 foods in 1999. Since then the number of new soy products and their consumption has increased, thus increasing the need to update the 1999 database. Out of 265 articles retrieved through literature searches, 66 articles contained acceptable analytical data for isoflavone content of foods and food ingredients. Data in all the articles were evaluated for data quality. These data were merged with the earlier data (1999) to update the database. The data are reported as aglycone forms of the three prevalent isoflavones: daidzein, genistein, and glycitein. The mean, standard error, minimum, and maximum values for isoflavones are reported as mg/100g of fresh weight of edible portion of food. The updated database contains values for 550 foods and food ingredients along with the data quality indicators and data sources. Two hundred and sixty-eight additional foods and ingredients for which zero values were reported for all the three isoflavones are presented in a separate list. Values for other phytoestrogens, (coumestrol, formononetin, and biochanin A) for approximately 200 foods, are also reported in a separate table. The soybean data from different countries are presented separately because of large variability due to variety and location. The documentation and reference list for the sources of the data are included. The database is available on the NDL web site: