What Is Daidzein, and How Can It Help Me?
Daidzein, pronounced daed-zeen or daed-zine, belongs to a group of phytonutrients called isoflavones or phytoestrogens. Daidzein has antioxidant properties.1 In terms of plant foods, daidzein is most abundant in soy, soy flour, tofu, miso, and others.2 3
First things first, we need to talk about how to get the benefits of daidzein. Supplements can often contain isolated or synthetic vitamins and minerals. These don’t even come close to natural nutrients in their whole food state; they are not the same. We believe in the synergistic effect of all phytonutrients. Read our helpful resource about how they are different and why natural nutrients, as opposed to isolated or synthetic, are safer and much more beneficial.
One study found that daidzein increased protein content, alkaline phosphatase activity, and DNA content in certain cells. Though, this can be prevented by certain protein synthesis inhibitors. Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme located in the liver with many functions. For one, it accelerates the hydrolysis, or the chemical breakdown due to water, of synthetic compounds that are neurotoxic in humans.4 5 Overall, this tells us that daidzein has anabolic effects on cells, which help to promote muscle building.6 7
Here at Balance of Nature, we know that consuming plant foods in their whole food form is safe, whereas extracts can lead to undesirable outcomes. When we extract chemicals, we get side effects.
Dr. Douglas Howard,* founder and formulator of Balance of Nature, says that soy is the perfect protein to give us all the amino acids that our bodies can’t make, or essential amino acids.
“Soy has the most perfect balance of amino acids for our body. It’s not meat.” He says that eggs are also a perfect protein; however, soy is still a better source. For example, in Asian countries, soybeans have been eaten for at least a thousand years. This intake is believed to have played an important role in health.8
Take edamame, for instance. “Edamame isn't processed; it’s just the whole soybean,” says Dr. Howard.* “Do not use soy isolates; get whole soy. Soy isolates are hormone precursors, and they can increase some things as isolates.”
Cereals often contain added protein from soy isolates. Ashley Koff, registered dietitian, nutrition expert, and coauthor of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged, explains that, “to create it, the processor takes whole soybean . . . and removes the essential fatty acids, fiber, and other nutrients from the soybean, leaving just the ‘isolate’ soy protein.” So, read your labels and try to choose products that use whole food sources.9
One scientific text suggests that daidzein is also a modulator of oxidative stress, angiogenesis, cell growth, and apoptosis.10 Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels.11 Apoptosis is a regulated process a cell undergoes when dying.12 Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals damage cells.13
A study revealed that people with favorable lipoprotein profiles also had high blood levels of daidzein. In women, increased levels of daidzein also came with lower levels of triglycerides and higher levels of HDL-cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol.14
The Last Bite
The isoflavone daidzein may be involved in a lot of different aspects of health. Soy foods are a major source of daidzein. We reaffirm that whole soy—not isolated soy—is good!
Daidzein is also a phytoestrogen and antioxidant. Tofu, raw soy milk, soy flour, miso, and soybeans are also good sources of this phytochemical.15 Increase your intake of daidzein by adopting more soy foods into your diet.
Go enjoy some soy to reap all the benefits of daidzein!
*Dean of Foreign Student Affairs, St. Petersburg Pediatric Medical University (Retired)
Professor of Medical Science and Research, Pavlov Medical University
Chiropractic Physician (Retired)
 Graham S. Smith, Gail L. Walter, and Robin M. Walker, “Practice of Toxicologic Pathology,” Alkaline Phosphatase - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics (Academic Press, 2013), https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/alkaline-phosphatase.
 Michelle Guignet and Pamela J. Lein, “Role of Inflammation in Environmental Neurotoxicity,” Organophosphate - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics (Advances in Neurotoxicology, 2019), https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/organophosphate.
 Emi Sugimoto and Masayoshi Yamaguchi, “Stimulatory Effect of Daidzein in Osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 Cells,” Biochemical Pharmacology (Elsevier, January 17, 2000), https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0006295299003512.
 “Performance-Enhancing Drugs: Know the Risks,” Mayo Clinic (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, May 18, 2019), https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134.
 Weijun Pan et al., “Genistein, Daidzein and Glycitein Inhibit Growth and DNA Synthesis of Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells from Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats,” Oxford Academic (The Journal of Nutrition, April 1, 2001), https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/4/1154/4686931.
 Ashley Koff, “Why Does My Cereal Have Protein?,” Prevention (Prevention, June 12, 2019), https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/a20446940/nutritional-information-protein-in-cereal/.
 Michael Schnekenburger and Marc Diederich, “Nutritional Epigenetic Regulators in the Field of Cancer,” ScienceDirect (Epigenetic Cancer Therapy, 2015), https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/daidzein.
 Stephen Daniells, “Daidzein from Soy Linked to Heart Health Benefits,” NutraIngredients.com (William Reed Business Media Ltd, June 22, 2006), https://www.nutraingredients.com/Article/2006/06/23/Daidzein-from-soy-linked-to-heart-health-benefits.