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Flavanones are found specifically and abundantly in citrus fruits. Their beneficial effect on vascular function is well documented. However, little is known about their cellular and molecular mechanisms of action in vascular cells. The goal of the present study was to identify the impact of flavanone metabolites on endothelial cells and decipher the underlying molecular mechanisms of action. We investigated the impact of naringenin and hesperetin metabolites at 0·5, 2 and 10 μm on monocyte adhesion to TNF-α-activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and on gene expression. Except hesperetin-7-glucuronide and naringenin-7-glucuronide (N7G), when present at 2 μm, flavanone metabolites (hesperetin-3′-sulphate, hesperetin-3′-glucuronide and naringenin-4′-glucuronide (N4′G)) significantly attenuated monocyte adhesion to TNF-α-activated HUVEC. Exposure of both monocytes and HUVEC to N4′G and N7G at 2 μm resulted in a higher inhibitory effect on monocyte adhesion. Gene expression analysis, using TaqMan Low-Density Array, revealed that flavanone metabolites modulated the expression of genes involved in atherogenesis, such as those involved in inflammation, cell adhesion and cytoskeletal organisation. In conclusion, physiologically relevant concentrations of flavanone metabolites reduce monocyte adhesion to TNF-α-stimulated endothelial cells by affecting the expression of related genes. This provides a potential explanation for the vasculoprotective effects of flavanones.
Soya isoflavones: genistein and daidzein are increasingly consumed in Western countries. Their beneficial effects are discussed considering nutrition and health in Asia. The present study aimed to check whether chronic ingestions, ethnic origin and dietary context can influence soya phyto-oestrogen bioavailability. Two prospective trials were carried out to blindly assess the pharmacokinetics after acute and chronic intake of soya-based cheese (45·97 (sd1·57) mg isoflavones) taken once a day for 10 d. Twelve healthy young Asians immersed for 2 months in France were randomised in a cross-over design to compare the influence of a Western v. Asian dietary context. The second trial partly nested in the first one, compared Asians under the Western diet to twelve healthy young male Caucasians under the same diet. All volunteers were non-equol producers. After an acute intake of soya in Western diet, Asians exhibited higher maximum concentration measured in plasma (Cmax) and area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC) for genistein and daidzein than Caucasians (P = 0·005, 0·006, 0·032 and 0·008, respectively). In Caucasians under Western diet, AUC and Cmax values significantly increased after chronic intake. This was not the case for daidzein in Asians whatever the dietary context. For the first time, it is evidenced that on acute intake of soya cheese, Asians absorb soya phyto-oestrogens better than Caucasians, regardless of whether the background diet is Western or Asian. On chronic ingestions, AUC and Cmax values were increased for daidzein and genistein in Caucasians but not in Asians. There are ethnical differences in isoflavone pharmacokinetic and bioavailability. This may influence health outcomes.
Soya isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, are the focus of numerous studies investigating their potential effects on health and results remain controversial. Bioavailability is clearly a crucial factor influencing their bioefficacy and could explain these discrepancies. This study aimed at assessing: (1) the isoflavone content of sixty-nine European soya-derivative products sold on the French market; (2) the bioavailability of isoflavones comparing supplement with food. Twelve healthy volunteers were recruited in a randomized two-way crossover trial and received 35 mg isoflavones equivalent aglycone either through supplements or through cheese, both containing different patterns of isoflavone conjugates and different daidzein:genistein ratios. A specific ELISA method was used to assess the plasma and urinary concentrations of isoflavones and thus the pharmacokinetic parameters, which were then normalized to mg of each isoflavone ingested. Results showed that the normalized Cmax of daidzein (P = 0·002) and similarly the normalized AUC0 → ∞ and Cmax of genistein (P = 0·002) from soya-based capsules were higher than that from soya-based cheese. In conclusion, this work completes studies on isoflavone bioavailability and presents new data regarding isoflavone concentrations in soya-derivative products. Assuming that isoflavone conjugation patterns do not influence isoflavone bioavailability, this study shows that isoflavones contained in capsules are more bioavailable than those contained in soya-based cheese. Although the supplement is more bioavailable, the relative importance of this is difficult to interpret as there is little evidence that supplements are biologically active in human subjects to date and further studies will be necessary for this specific supplement to prove its efficacy.
The dose-dependent bone-sparing effects of dietary isoflavones (IF) were investigated in adult (7-month-old) Wistar rats. Forty animals were ovariectomised, allocated into four groups of ten rats each, and immediately treated orally with IF at 0 (OVX), 20 (IF20), 40 (IF40) or 80 (IF80) μg/g body weight per d for 91 d; ten sham-operated (SH) controls received the same diet without added IF. Animals were killed on day 91. Both femoral failure load and total femoral, diaphyseal or metaphyseal bone mineral densities (BMD) were lower in OVX animals than in SH animals. Urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPD) excretion, a marker of bone resorption, and plasma osteocalcin (OC) levels, a marker of osteoblast activity, were higher in OVX animals than in SH animals. Total femoral and diaphyseal BMD and femoral failure load were similar in IF-treated rats and SH rats. Although metaphyseal BMD in IF40 or IF80 rats was similar to that in SH rats, its value was lower in IF20 rats than in controls. The day 91 urinary DPD excretion in IF40 and IF80 rats, but not in IF20 rats, was similar to that in SH rats. Day 91 plasma OC concentrations in IF-treated rats were similar to day 45 values, but were decreased in OVX and SH rats. Thus, daily IF consumption prevented ovariectomy-induced bone loss, both by depressing bone resorption and stimulating osteoblast activity. Moreover, as only the highest IF level induced a weak uterotrophic activity, the optimal IF dose which preserves both cancellous and cortical bone, but exhibits no oestrogen-like effects on the uterus, was 40 μg/g body weight per d.
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