Background: Isoflavones are natural compounds belonging to the class of isoflavonoids,
molecules with a chemical structure based on the 3-phenyl chromen-4-one backbone. As a particular
element, the isoflavones are also called phytoestrogens, due to the structural similarity with 17-β estradiol,
the primary female sex hormone, presenting both estrogen-agonist and estrogen-antagonist
properties. This class of secondary plant metabolites has been extensively reported in the literature for
a wide range of therapeutic activities including antioxidant, chemopreventive, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic,
antibacterial, and cardio preventive effects.
Objective: To sum up the latest information regarding the main isoflavones found in dietary sources as
natural anti-inflammatory agents.
Results: The review updates with the recent research about genistein, daidzein, glycitein, biochanin A,
formononetin and equol as anti-inflammatory phytocompounds. As a particular element, the implications
of these isoflavones in the link between inflammation and angiogenesis are also discussed.
Conclusion: The review concludes that the main isoflavones in dietary sources display in vitro and/or
in vivo anti inflammatory potential by activating various biochemical and molecular mechanisms. The
depicted findings translated into practical aspects strengthen the idea that the isoflavones genistein,
daidzein, glycitein, biochanin A, formononetin and equol can be used in various inflammation based
diseases as an alternative source for classical medication and that consummation of foods rich in
isoflavones may represent prerequisite use in order to prevent the evolution of inflammation based