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Review Article

Therapeutic Potential of Genistein: Preclinical Studies, Clinical Evidence, and Nanotechnology Application

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 22 ]


Ana J. Coutinho, Marina Pinheiro, Ana R. Neves* and Madalena M.M. Pinto   Pages 2480 - 2517 ( 38 )


Genistein (4’,5,7-trihydroxyisoflavone) is a natural plant-derived phytoestrogen that can be found, for example, in soybean seeds. Genistein is present mainly in the human diet and is a common precursor in the antimicrobial phytoalexins biosynthesis and phytoanticipins in vegetables. The interest in genistein has increased due to its pharmacological effects, including anti-cancer activity, neuroprotective effects, cardiovascular protection, anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidant activity, and prevention of obesity. The most challenging issue for improving genistein is its low oral bioavailability, which has led to many animal and human pharmacokinetic studies and numerous clinical trials. Several drug delivery systems have been developed to protect and stabilize genistein to overcome the challenge of low bioavailability. This work concerns a revision of the literature reporting nano and microformulations for genistein encapsulation, including lipid nanoparticles, liposomes, tocotrienol-rich nanoemulsions, polymeric nanoparticles, dextran complexes, chitosan complexes, and Fe3O4 nanoparticles with carboxymethylated chitosan. Regarding the enormous potential of genistein, several clinical trials and marketed formulations can be found in the market.


Genistein, phytoestrogen, pleiotropic actions, clinical studies, drug delivery systems, nanotechnology.


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