September 23, 2008 - A newly updated food composition database of plant chemical compounds called isoflavones was launched today by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.
A subclass of flavonoids, isoflavones have mild estrogen-like
properties and other biological attributes that, when present in foods, may
reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. Isoflavones are found primarily in
soybeans and soybean products. Small amounts are present in a wide variety of
other food items.
The new database provides analytical values for three individual
isoflavone compounds--genistein, daidzein and glycitein--in nearly 550 foods.
These are grouped under 21 separate categories, such as "Legume Products,"
"Baked Products" and "Baby Foods."
The updated database was compiled by
Bhagwat, scientists working at the
Data Laboratory (NDL), which is part of the ARS
Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Md.
In assembling the database, the researchers conducted an extensive
review of various data sources and evaluated scientific articles published in
peer-reviewed journals since 1999. All the data were evaluated by a data
quality evaluation system developed by the NDL scientists.
The Isoflavone Database is one of several "Special Interest
Databases" produced by NDL to provide data on bioactive compounds for
selected foods. Others include the Flavonoid, Proanthocyanidin and ORAC
The Special Interest Databases complement the NDL's core product--the
Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (SR21)--which is the major
authoritative source of food composition information in the United States.
The new Isoflavone Database can be accessed online at:
ARS is a scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of