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Immunomodulatory Effects of Soybeans and Processed Soy Food Compounds

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 2 ]


Hiroyuki Tezuka and Shinjiro Imai   Pages 92 - 99 ( 8 )


Inflammation is an immune response against both internal and external antigens in organisms, particularly in mammals, and includes both uncontrolled chronic and low-grade inflammations. Uncontrolled chronic inflammation often leads to severe diseases such as vascular disease, arthritis, cancer, diabete, allergy, and autoimmunity. On the other hand, low-grade inflammation is recognized as a relationship between obesity and risk of metabolic syndrome. Elevated production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators is commonly observed in patients with uncontrolled or low-grade inflammation-associated diseases. Plants have been generated phytochemicals to overcome inflammations and infections through evolution. Phytochemicals belong to alkaloids, polyphenols, flavonoids, coumarins, and terpenoids. The consumption of soybeans plays a role in immune modulation through their components such as isoflavones, saponins, and anthocyanins. Recently, it was reported that the application of phytochemicals into patients with inflammatory diseases improves their symptoms. Therefore, it is important to identify novel phytochemicals with immunomodulatory activities. This review introduces and discusses recent advances and patents regarding soybean or processed soy food compounds which exhibit immunomodulatory activity in immune diseases, particularly allergy, by mediating the suppression of inflammatory pathways.


Anti-inflammatory, flavonoid, inflammation, isoflavone, saponin, soybean.


Department of Biodefense Research, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 1-5-45, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8510, Japan.

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