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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The oestrogenicity of equol in sheep.

The effects of intramuscular injection of synthetic racemic equol (+/- 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-3,4-dihydro-2H-1-benzopyran-7-ol) into wethers have been examined with respect to maintenance of plasma level, teat growth rate and the activity of the respiratory enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. At a dose rate of 1.03 mmol/day a steady rise in 'total' (free plus conjugated) equol in plasma occurred to 1.78 mumol/l in 4 days. A dose rate of 2.07 mmol/day produced only a further slight increase in plasma equol. At a lower dose rate of 0.52 mmol/day the plasma concentration reached 0.62 mumol/l in 2 days and this was not exceeded thereafter. At the dose rate of 1.03 mmol/day over 7 days significant increases in teat length and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity occurred but no significant changes were observed at the dose rate of 0.52 mmol/day. It appears that threshold levels of intake of equol which maintain a plasma level of about 1.65 mumol/l are needed for oestrogenic effects to become apparent within a relatively short time. Administration of 1.03 mmol/day over 5 days to ovariectomized ewes produced significant increases in uterine weight equivalent to those produced by 92 nmol stilboestrol dipropionate. Thus stilboestrol was apparently 56 000 times more potent than racemic equol.[1]


  1. The oestrogenicity of equol in sheep. Kaziro, R., Kennedy, J.P., Cole, E.R., Southwell-Keely, P.T. J. Endocrinol. (1984) [Pubmed]
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