Genistein is an isoflavone (a type of flavonoid) found in several plants including kudzu and soybeans. It often appears along with daidzein.

Kudzu root was found to contain 12.6 mg/100 g dry weight of genistein and 184 mg/100 g dry weight of daidzein.[9]

Soybeans were fount to contain 26.8-102.5 mg/100 g dry weight genistein and 10.5-85.0 mg/100 g dry weight of daidzein.[9]

A typical dietary supplement dosage of genistein for adults ranges from 8mg to 250mg twice daily. No established recommended supplement dosage exists. In several clinical trials up to 600mg were safely used in human test subjects, displaying no toxic side effects.


In vitro tests using human liver microsomes determined that genistein is oxidized by CYP1A2 and to a lesser degree by CYP2E1 to form Orobol (3'-hydroxy genistein).[18]

Genistein CYP1A2 Orobol
Genistein.png —-> 3-hydroxy_genistein.png

Interaction with Psychedelic Compounds

Some anecdotal reports indicate that whole kudzu extracts reduce the effects of psychedelics. Unlike whole kudzu which contains puerarin, a compound that interacts with 5-HT2C[15] and also may interact with either 5-HT1A or 5-HT2A receptors[14], genistein has not been shown to be active at 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, or 5-HT2C receptors.

Effects on Enzymes

17bHSD Effect Dosage Verified in Humans
17bHSD2 (Oxidative form of 17bHSD) 77% Induction[1] ? ?
17bHSD1 (Reductive form of 17bHSD) Inhibition[13] ? ?
UGT Effect Dosage Verified in Humans
UGT1A1 96.7% Inhibition[2] 30 μM ?
UGT1A3 47.4% Inhibition[2] 30 μM ?
UGT1A9 79.5% Inhibition[2] 30 μM ?
UGT2B7 30% Inhibition[2] 30 μM ?
SULT Effect Dosage Verified in Humans
SULT1A1 Potent inhibition[3][4] ? ?
SULT1A3 50% inhibition[8] > 25000 nM ?
P-Glycoprotein Effect Dosage Verified in Humans
P-Glycoprotein Inhibition[5] ? ?
ADH Effect Dosage Verified in Humans
ADH Potent inhibition[6] ? ?
GST Effect Dosage Verified in Humans
GSTM1-1 Inhibition[7] ? ?
GSTM2-2 Inhibition[7] ? ?
Cytochrome P450 Effect Dosage Verified in Humans
CYP3A Modest Induction 14 day treatment Yes[11]
CYP3A4 (a subset of CYP3A) Induction[12] ? ?
CYP1A2 41% Inhibition 1 gram daily for 14 days Yes[10]
CYP2A6 47% Induction 1 gram daily for 14 days Yes[10]
CYP2E1 Potent inhibition[16][17][19] ? ?

Chemical Properties

PubChem Compound ID: 5280961
Molecular Weight: 270.2369 [g/mol]
Molecular Formula: C15H10O5
XLogP3-AA: 2.7
H-Bond Donor: 3
H-Bond Acceptor: 5
IUPAC Name: 5,7-dihydroxy-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)chromen-4-one
InChI: InChI=1S/C15H10O5/c16-9-3-1-8(2-4-9)11-7-20-13-6-10(17)5-12(18)14(13)15
Canonical SMILES: C1=CC(=CC=C1C2=COC3=CC(=CC(=C3C2=O)O)O)O
Melting point: 301.5 dec °C

See Also

1. Effects of phytoestrogens and synthetic combinatorial libraries on aromatase, estrogen biosynthesis, and metabolism.
Brueggemeier RW, Gu X, Mobley JA, Joomprabutra S, Bhat AS, Whetstone JL. PubMed: 11795395 (Download Attached PDF Document)
2. Identification of human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase isoform(s) responsible for the glucuronidation of 2-(4-chlorophenyl)- 5-(2-furyl)-4-oxazoleacetic acid (TA-1801A).
Kaji H, Kume T. PubMed: PMID: 15988124
3. Dietary flavonoids: effects on xenobiotic and carcinogen metabolism.
Moon YJ, Wang X, Morris ME. PubMed PMID: 16289744
Inhibition of rat liver sulfotransferases SULT1A1 and SULT2A1 and glucuronosyltransferase by dietary flavonoids. Mesía-Vela S, Kauffman FC. PubMed PMID: 14742143
5. Emerging Significance of Flavonoids as P-Glycoprotein Inhibitors in
Cancer Chemotherapy Tripta Bansal, Manu Jaggi, Roop K Khar and Sushama Talegaonkar; J Pharm Pharmaceut Sci (www. 12 (1): 46 - 78, 2009 (Download Attached PDF Document)
6. Biochemical studies of a new class of alcohol dehydrogenase inhibitors from Radix puerariae.
Keung WM. PubMed PMID: 8116840
7. The inhibition of human glutathione S-transferases activity by plant polyphenolic compounds ellagic acid and curcumin.
Hayeshi R, Mutingwende I, Mavengere W, Masiyanise V, Mukanganyama S. PubMed PMID: 17046132
8. Soy and Health 2000: Clinical Evidence, Dietetic Applications
Koen Descheemaeker, Ignace Debruyne; Garant, 2001; ISBN 9044111272, 9789044111279
9. Phytoestrogens and Health
G. Sarwar Gilani, John J.B. Anderson; The American Oil Chemists Society, 2002; ISBN 1893997324, 9781893997325
10. Genistein alters caffeine exposure in healthy female volunteers.
Chen Y, Xiao CQ, He YJ, Chen BL, Wang G, Zhou G, Zhang W, Tan ZR, Cao S, Wang LP, Zhou HH.; Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Apr;67(4):347-53. doi: 10.1007/s00228-010-0964-5. Epub 2010 Dec 14.; PubMed PMID: 21222115; DOI: 10.1007/s00228-010-0964-5;
11. Effect of genistein on the activities of cytochrome P450 3A and P-glycoprotein in Chinese healthy participants.
Xiao CQ, Chen R, Lin J, Wang G, Chen Y, Tan ZR, Zhou HH.; Xenobiotica. 2012 Feb;42(2):173-8. doi: 10.3109/00498254.2011.615954. Epub 2011 Sep 26.; PubMed PMID: 21943317 DOI: 10.3109/00498254.2011.615954
12. Genistein, coumestrol and quercetin activate pregnane X receptor-mediated transcription of CYP3A4
SUN Jian-Han,ZHENG Yi-Fan,ZHU Hui-Juan, et al.; 2004, 18(3): 219-223.; Department of Toxicology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310031, China
13. Aromatase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase inhibition by flavonoids
Le Bail JC, Laroche T, Marre-Fournier F & Habrioux G; 1998; Cancer Letters 133 101–106. PMID: 9929167
14. Puerarin acts through brain serotonergic mechanisms to induce thermal effects.
Chueh FS1, Chang CP, Chio CC, Lin MT.; J Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Dec;96(4):420-7. Epub 2004 Dec 3.; PMID: 15599109
15. NPI-031G (puerarin) reduces anxiogenic effects of alcohol withdrawal or benzodiazepine inverse or 5-HT2C agonists.
Overstreet DH, Kralic JE, Morrow AL, Ma ZZ, Zhang YW, Lee DY.; Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Jun;75(3):619-25.; PMID: []
16. Genistein protection against acetaminophen-induced liver injury via its potential impact on the activation of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase and antioxidant enzymes.
Fan YJ, Rong Y, Li PF, Dong WL, Zhang DY, Zhang L, Cui MJ.; Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 May;55:172-81. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Jan 16.; PMID: 23333575 DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.01.003
17. Inhibition of mouse and human CYP 1A- and 2E1-dependent substrate metabolism by the isoflavonoids genistein and equol.
Helsby NA, Chipman JK, Gescher A, Kerr D.; Food Chem Toxicol. 1998 May;36(5):375-82.; PMID: 9662412
18. Identification of CYP1A2 as the main isoform for the phase I hydroxylated metabolism of genistein and a prodrug converting Drug enzyme of methylated isoflavones.
Hu M, Krausz K, Chen J, Ge X, Li J, Gelboin HL, Gonzalez FJ.; Metab Dispos. 2003 Jul;31(7):924-31. PMID: 12814970 DOI: 10.1124/dmd.31.7.924
19. Protective effect of genistein isolated from Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides on hepatic injury and fibrosis induced by chronic alcohol in rats.
Huang Q, Huang R, Zhang S, Lin J, Wei L, He M, Zhuo L, Lin X.; Toxicol Lett. 2013 Feb 27;217(2):102-10. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.12.014. Epub 2012 Dec 26.; PMID: 23274713 DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2012.12.014
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License