Synthesis of isoflavone aglycones and equol in soy milks fermented by food-related lactic acid bacteria and their effect on human intestinal Caco-2 cells
Di Cagno R
De Angelis M
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One hundred and three strains of lactic acid bacteria, isolated from various food ecosystems, were assayed for β-glucosidase activity toward p-nitrophenyl-β-d-glucopyranoside substrate. Lactobacillus plantarum DPPMA24W and DPPMASL33, Lactobacillus fermentum DPPMA114, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus DPPMAAZ1 showed the highest activities and were selected as the mixed starter to ferment various soy milk preparations, which mainly differed for chemical composition, protein dispersibility index, and size dimension. The soy milk made with organically farmed soybeans (OFS) was selected as the best preparation. All selected strains grew well in OFS soy milk, reaching almost the same values of cell density (ca. 8.5 log cfu/mL). After 96 h of fermentation with the selected mixed starter, OFS soy milk contained 57.0 μM daidzein, 140.3 μM genistein, 20.4 μM glycitein, and 37.3 μM equol. Fermented and nonfermented OFS soy milks were used for the in vitro assays on intestinal human Caco-2/TC7 cells. Fermented OFS soy milk markedly inhibited the inflammatory status of Caco-2/TC7 cells as induced by treatment with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) (1000 U/mL) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (100 ng/mL), maintained the integrity of the tight junctions, even if subjected to negative stimulation by IFN-γ, and markedly inhibited the synthesis of IL-8, after treatment with interleukin-1β (2 ng/mL). As shown by using chemical standards, these effects were due to the concomitant activities of isoflavone aglycones and, especially, equol, which were synthesized in the fermented OFS soy milk preparation.