Therapeutic aspects of genistein based on recent advances and challenges

Document Type : Narrative Review


1 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili, Ardabil, Iran

2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Kurdistan



The most promising avenues for improving conventional drugs are those based on biocompatible organic compounds. These bioactive compounds can be isolated from natural sources such as plants, fungi, bacteria, and lichens. Genistein is an isoflavone naturally isolating from legumes of medicinal plant species. This phytoestrogen is structurally similar to mammalian estrogens. Several therapeutic effects including anticancer, antibacterial, antioxidant, antidiabetic, and anti-neurodegenerative activities have been indicated for genistein and plants containing this metabolite. Low aqueous solubility and bioavailability are the main limitations for clinical applications of this compound. In this way, in recent years, new micro and nanoformulations have been presented to overcome these limitations. Here, we have tried to focus on the efficiency of micro and nanoformulations of genistein for anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and anti-neurodegenerative aspects.

Graphical Abstract

Therapeutic aspects of genistein based on recent advances and challenges


  • Low water solubility and bioavailability are the main disadvantages of clinical applications of genistein.
  • Significant bacterial growth inhibition and reduction in serum pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, and TNF-α have been indicated for genistein.
  • Loading and encapsulation of this bioactive compound in micro nano-carriers have been reported in various investigations.


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