Food Science and Biotechnology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1–6 | Cite as

Soy-derived phytoalexins: mechanism of in vivo biological effectiveness in spite of their low bioavailability

  • Jisun Oh
  • Chan Ho Jang
  • Jong-Sang KimEmail author


The well-demonstrated bioefficacy of phytochemicals in spite of their paradoxically low bioavailability has long puzzled scientists. Glyceollins, a family of soy-derived phytoalexins, have been reported to exert a variety of biological effects in vitro and in vivo systems in spite of poor systemic bioavailability after oral administration, suggesting that secondary messengers generated in gastrointestinal tract would transfer signals to target organs and tissues to manifest any effect. This review focuses on the potential mechanisms of how the poorly bioavailable glyceollins could still exert in vivo biological effects.


Phytochemicals Nrf2 Heme oxygenases Carbon monoxide Glyceollins 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea (Grant No. 2017R1A2B4005087).


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Food Science and Biotechnology (BK21 PLUS Program)Kyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Institute of Agricultural Science and TechnologyKyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea

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