The study, “Daidzein-rich isoflavone aglycones inhibit cell growth and inflammation in endometriosis,” was published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The work was conducted by Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine and Nichimo Biotics Company in Japan.
In endometriosis, tissue that normally lines the surface (endometrium) of the uterus is found outside this organ. The disease mechanism depends on estrogen, a female sex hormone crucial for a woman’s reproductive health.
DRIAs are a combination of several plant-derived dietary supplements that act on the same cellular proteins as estrogen. Based on this, scientists sought to investigate DRIAs’ effects on cell proliferation, using cellular and mouse models of endometriosis.
To do this, they collected endometrium tissue samples from 24 women, ages 23-44 years, with endometriosis. They used healthy endometrium tissue samples from 12 female subjects as controls.
The unhealthy and normal tissue cells were then incubated with and without DRIAs in separate lab dishes.
Scientists reported that DRIAs inhibited the proliferation of the diseased endometrium cells but had no effect on the control group. Interestingly, when the cells were cultured with the individual components of DRIAs, no changes were observed in unhealthy cells.
In addition, in the diseased surface womb cells group, DRIAs reduced the activity of inflammation-associated molecules, including IL-6, IL-8, COX-2, and PGE2. It also compromised the activity of aromatase, an enzyme crucial for estrogen production.
In the endometriosis mouse model, mice were given normal food with or without DRIAs for three weeks.
Results demonstrated that the animals who ate food with DRIAs had less endometriosis-like lesions than mice given food without DRIAs. Analysis of a marker of proliferating cells showed decreased cell growth in the DRIA-fed group.
“The results of this study suggest that DRIAs are a potential therapeutic option for the management of endometriosis,” the team concluded. “Further investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the observed effects of DRIAs may lead to a better understanding and improved treatment of endometriosis. Clinical trials are necessary to clarify the effects of DRIAs in patients with endometriosis.”