Isoflavones are a class of organic compounds and biomolecules related to the flavonoids.
They are acting as phytoestrogens that are thought of by some as useful in treating cancer.
They are also very strong antioxidants.
Critics of the inclusion of isoflavones in food claim that they increase the incidence of epithelial hyperplasia, which precedes cancerous tumors, and that they cause goitre and hyperthyroidism.
Phytoestrogens may actually promote cancer.
Isoflavones are produced from a branch of the general phenylpropanoid pathway that produces all flavonoid compounds in higher plants.
Soybeans are the most common source of isoflavones and the major isoflavones in soybean are genistein and daidzein.