Coumestaan is een verzamelbegrip voor organische stoffen afgeleid van coumarine of cumarine (glucosiden). Coumestaan is een stof die voorkomt in planten zoals luzerne, soja en klaver. Coumestaan werkt als antioxidant en behoort tot de fyto-oestrogenen. De IUPAC-naam luidt [1]benzoxolo[3,2-c]chromen-6-on en de brutoformule luidt C15H8O3. Het is een vaste stof die smelt bij 187°C. De voornaamste coumestaan is coumestrol komt voornamelijk voor in peulvruchten. De hoogste concentraties coumestrol zijn echter gevonden in jonge spruiten of kiemen zoals bijvoorbeeld in alfalfa, rode klaver, soja en mungbonen.

Coumestans (phyto-estrogens) a derivative of coumarin, are orgic compound in the class of flavonoids (polyphenols), found abundantly in split peas, pinto beans, lima beans, alfalfa and clover sprouts, etc.

1. Hepatoprotective effect

In the investigation of the effect of coumestans isolated form the leaves of W. calendulacea in paracetamol induced liver damage, revealed that coumestans of W. calendulacea afforded a significant protective action in the alleviation of paracetamol induced hepatocellular injury, according to "Hepatoprotective effect of coumestans isolated from the leaves of Wedelia calendulacea Less. in paracetamol induced liver damage" by

Emmanuel S, Amalraj T, Ignacimuthu S.(1)

2. Breast cancer

In the evaluation whether phytoestrogen intake associated with reduced breast cancer risk, using a novel phytoestrogen database, found that Among all women, lignan intake was associated with a reduced breast cancer risk (Q5 vs. Q1 MVOR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.65, 0.99); however, following stratification by BMI, this reduction in risk was statistically significant only among overweight (BMI > 25) women. Total phytoestrogen intake was also associated with a risk reduction among overweight women only. Among pre-menopausal women, total phytoestrogen intake was associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk among overweight women only (Q5 vs. Q1 MVOR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.87). Among post-menopausal women, no statistically significant association was observed between breast cancer risk and isoflavones or lignans, according to "Dietary phytoestrogen intake--lignans and isoflavones--and breast cancer risk (Canada)" by Cotterchio M, Boucher BA, Kreiger N, Mills CA, Thompson LU.(2)

3. Colorectal cancer

In the evaluation of the suggestion of dietary phytoestrogens may reduce the risk of certain hormonal cancers (e.g. breast and prostate), found that Dietary lignan intake was associated with a significant reduction in colorectal cancer risk [OR (T3 vs. T1) = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.56, 0.94], as was isoflavone intake [OR (T3 vs. T1) = 0.71; 95% CI: 0.58, 0.86], according to "Dietary phytoestrogen intake is associated with reduced colorectal cancer risk" by

Cotterchio M, Boucher BA, Manno M, Gallinger S, Okey A, Harper P.(3)

4. Anticoccidial effects

In the examination of the anticoccidial efficacy of a product containing coumestans from Eclipta alba, found that Coumestan-treated groups showed a significant decrease in the oocyst counting since the 21 th day of life and displayed a reduced number of macroscopic lesions. Histopathological evaluations of cecum fragments showed that both treatments induced the migration of defense cells at the site of infection. A severe destruction of the cecal lining was found in the intestinal tract of broilers fed with a coumestans dose of 180 ppm, according to "Anticoccidial effects of coumestans from Eclipta alba for sustainable control of Eimeria tenella parasitosis in poultry production" by Michels MG, Bertolini LC, Esteves AF, Moreira P, Franca SC.(4)

5. Cardioprotective effects

In nthe review of higher dietary intake of phytoestrogens, plant-derived compounds with partial estrogen agonist properties, have a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and breast and uterine cancer than women with a lower dietary intake of these substances, indicated that Food and food supplements containing phytoestrogens are often advocated as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women with contraindications to the use of conventional estrogen replacement or those wanting a natural alternative. In light of the recent trial results with HRT (estrogen plus progesterone), it would be prudent not to recommend phytoestrogens as cardioprotective substances until adequate safety and efficacy studies are completed, according to "Phytoestrogens as cardioprotective agents" by

Park D, Huang T, Frishman WH.(6)

6. Bone health

In the review of many studies performed on soyabean isoflavones (genistein and daidzein), either in the purified form or as a soyabean-based product or extract and in vitro studies using primary cell cultures or stabilised cell lines indicate that treatment with genistein may lead to a reduction in bone resorption, but effects on bone formation have also been shown. Investigations using animal models have provided convincing evidence of major improvements in bone mass or bone turnover following soyabean feeding.

found that cross-sectional observations in South-East Asian populations with moderately high intakes of soyabean isoflavones (50 mg/d) have shown that women in the high quartile of intake have higher bone mineral density (BMD) and reduced bone turnover, an effect that has not been shown in populations with low average intakes. Human trials have given an indication of a possible effect on lumbar spine BMD, although they have been either short term (<6 months) or methodologically weak. Unresolved issues are: the optimal dose compatible with safety; the individual differences in response that can be related to diet and genotypes; the duration of exposure, according to "Dietary phyto-oestrogens and bone health" by Branca F.(7)

7. Endometrial cancer

In the investigationof three classes of phytoestrogens (isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans) and the risk of endometrial cancer found that some phytoestrogenic compounds, at the levels consumed in the typical American-style diet, are associated with reduced risk of endometrial cancer in doses depending manner, according to "Phytoestrogen intake and endometrial cancer risk" by Horn-Ross PL, John EM, Canchola AJ, Stewart SL, Lee MM.(8)

8. Metabolic syndrome

In the proposal of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)as a therapeutic target for the treatment of metabolic syndrome including obesity and type-2 diabetes, found that he bioassay-guided fractionation of an EtOAc-soluble extract of the stem bark of Erythrina abyssinica led to the isolation of a new coumestan, erythribyssin N (1), and two new benzofurans, erythribyssin F (2) and erythribyssin H (3), along with five known compounds (4-8). When tested for their stimulatory effects on AMPK activity at a concentration of 10 muM, compounds 4 and 5 showed potent activation, while compounds 1, 2, and 7 had moderate effects. These results suggest that benzofurans and coumestans may be new lead compounds for regulating the AMPK enzyme, according to "AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation by benzofurans and coumestans isolated from Erythrina abyssinica" by Nguyen PH, Nguyen TN, Dao TT, Kang HW, Ndinteh DT, Mbafor JT, Oh WK.(9)

9. Long-term postmenopausal diseases

In the review of whether, Phytoestrogens (PEs) a natural compounds, with a biological activity like estrogen, which comprise isoflavones, lignans and coumestans associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer and postmenopausal illness, found that indicates that PEs prevent bone resorption, increase bone density and reduce cholesterol. The estrogenic effects of phytoestrogens can be useful in preventing postmenopausal osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, according to "Dietary phytoestrogens in the prevention of long-term postmenopausal diseases" by Chiechi LM.(10)