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“Background Early in the 1980s, enterodiol (END) and enterolactone (ENL) were first detected in the serum, urine and bile of humans and several animals [1, 2]. They were classified as phytoestrogens due to their origins from plants and their estrogenic as well as antiestrogenic activities in humans. Epidemiologic and pharmacologic studies have shown that END and particularly its oxidation product ENL have preventive effects on osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, hyperlipemia, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and menopausal syndrome [3–7]. Unlike other plant-derived lignans, they are also known as mammalian lignan or enterolignan, because they are mainly found in mammals.