In 2002, scientists at the Saga Nutraceuticals Research Institute, part of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., isolated an intestinal bacterial strain, Lactococcus 20-92, that could specifically metabolize the soy isoflavone daidzein and convert it to S-equol.
This patented and proprietary fermentation process steadily increases the S-equol to a maximum concentration and decreases the daidzein concentration by 95 percent. Following fermentation, the resulting powder, containing S-equol, undergoes a sterilization process using heat that deactivates the bacteria. The process is designed to produce a product with a standardized concentration of S-equol that may be used as a nutraceutical ingredient in supplements. This ingredient is called SE5-OH and contains a standardized amount of S-equol. Further, this ingredient has been used as the source of S-equol in both animal and human studies.
SE5-OH has self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), status which has been documented and reviewed by a panel of external experts. SE5-OH and the S-equol-containing supplements are created under current Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).