Chronic diseases have become the medical challenge of the 21st century because of their high incidence and mortality rates. Modulation of diet and lifestyle habits is considered as the best strategy for the prevention of these disorders. Health promoting benefits beyond their nutritional effects have been described for multiple dietary compounds. Among these compounds, the peptide lunasin is considered as one of the most promising. Naturally present in soybean, lunasin has been extensively studied in the last two decades because of its potential against chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and immunological disorders. The purpose of this article is to summarise the evidence on the presence of lunasin in soybean and derived foods, and its bioavailability once it is orally ingested. The protective and therapeutic effects of this peptide against cancer, oxidative stress, inflammation, and high cholesterol levels as well as the molecular mechanisms of action involved in these effects are also described in this review.
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