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The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro antioxidant profiles of genistein and other isoflavonoids. The reactivity of genistein towards stable radical and reactive oxygen species including " ABTS+, " O2-, H2O2 and HOCl has been investigated, and the effects were compared with other isoflavonoids and antioxidants. All the tested isoflavonoids showed remarkable " ABTS+ scavenging activity and genistein was more potent than BHT and ascorbic acid. Genistein was more effective in scavenging hypochlorous acid than superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. At 10??M concentrations of genistein and genistin showed about 90% inhibitory effect on HOCl, while BHT and ascorbic acid showed lower than 50% inhibitory effect. Moreover, genistein could inhibit plasmid DNA cleavage, protein degradation and cell death from HOCl attack, while daidzein, BHT and ascorbic acid could not protect them effectively. These results suggest that genistein is a more potent radical scavenger than other isoflavonoids, and it can remarkably reduce cellular damage induced by HOCl.