Soy contains phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens that are similar to and mimic estrogen. Before you mix up a soy protein shake, snack on a soy protein bar or pour yourself a glass of soy milk consider this: 93 percent of all soy in the U.S is genetically engineered, soy inhibits the thyroid, is an anti-nutrient, deficient in amino acids, is estrogenic, contains aluminum, is toxic to infants, and shrinks the brain.
When it comes to soy, much of what we read and hear about comes from the people who market it. Take a moment and consider the following:
* Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxins and carcinogenic nitrosamines.
* Soy contains phytoestrogens, which may shrink your brain and increase your risk of dementia. In a major ongoing study involving 3,734 elderly Japanese-American men, those who ate the most soy during midlife had up to 2.4 times the risk of later developing Alzheimer's disease.
* Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to your nervous system and your kidneys.
* Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D and calcium. Consumption of soy is not ideal for bone health.
* Soy inhibits your thyroid causing increased thyroid damage and disorders, especially in women. Soy phytoestrogens are potent anti-thyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. Intake of soy blocks the uptake of minerals especially iodine, which is especially important for a healthy functioning thyroid. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
* Processed soy is an anti-nutrient with high levels of phytic acid which reduces assimilation of minerals including calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. High phytate diets cause growth problems in children.
* Soy is deficient in amino acids.
* Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and contribute to weight gain, fatigue and infertility. Additionally, in Japan, when housewives want to decrease the virility of their husbands, typically they give them soy products.
* Drinking 2 cups of soy milk daily for one month alters women’s menstrual cycle and lowers testosterone in men.
* Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals, soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
* Soy plays havoc on your immune system causing immune dysfunction.
* Consuming soy increases your body's requirement for B12.
* Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
* MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods. Neurotoxins like MSG and aspartame can prematurely kill brain cells according to Russell Blaylock M.D.
* Soy is a toxic to infants. Ideally, infants should be breast fed their first year of life. The best substitute after breast milk is raw goat's milk. Soy formula should never be considered because soy-based formulas are high in phytoestrogens and other anti-nutrients. Feeding an infant soy formula is comparable to giving the baby five birth control pills worth of estrogen every day! If you’re unable to breastfeed, try this homemade infant formula.
* Soy infant formula may have 200 times the manganese level as compared to the amount of manganese found in breast milk, which can lead to brain damage in infants and behavioral changes in adolescents, according to Dr. Francis Crinella, clinical professor of pediatrics at UC-Irvine, and Trinh Tran, a graduate researcher at the UC-Davis Department of Animal Studies.
* For girls, consumption of soy can cause premature development such as breast buds, pubic hair and even menstruation before age eight. In boys, this can retard sexual development and even cause learning disabilities.
* Many individuals are allergic, sensitive or intolerant to soy. Be sure to avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients, especially if you are allergic or intolerant to soy:
|hydrolyzed soy protein||miso||soy flour||tempeh|
|soy nuts||soy milk||soy sprouts||tofu|
|soy protein concentrate||soy protein isolate||soy sauce||textured vegetable protein|
Other possible sources of soy or soy products include flavorings, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural flavoring, vegetable broth, vegetable gum and vegetable starch.
* Thousands of studies link unfermented soy to immune-system dysfunction, cognitive decline, malnutrition, digestive distress, reproductive disorders, heart disease and cancer.
Phytoestrogen biochemistry is complicated. According to some studies, there are some redeeming qualities to soy, however these are found primarily in only organic and fermented soy products like tempeh, miso and natto. The fermentation process neutralizes the natural occurring high level of toxins (phytic acid and other digestive inhibitors) found in soy, but not the phytoestrogens.
Some studies show that phytoestrogens decrease estrogen activity and other studies have shown that they increase estrogen activity. This varies widely by the population studied too. Questions that come to mind: What were the women’s estrogen levels previously? Were these women from a culture that grew up eating soy? Were they women regularly exposed to xenoestrogens? Some clinical studies of people who eat a lot of soy foods, such as individuals of Asian descent suggest that fermented soy may help reduce menopausal symptoms, and lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.
* Over 90 percent of all soy in the U.S. is genetically engineered. This includes soy protein isolate and concentrates, genetically engineered soy foods, soy supplements, soy milk, soy protein powder and soy junk foods such as soy cheese, soy protein bars, soy ice cream, soybean oil and soy burgers.
There are some redeeming qualities to soy, however these are found primarily in fermented soy products only. If you want to reap some of the health benefits from soy, do so in moderation and stick with organic, fermented forms only. Pass on all processed forms of soy including soy milk, tofu, soy burgers, soy protein powder, soy ice cream, soy cheese, and other soy junk foods that are disguised as health foods.
Hidden sources of soy-based ingredients are often found in bread, ice cream, margarine, chips, poor quality vitamins and fish oil, pet food, vegetable oil and processed, packaged and fast foods. Ninety-eight perfect of soybean production in North America is used for livestock feed, including pet food.
Always read the list of ingredients on all products. Eliminate all processed soy and avoid any product with soybean oil.
- 77 studies showing the adverse reactions to dietary soy
- 174 studies showing the adverse reactions to isoflavones (phytoestrogens)
- The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla Daniels, PhD
Copyright © Paula Owens