Is Soy: Healthy or Harmful? You Decide
Should men, women, children and infants avoid processed soy foods and “soy milks”, and avoid all foods containing added processed soy?
Should consumers avoid all unfermented processed “soy milks”, “soy burgers”, “soy ice cream”, “soy cheese”, and soy products sold as “health foods”?
Why should men eating products containing soy strongly consider using natural testosterone enhancing herbs and using natural estrogen blocking herbs?
It is a known fact that the processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
In recent years soy has emerged as a “near perfect” food, with supporters claiming it can provide an ideal source of protein, lower cholesterol, protect against cancer and heart disease, reduce menopause symptoms, and prevent osteoporosis, among other things. But how did such a “perfect” food emerge from a product that in 1913 was listed in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) handbook not as a food but as an industrial product?
According to lipid specialist and nutritionist Mary Enig, PhD, "The reason there's so much soy in America is because they [the soy industry] started to plant soy to extract the oil from it and soy oil became a very large industry. Once they had as much oil as they did in the food supply they had a lot of soy protein residue left over, and since they can't feed it to animals, except in small amounts, they had to find another market."
And another market was what they found. To put it simply, after multi-million dollar figures spent on advertising and intense lobbying to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 74 percent of U.S. consumers now believe soy products are healthy.
If you're thinking the health claims surrounding soy sound too good to be true you just may be right. For just a brief look at what's really going on, consider that numerous studies have found that soy products may:
- Increase the risk of breast cancer in women, brain damage in both men and women, and abnormalities in infants and children.
- Contribute to thyroid disorders, especially in women.
- Promote kidney stones.
- Weaken the immune system.
- Cause severe, potentially fatal food allergies.
- Increase estrogen levels and may cause hormone imbalance in men and women
and may cause increased prostate and testicular cancer in men.
Soy products also contain:
Phytoestrogens (isoflavones) genistein and daidzein, which mimic estrogen in the body
Phytates, which block the body's uptake of minerals
Enzyme Inhibitors, which hinder protein digestion
Haemaglutin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits oxygen take-up and growth
Further, most soybeans are grown on farms that use toxic pesticides and herbicides, and many are from genetically engineered plants. When you consider that two-thirds of all manufactured food products contain some form of soy, it becomes clear just how many Americans are consuming GM products, whose long-term effects are completely unknown.
Perhaps the most disturbing of soy's ill-effects on health has to do with its phytoestrogens that can mimic the effects of the female hormone estrogen. These phytoestrogens have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues, and drinking even two glasses of soy milk daily for one month has enough of the chemical to alter a woman's menstrual cycle. The FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, however no warnings exist on soy. Two senior toxicologists with the FDA. Daniel Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, have even come out saying "The public will be put at potential risk from soy isoflavones in soy protein isolate without adequate warning and information." Soy is particularly problematic for infants, and soy infant formulas should be avoided. It has been estimated that infants who are fed soy formula exclusively receive five birth control pills worth of estrogen every day.
There are some redeeming qualities to soy, however these are found primarily in fermented soy products like tempeh, miso and natto and soybean sprouts. More and more natural doctors now suggest that if you are interested in health benefits from soy only eat fermented soy products (such as tempeh, miso and natto and soybean sprouts) and completely avoid all unfermented processed soy “milks”, soy “burgers”, soy “ice cream”, soy “cheese”, and other soy products sold as “health foods”.
The high levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease. Around 13 million Americans today suffer from thyroid problems. Approximately 60% of foods sold to Americans contain some form of soy derivative.
Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.
Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.
Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
Soy foods often contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
Soy Index Newest Research On Why You Should Avoid Soy - by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. - What was once a minor crop, listed in the 1913 US Department of Agriculture (USDA) handbook as an industrial product, now covers 72 million acres of American farmland.
Soy May Cause Cancer and Brain Damage - Two senior US government scientists have revealed that chemicals in soy could increase the risk of breast cancer in women, brain damage in both men and women, and abnormalities in infants.
The Trouble With Tofu: Soy and the Brain -by John D. MacArthur - "Tofu Shrinks Brain!" Not a science fiction scenario, this sobering soybean revelation is for real. But how did the "poster bean" of the '90s go wrong? Apparently, in many ways - none of which bode well for the brain.
Soy: Too Good to be True - by Brandon Finucan & Charlotte Gerson - While even in 1966 there was considerable research on the harmful substances within soybeans, you'll be hard pressed to find articles today that claim soy is anything short of a miracle-food. As soy gains more and more popularity through industry advertising, we are moved once again to raise our voice of concern.
The Real Truth About The Historical Use Of Soy:
Just How Much Soy Did Asians Eat?
In short, not that much, and contrary to what the industry may claim, soy has never been a staple in Asia.
A study of the history of soy use in Asia shows that the poor used it during times of extreme food shortage, and only when the soybeans were carefully prepared (e.g. by lengthy fermentation) to destroy the soy toxins. Yes, the Asians understood soy all right!
High Soy Diet During Pregnancy And Nursing May Cause Developmental Changes In Children - Two separate studies - one in animals and the other in humans, suggest that a diet high in soybeans and other legumes during pregnancy and breastfeeding may have a subtle but long-term impact on the development of children.
Concerns Regarding Soybeans - Good information abstracted from an article written by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D. for Health Freedom News in September of 1995:
Soy Can Cause Severe Allergic Reactions - Soy, like its botanically-related cousin the peanut, could be responsible for severe, potentially fatal, cases of food allergy, particularly in children with asthma who are also very sensitive to peanuts.
Soy Supplements Fail to Help Menopause Symptoms - Supplements that contain concentrated phytoestrogens -- plant-based estrogens found in soy -- do not appear to improve mood, memory or menopause symptoms in women over age 45.
20/20 Feature on the Dangers of Soy - The ABC television news program 20/20 aired a feature story Friday June 8, 2000 on the dangers of soy.
Soy Formulas and the Effects of Isoflavones on the Thyroid - Environmental scientist and long-time campaigner against soy-based infant formulas, Dr Mike Fitzpatrick, warns about the risk of thyroid disease in infants fed soy formulas, high soy consumers and users of isoflavone supplements.
Pregnant Women Should Not Eat Soy Products - In-utero exposure to genistein increases the incidence of breast tumors.
Soy Can Lead to Kidney Stones - Those who are prone to the painful condition known as kidney stones may become more vulnerable to it through the consumption of soy.
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