Promoting soy foods as health foods while ignoring the dangers of soy and soy derivatives should be considered a crime against humanity. If you think this statement is too extreme, read this article to the end, and then see what you think!
The dangers of soy are thoroughly documented in the scientific literature, which makes it hard to believe that many health and fitness communities and counselors, and most health food stores, still promote soy products as ultra-healthy foods.
Hopefully this harmful misrepresentation of soy foods will begin to change as the dangers of soy become better known.
If this list of the dangers of soy isn't enough to make you run out the door of your local health food store, keep reading. It gets worse.
Would you want to knowingly expose your tiny infant to the dangers of soy formula?
It seems that historically, Oriental cultures consumed mostly traditionally fermented soy products such as miso, tempeh, natto, shoyu and tamari. (Tofu is not fermented, and falls into the dangerous soy foods category.) They consumed these soy foods in small amounts, as a condiment.
The Weston Price Foundation has a list of studies carried out from 1971 to 2003 showing the adverse effects of dietary soy.
To give you an idea of how condemning these studies are, here are just a few summaries. There are over 50 more!
You might think that people probably just didn't know about the toxic effects of soybeans, that the food industry and the FDA must have just been misinformed about the supposed benefits, and very real dangers, of soy. Unfortunately for the FDA’s credibility, this was not the case.
Just take a look in the Poisonous Plant Database of the United States FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Right there in black and white you'll find 288 studies on soy, many focused on the toxic properties and effects of soybeans. It's not very easy to understand or get access to the actual studies, but it is cause for great concern that the FDA had this information and knowingly chose to ignore the dangers, just as it has done with so many other additives and pharmaceuticals.
It's tragic to think of the human suffering that could have been avoided had the FDA just been more cautious and listened to their scientific advisors.
And it’s mind-boggling to think that the very federal agency whose mandate is, among other things, "to promote and protect the public health, to monitor products for continued safety after they are in use, and to help the public get the accurate, science-based information needed to improve health," could knowingly do the apparent opposite.
This is one more example that highlights the need to educate yourself by finding good sources of information to base your health and diet decisions on, rather than relying on the FDA’s stamp of approval.
Weston Price Foundation
Weston Price Foundation
When there is a pretty good possibility that something is harmful, as is the case with soy, common sense dictates that it’s better to avoid it!
The corporations who make billions from selling soy would like us to believe that until the dangers of soy are proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, we shouldn't worry about them. This reminds me of Russian roulette: if a gun had a hundred chambers, and only one was loaded, I wouldn’t risk putting it to my head and pulling the trigger. Would you?
Or, as Roger Eichman, DDS, succinctly summed up the precautionary principle: "The precautionary principle requires action once the possibility of harm exists. It does not require proof beyond a shadow of a doubt."
There's more than enough sound scientific evidence to convince me. I used to think soy was a good dietary choice, but not anymore. I quit eating it a long time ago.
For more information about the dangers of soy, go to the Weston Price Foundation. High Soy Rations Torture Prisoners: Nutrition Expert Asks Obama to Intervene
Many people tell us that soy is a beneficial food and we should eat more of it, especially as a replacement for red meat. Vegetarians rely heavily on it for their protein. It is reputed to be especially good for women who are menopausal or peri-menopausal. But how true is all this? Let's take a look at some of the myths about soy, and the real truth. Thanks to the Weston A Price Foundation for the following information:
Myth: Use of soy as a food dates back many thousands of years.
Truth: Soy was first used as a food during the late Chou dynasty (1134-246 BC), only after the Chinese learned to ferment soy beans to make foods like tempeh, natto and tamari.
Myth: Asians consume large amounts of soy foods.
Truth: Average consumption of soy foods in Japan and China is 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) per day. Asians consume soy foods in small amounts as a condiment, and not as a replacement for animal foods.
Myth: Modern soy foods confer the same health benefits as traditionally fermented soy foods.
Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralize toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens.
Myth: Soy foods provide complete protein.
Truth: Like all legumes, soy beans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.
Myth: Fermented soy foods can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets.
Truth: The compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy cannot be used by the human body; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12
Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants.
Truth: Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys.
Myth: Soy foods can prevent osteoporosis.
Truth: Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, both needed for healthy bones. Calcium from bone broths and vitamin D from seafood, lard and organ meats prevent osteoporosis in Asian countries—not soy foods.
Myth: Modern soy foods protect against many types of cancer.
Truth: A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other forms of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.
Myth: Soy foods protect against heart disease.
Truth: In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol improves one’s risk of having heart disease.
Myth: Soy estrogens (isoflavones) are good for you.
Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.
Myth: Soy foods are safe and beneficial for women to use in their postmenopausal years.
Truth: Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause.
Myth: Phytoestrogens in soy foods can enhance mental ability.
Truth: A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.
Myth: Soy isoflavones and soy protein isolate have GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.
Truth: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently withdrew its application to the FDA for GRAS status for soy isoflavones following an outpouring of protest from the scientific community. The FDA never approved GRAS status for soy protein isolate because of concern regarding the presence of toxins and carcinogens in processed soy.
Myth: Soy foods are good for your sex life.
Truth: Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals. Soy consumption enhances hair growth in middle-aged men, indicating lowered testosterone levels. Japanese housewives feed tofu to their husbands frequently when they want to reduce his virility.
Myth: Soy beans are good for the environment.
Truth: Most soy beans grown in the US are genetically engineered to allow farmers to use large amounts of herbicides.
Myth: Soy beans are good for developing nations.
Truth: In third world countries, soybeans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.
So does this mean we shouldn't eat any soy?
Not entirely. Soy products that have been fermented have had their anti-nutrients neutralised, and can be safely eaten in small amounts. These include tempeh, miso and tamari.
But like the Asians, think of soy as a condiment - a small part of a balanced diet. Don't rely on it for your protein.
To summarise the dangers of soy:
For a personal persepctive on the effects of soy, here is a letter that was printed in the Winter, 2002 edition of Wise Traditions, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A Price Foundation.
To this I can add that I know of more than one man who has had a major reduction in sex drive after eating soy regularly. fter stopping eating soy, things went back to normal.
SOY AND THE BRAIN
Thanks for your website! I found it by doing a Netscape search on isoflavones which took me to soyonlineservice.co.nz which took me to you.
Until 2 years ago I was a regular consumer of homemade soymilk. I have a PhD in plant physiology and over the years I systematically worked to optimize the process I used at home so that I could make a soymilk much more palatable than any on the market. I had an interest in eventually starting a business to make it. But then I learned that I probably had an adverse reaction to isoflavones in the soymilk and 1 stopped consuming soyfoods.
I tried taking isolated soy isoflavones. basically just to see what effect they had and also because they were reported to be good for prostate health (I am 57). (I am aware that there are studies pro and con benefit to prostate.) I took 2 SoyCare tablets (a total of 50 mg Novasoy isoflavones)- A few hours later I found that it was difficult to speak and I nearly got into a serious accident due to impairment in judging the speed of a car. I definitely had serious mental impairment which I attributed to the isoflavone supplement. (This was gone by the next day.) I don't think it was due to an allergic reaction or mini-stroke.
Once before I had similar difficulty in speech when a doctor gave me an atropine-like medicine, Atropine antagonizes acetylcholine action, which triggers some of the nerves involved in memory. Memory is an essential component of speech!
Previously I had thought (based on ignorance) that isoflavones in soy probably had insignificant health effects. After the reaction to the isoflavones, I starting searching Bioabstracts for studies on soy isoflavones. I quickly learned that genistein is a potent inhibitor of tyrosine kinase, a key enzyme in mediating cell responses to our natural cell growth factors. (It had been used for this purpose in over 1000 research studies!) That did not sound like something I wanted in my food! Furthermore, I found several studies that showed that tyrosine kinase is also involved in triggering of nerves involved in memory, and this is blocked by genistein! My memory was flaky enough already and I quit eating soy products, except for a few subsequent trials of soy milk.
Besides inhibition of lyrosine kinase, adverse cognitive effects of soymilk could also be due to anti-estrogenic actions (estrogens are important for speech and memory in both males and females) or to anti-thyroid action. Or maybe to all three!
All my adult life I have been bothered by rather severe seasonal affective disorder (SAD, winter mental sluggishness) when I lived at northern latitudes. In the last two years I have rarely drunk soymilk, but when I did, it seemed to worsen the SAD and each time I felt an undesirable aggressiveness. (A recent study showed soy isoflavones increased the potent androgen dihydrotestosterone in men.) I think my particular physiology made me more susceptible to soy's adverse effects. Subsequently I learned of the Hawaiian study on elderly Japanese. It was the first time I heard that soy may cause cognitive problems.
Gene Samuels Reston, VA
Another soy testamonial that has been doing the rounds by email lately. As there is no name on it, it can't be verified. But it's a sobering story, very detailed and with a ring of truth. Read it and decide for yourself whether there could be any truth in it.
This is my true story, nothing altered. These are facts, as they relate to my experience, my opinions based on what I have read and felt am relating them to warn other young health-conscious women who are unwittingly harming themselves.
In 1989, I graduated from high school in Texas and couldn't wait to hit the big college city. One of the changes I wanted to make was to eat healthier.
Once I moved to health-conscious Austin, Texas, I began to fortify my body with the best and healthiest foods I could find. Tofu was the main ingredient in every healthy dish and I bought soya milk almost every day. I used it for everything from cereal to smoothies or just to drink for a quick snack. I bought soya muffins, miso soup with tofu, soyabeans, soyabean sprouts, etc.
All the literature in all the health and fitness magazines said that soya protected you against everything from heart disease to breast cancer. It was the magical isoflavones, the estrogen-like hormones that all worked to help you stay young and healthy . I looked great, I was working out all the time, but my menstrual cycle was off.
At 20, I started taking birth control pills to regulate my menstrual cycle. In addition to this I began to suffer from painful periods, began to get puffy, it was as though I was losing my muscle tone, began to suffer from depression and getting hot flashes. I mistook all this for PMS since my periods were irregular. By the time I was 25, my periods were so bad I couldn't walk. The birth control pills never made them regular or less painful so I decided to stop taking them. I went on like this for another two years until I realized my pain wasn't normal.
At 27, my gynecologist found two cysts in my uterus. Both were the size of tennis balls. I went through surgery to have them removed and thank God they were benign. The gynecologist told me to go back on birth control pills. I didn't.
In 1998, he discovered a lump in my breast. Again, I went through surgery and again it was benign.
In November 2000 my glands swelled up and my gums became inflamed. Thinking I had a tooth infection I went to the dentist who told me that teeth were not the problem. After a dose of antibiotics the swelling still did not go down.
At this point I could feel a tiny nodule on the right side of my neck. I told my mother I had thyroid trouble. She thought I was being silly. No one in the family suffered from thyroid trouble. Going on a hunch I saw a specialist who diagnosed me with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. After a series of tests he told me it was cancer. My fiancé and I sat stunned. We were not prepared and I was so scared. We scheduled surgery right away.
The specialist told us that it would only be after the operation that a pathologist would be able to tell us for sure if it was cancer. They found a tumor at my right lobe composed of irregular cells and another smaller tumor growing on the left, so the entire thyroid was removed.
They told me that after undergoing radioactive iodine I would be safe and assured me that I could live a long life.
After treatment I began to search for the cause of all these problems. I never once thought it could be all the soya I had consumed for nearly ten years. After all, soya is healthy.
I came upon a web page that linked thyroid problems to soya intake and the conspiracy of soya marketed as a health food when in fact it is only a toxic by-product of the vegetable oil industry.
This was insane, after all, the health and fitness magazines had said nothing about soya being harmful.
I visited a herbalist who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1985. She informed me that soya was the culprit. She had a hysterectomy due to cysts and other uterine problems. A few months later another acquaintance who had consumed soya came down with thyroid cancer. A girl in England I met through the internet in a thyroid cancer forum had just undergone surgery and she was only 19.
What was going on????
Breast cancer is linked to estrogen. What mimics estrogen in the female body, SOYA!
But I never suspected soya because until now I never once found a single article that stated soya could be dangerous. Women who took soya prior to thyroid problems will continue to take it after if they are not aware of what soya actually does, what it contains and how it reacts in the female body. I think this is the reason that women with thyroid cancer often develop breast cancer later.
My co-worker is big into soya and I see her losing hair and gaining weight despite a walking workout during her break and after work, and apples and oranges for lunch. She just had cysts removed from her uterus too. I warn her to stay off soya. I refer her to websites but evening news on all four networks, women will suffer. Since the thyroidectomy I do not touch soya, haven't for two years.
Dear readers, please use my story in any way you can. There are so many young girls who are consuming soya because they think they are taking care of themselves, and women taking soya because they want to be healthy. It is so unfair that the information about the dangers of soya isn't more widely circulated. It is sad. There are many out there who feel this way and it is a terrible blow when you realize you are not as healthy as you thought and that the information that you depended on was wrong.
Here are a couple of official rulings about soy that are rather telling:
SOLAE WITHDRAWS SOY/CANCER HEALTH CLAIM PETITION!
The FDA confirmed on October 4, 2005that the Solae Company has withdrawn its petition for a soy protein and cancer health claim. Had this health claim been approved, it would have doubled the sales of soy protein in the USA, bringing huge profits to the soy industry while putting American men, women and children at risk.
"This represents a major blow to the soy industry," says Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food. "The FDA advised Solae on at least one occasion that it had not convincingly established that soy can prevent cancer and that it had failed to counter massive evidence that soy can cause, contribute to or accelerate cancer growth."
Dr. Daniel joined the Weston Price Foundation to present much of the scientific evidence against soy that led to the FDA's questions and to Solae's withdrawal. The Weston A. Price Foundation has been a leader in alerting the public to the fact that soy protein and soy oil in the food supply have been linked to digestive distress, thyroid damage, reproductive problems, infertility, ADD/ADHD, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
Solae first petitioned the FDA for a health claim in February 2004. Food manufacturers put health claims approved by the FDA on labels and packages to increase sales because they encourage consumers to make "healthier" purchases. The FDA had hoped to announce its final decision on October 23, 2005.
Between June 2004 and April 2005, the Weston A. Price Foundation submitted three detailed and heavily referenced documents to the FDA that refuted the claims for soy and cancer made by the Solae Company, a joint venture of Dupont and Bunge. This summer the Foundation drew the FDA's attention to a July 2005 health advisory issued by the Israeli Health Ministry that warned that soy infant formula should not be given to infants, that children should be fed soy foods no more than once per day to a maximum of three times per week and that adults should exercise caution because of increased risk of breast cancer and adverse effects on fertility.
In addition, the Foundation spearheaded a write-in campaign to the FDA earlier this year that brought in over 1,000 comments by our members requesting the FDA to not approve Solae's petition. You are all to congratulated for this fine effort.
In its petition to the FDA, Solae contended that a qualified health claim was warranted because of "substantial scientific agreement" among experts that soy protein reduces the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers. "No such consensus exists," says Dr. Daniel. "Scientists at the FDA's own Center for Toxicological Research have warned of soy protein's carcinogenic potential and of the health dangers of excess soy-food consumption. We showed the FDA that Solae was highly selective in its choice of evidence and biased in its interpretations. We reported on the fact that they had omitted many studies proving soy to be ineffective in preventing cancer, emphasized favorable outcomes in studies with mixed results and excused the results of the few unfavorable studies that they included to give the illusion of balance. Most importantly, we drew the FDA's attention to the fact that Solae excluded many studies showing that soy protein can cause and accelerate the growth of cancer, particularly breast cancer."
In addition to the recent soy warning issued by the Israeli Health Ministry, expert scientists with the British Committee on Toxicity, Swiss Federal Health Service and other government agencies have all expressed concern about soy's potential to disrupt the digestive, immune and neuroendocrine systems of the human body and its role in rising rates of infertility, hypothyroidism and some types of cancer including thyroid and pancreatic cancers.
Soy is also highly allergenic. Most experts now place soy protein among the top eight allergens, and some rate it in the top six or even top four. The Swedish Health Ministry has warned that allergic reactions to soy are increasingly common, ranging from mild to life threatening, and that fatalities have been reported.
"People are finally starting to hear that soy is not a 'miracle food,'" says Dr. Daniel. "More and more expert scientists are issuing warnings about soy. The FDA made a big mistake in 1999 when it kowtowed to the soy industry and allowed a soy-and-heart-disease health claim. Today's FDA is under intense scrutiny because of the Vioxx debacle and could not afford to approve an unfounded soy-prevents-cancer health claim. Solae withdrew its petition because it knew that its science was unconvincing and that the FDA had no choice but to turn them down. The bottom line is that soy does not prevent cancer."
And in Israel:
Israeli manufacturers of soya products were rattled by the recommendation issued by the country's health ministry that consumption of soya products be limited in young children and avoided, if possible, in infants. After a year's work, a committee of experts also advised that adults who eat soya products do so in moderation, pending authoritative future studies. Although research showing possible harm;a higher risk of cancer, male infertility, or other problems from soya is based on animal or retrospective human studies, the committee of 13 issued recommendations based on the precautionary principle.
Soya contains phytoestrogens that may have some of the effects of the human hormone if consumed in large quantities. Soya consumption is high in Israel, and use of soya based baby formula is among the world's highest per capita. Nevertheless, the ministry decided not to prohibit the sale of soya based formula without a doctor's prescription, which is already required in New Zealand and Australia.
Widespread soya use in Israel is due to a number of reasons, most prominently kosher food practices. Jewish law and tradition forbid the mixing of milk and meat products, dishes, and cutlery, and after eating meat individuals must wait some six hours before ingesting dairy foods. Although this interval is not required of babies, many ultraorthodox mothers observe it anyway, and those who do not breastfeed prefer soya based rather than cow's milk formulas so bottles are not on the table during meat meals.
The actual need for soya based formula due to allergy to cow's milk based formula is negligible. Since soya provides cheaper protein than meat, it is widely served in various forms, especially in day care centres that are spared from using separate dishes and cutlery. Soya burgers made from reconstituted flakes and other forms, many of them developed by Israeli companies, as well as tofu and misu, are popular among health conscious people.
"We don't know the long term effects on health of large amounts, so we are urging moderation," said Dorit Nitzan Kaluski, director of the health ministry's food and nutrition service who was a committee member. "We want to be careful. And while it is easy to identify soya products, there is much more soya added to foods such as breads, cakes, cookies, and crackers."
Paediatricians will monitor the thyroxine concentrations in infants and toddlers who have hypothyroidism who drink soya based formula or soya foods. And women with breast cancer or a high risk of it will be advised to consult their doctors about soya in their diets.
Dr Nitzan Kaluski said that to avoid pressure from soya food firms, the committee did not inform them in advance, but within a day of the report's release, she received at least one lawyer's letter and numerous requests for information. She expects lawsuits are on the way.
(NaturalNews) Soy. It is found in seemingly every prepared and processed food item available on the market. Whether it is soy protein, soybean oil, or soy lecithin, soy derivatives have become an almost universal additive in American food products. Commonly thought to be a healthy, protein-dense food, the soybean has been touted as a wonder victual capable of feeding the planet and stopping world hunger. Truth is, unfermented soy is one of the most harmful, toxic substances to ever become so predominant in the food chain.
The History of Soy
Historically, ancient farmers planted soybeans in order to infuse their soil with nutrients such as nitrogen; their food crops benefited from the enriched soil that the soy plants provided. Typically attributed with Asian diets, soy has always played a minor role in eastern fare and, when consumed, it is done so fermented from a whole bean.
The traditional Japanese diet, for instance, includes over 100 biologically-unique foods per week with soy products accounting for only a few items. In Pearl Buck's 1931 bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth, she writes of Wang Lung, a Chinese subsistence farmer who rises to power in pre-revolutionary China because of he and his wife's hard work and determination . Raised in China herself, Buck's story contains scant mention of soy consumption as part of the typical Chinese diet.
Ancient pictographs from the Chinese Chou Dynasty period also confirm that soy was traditionally not used as food but as a crop-rotating plant that served to replenish the planting soil with nutrients. Throughout the centuries, it gradually gained popularity in various fermented forms.
Only in recent decades has corporate soy production become commonplace, ushered in by gales of misinformation claiming it as a health food in all its processed forms. Even in Asian countries, 90% of soy consumption involves processed, unfermented soy products much like the ones consumed in America.
What's So Bad About Soy?
Soybeans naturally contain a host of anti-nutrients and toxins, including trypsin inhibitors, hemaglutinin, phytic acid, and phytoestrogens.
The potent trypsin inhibitors present in soy significantly curtail protein absorption, causing abdominal distress due to hampered absorption of crucial nutrients and amino acids. Animals fed diets that contained large amounts of trypsin inhibitors developed pancreatic problems including cancer.
Hemaglutinin is a substance that is responsible for causing red blood cells to clump together and form clots. Both trypsin inhibitors and hemaglutinin have been deemed "growth depressant substances" for their contributions in stunting essential bodily functions.
Phytic acid, or phytates, is another nutrient absorption inhibitor that deters the uptake of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Present in the bran of seeds, phytic acid will offset the intake of nutrients by stopping their absorption within the intestinal track, leading to severe mineral deficiencies. Zinc, the "intelligence mineral", is the one most completely blocked by soy phytates. Soy has also been shown to have the highest phytic acid content of any other grain or legume ever studied.
Phytoestrogens are chemical compounds found in some plants that mimic the estrogen hormone. Soy products are particularly rich in isoflavone phytoestrogens which are capable of significantly disrupting human hormonal balance, particularly in men. A study conducted by Harvard University revealed a definitive correlation between soy consumption and low sperm counts in men, indicating that high soy consumption can instigate reproductive harm and suppress testosterone levels.
To add insult to injury, the GMO Compass database records that as of 2008, 92% of soy crops in the U.S. are genetically modified varieties. GMOs are continually shown in independent studies to cause serious harm in the human body, a frightening prospect when considering that soy derivatives are found in virtually every processed food product.
One of the most prevalent culprits is soy lecithin, an emulsifier that is added to processed foods to stabilize the ingredients with one another. Soybean oil is another popular additive found in all kinds of foods from mayonnaise and salad dressings to cakes and breads. Besides the fact that they are soy-based and highly prevalent, these ingredients are most often derived from GMO soybeans.
Even organic products may contain GMO soy lecithin since this particular ingredient falls outside the realm of organic requirements, a controversial loophole that many have taken charge to have changed. Most organic products specify non-GMO soy lecithin but it is always important to investigate and verify.
Eat Soy Sparingly, and Only Organic
The proper way to eat soy is whole, organic, fermented, and sparingly. Soy milk, tofu, soy nuts, and other popular food items are essentially toxic due to the inherent toxic properties of unfermented soy. Many of these products are also highly processed and genetically-modified.
Soy formulas are inadequate and potentially dangerous for babies as they do not contain the vibrant array of vital nutrients found in the mother's breast milk. Many doctors affirm that soy formulas lack essential fatty acids (EFAs), cholesterol, immunoglobulins, and other nutrients necessary for proper cognitive and neural development in the child. As it turns out, many babies are allergic to the highly-processed proteins and ingredients in infant formula.
For adults, soy products like miso, tamari, and shoyu that have been properly fermented are not only delicious but healthy when used in various food preparations. Fermentation eliminates virtually all of the anti-nutrients and toxins present in raw soybeans. Tempeh is another whole fermented soy food that is high in protein and dietary fiber, making it a pertinent vegetarian meal option.
Small amounts of fermented, organic soy foods in conjunction with a diverse, whole foods diet will serve the body well. Rather than consume inordinate amounts of chemically-processed soy as is becoming typical in the American diet, particularly among vegetarians, soy should be shrouded among an array of complete food items - preferably as a condiment and always fermented.
Deville, Nancy. Death by Supermarket: The Fattening, Dumbing Down, and Poisoning of America. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, 2007. 83-108.
The Ploy of Soy - The Weston A. Price Foundation
The Effects of Antenatal Exposure to Phytoestrogens on Human Male Reproductive and Urogenital Development - The Weston A. Price Foundation
Harvard study: Soy sinks sperm count - WorldNetDaily
Soybean - GMO Database
The above soy dangers and our Myths & Truths About Soy are available in our Soy Alert! trifold brochure for mass distribution.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009 | Author: KristenM |
Are you convinced yet about the dangers of soy? Many aren’t. “Is soy bad for you? …Really?” I hear the question so often I want to scream.
After decades of hearing marketing spin about how soy is a wonder food, a protein-rich legume able to rescue us from our dependence on meat, I suppose it’s understandable why so many people have yet to understand fully the dangers of soy. Really, you’re not going to get the full story unless you research it on your own. And why would you, when soy is “universally” touted as a health food?
Well, it isn’t.
Thankfully, more and more independent research has been done regarding the dangers of soy, and what it’s revealed should scare you.
Soy is higher in phytoestrogens than just about any other food source. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens that mimic estrogen in our bodies. In recent years, you may have read about studies which indicate phytoestrogens are good for you. But ask yourself, who funded those studies? The soy industry, that’s who. Independent research has clearly shown that consuming phytoestrogens is downright dangerous for the human body.
It’s only common sense. No one argues, for example, that a leading cause of breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, infertility, and low libido is unopposed estrogen, or estrogen dominance. Why, then, would anyone argue that we should consume more of a food high in estrogen?
An infant taking the recommended amount of soy formula is consuming a hormone load equivalent of 4 birth control pills a day! Is it any wonder we’ve seen such a dramatic rise in precocious puberty with young girls starting their periods at 6 and 7?
Soy will destroy your thyroid. Many foods are goitrogenic (thyroid suppressing), but soy is king of them all. Goitrogens work by preventing your thyroid from getting the necessary amount of iodine. Friends, I believe this is what happened to Oprah’s thyroid. She pushed soy for years, featured it in everyone one of her “healthy” diets, and it destroyed her thyroid. If your thyroid fails, what happens? You gain weight. You have a harder time regulating your moods. You get colder more easily. You’re more easily fatigued. You demonstrate an inability to concentrate and remember details. The list goes on. You simply don’t want to mess with your thyroid.
Phytates are enzyme-inhibitors that block mineral absorption in human digestive tract. They are naturally present in all grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes (which is why everyone should read this primer on how to eat grains, if you eat them at all.) But soy is so high in phytates that it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. Simply soaking soy overnight in an acidic medium won’t do the trick. Soy must be fermented in order to be digestible to humans. That means that if you eat soy at all, you should stick to fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto, or a naturally fermented soy sauce (tamari).
Finally soy is rich in trypsin inhibitors. Trypsin is a digestive enzyme we need to properly digest protein. Without enough trypsin, you’ll experience many digestive problems including stomach cramps, diarrhea, and bleeding. You’ll also be leaving yourself open to future problems with your pancreas.
But, people say, what about Asians? They eat soy every day, and they’re so healthy!
Soy farming started around 1100 BC in China, where it was used to build soil fertility and feed animals. Soy beans were not considered fit for humans until the Chinese learned to ferment them, which makes them digestible. Asian diets now include fermented soy beans in the form of natto, miso, tamari, and tempeh.
Soy producers want you to eat more soy — more than the Asians eat, and more than is good for you. The Japanese and Chinese eat 10 grams of soy per day — about two teaspoons. Yet a soy manufacturer recommends Americans eat ten times what the Japanese eat — 100 grams of soy protein per day. In The Soy Zone, Barry Sears recommends a daily diet of a minimum of 50 grams of soy, and up to 75 grams for women and 100 grams for men.
It’s like red wine: a glass or two a day may be good for you; a bottle or two every day rots your liver.
Did you catch that? Asians only eat 2 teaspoons of soy a day, usually as a condiment, and it’s highly fermented! Fermentation takes care of many of the dangers of soy. Plus, the typical Asian will also consume soy with mineral-rich and nutrient-dense foods such as fish broth (naturally high in iodine & other minerals which support the thyroid).
The short answer? YES! Let’s be clear on the recent history of soy. The soybean was a modest and unpopular crop until food manufacturers intent on creating cheap vegetable oils convinced the U.S. government to start subsidizing it. The soy was turned into oil, and the industry was left with an industrial waste product. Then somebody had a brilliant idea:
Let’s take this industrial waste product full of toxins and carcinogens — isolated soy protein — and turn it into food that people will eat!
Soy foods were born. From Nina Planck’s article:
The FDA refused to approve isolated soy protein as a safe food additive with the designation “Generally Recognized as Safe.”
Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland withdrew its application for the coveted GRAS status for soy protein, after an outcry from scientists about the toxins and carcinogens that come with it. They can still put soy protein in your food, but they have to get pre-market approval for every product.
Isolated soy protein is no health food. But we don’t eat soy protein with a spoon. How do we eat it? It is the main ingredient in soy burgers, ice cream, milk shakes, and fake cheese. These soy protein products are phony foods — but they must look like the real foods they imitate. So the soy industry transforms a small yellow soy bean into something resembling a hamburger. They make soy “milk” and “ice cream” white and creamy.
The other ingredients in these foods are no better for you than the soy protein that goes into them. Soy milk, for example, is simply a cocktail of soy protein, sugar, and vegetable oil. The “natural” MSG formed in soy processing is already bad for you, but even more MSG, and more flavorings, are added. Imitation foods need a lot of help to be tasty. Many savory soy foods are loaded with additives to give them the flavor of the real foods they mimic. Most imitation meat, for example, contains man-made MSG, which causes migraines and is associated with brain cancer.
Soy foods aren’t real food. They aren’t traditional. They aren’t old. They’re industrial waste products dressed up in pretty clothes and marketed to an ignorant public.
ETA: Reader comments below prompted me to include a couple of additions to this post. The questions: What about tofu or homemade soy milk? Their consumption is quite widespread in Asian cultures, and they’re non-fermented soy foods. Are they okay? The answers: Tofu originated around the 2nd century BC in China, and it was made from fermented bean curd. That is how it was traditionally made before the days of refrigeration. Most modern tofu isn’t fermented anymore. You can still buy varieties of fermented tofu (aka “Stinky Tofu” or “Pickled Tofu”) in some Asian markets, though. Also, according to the most comprehensive online account of soymilk’s history, its use was rare before the 20th century and widespread usage was highly unlikely. In other words, it’s not a traditional food. Nor is non-fermented tofu. They’re the Asian equivalents of margarine, hot bath canning, “vegetable oil,” or soda pop — something relatively new on the food scene which became very widespread with the industrialization of the food supply. And like these industrialized food products, they are bad for your health.