If you take the time to look into the actual science, then the answer is yes. Thousands of studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility — even cancer and heart disease.
One of the primary reasons it would be wise for you to avoid soy is that more than 90 percent of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified. Since the introduction of genetically engineered foods in 1996, we’ve had an upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems in the U.S., and animal studies have shown devastating effects from genetically engineered soy including allergies, sterility, birth defects, and offspring death rates up to five times higher than normal.
Soybean crops are also heavily sprayed with chemical herbicides, such glyphosate, which a French team of researchers have found to be carcinogenic.
Soybeans — even organically grown soybeans — naturally contain “antinutrients” such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, trypsin inhibitors, goitrogens and phytoestrogens. Traditional fermentation destroys these antinutrients, which allows your body to enjoy soy’s nutritional benefits. However, most Westerners do not consume fermented soy, but rather unfermented soy, mostly in the form of soymilk, tofu, TVP, and soy infant formula.
Unfermented soy has the following 10 adverse affects on your body:
|PCOS and Soy|
1. High Phytic Acid (Phytates): Reduces 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, but only with long fermentation. High-phytate
2. Trypsin inhibitors: Interferes with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals, trypsin inhibitors in soy caused stunted growth.
3. Goitrogens: Potent agents that block your synthesis of thyroid hormones and can cause hypothyroidism and
4. Phytoestrogens/Isoflavones: Plant compounds resembling human estrogen can block your normal estrogen and disrupt endocrine function, cause infertility, and increase your risk for breast cancer.
5. Hemagglutinin: A clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump, making them unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.
6. Synthetic Vitamin D: Soy foods increase your body’s vitamin D requirement, which is why companies add synthetic vitamin D2 to soymilk (a toxic form of vitamin D).
7. Vitamin B12: Soy contains a compound resembling vitamin B12 that cannot be used by your body, so soy foods can actually contribute to B12 deficiency, especially among vegans.
8. Protein Denaturing: Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein (TVP). Chemical processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
9. MSG: Free glutamic acid, or MSG, is a potent neurotoxin. MSG is formed during soy food processing, plus additional MSG is often added to mask soy’s unpleasant taste.
10. Aluminum and Manganese: Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to your nervous system and kidneys, and manganese, which wreaks havoc on your baby’s immature metabolic system.
Soy’s antinutrients are quite potent. Drinking just two glasses of soymilk daily provides enough of these compounds to alter a woman’s menstrual cycle. But if you feed soy to your infant or child, these effects are magnified a thousand-fold. Infants fed soy formula may have up to 20,000 times more estrogen circulating through their bodies as those fed other formulas. You should NEVER feed your infant a soy-based formula!
In fact, infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day.
As dangerous as unfermented soy is, fermented soy from organic soybeans is a different story altogether and can be a beneficial part of your diet. Fermented soy is a great source of vitamin K2, and K2 (combined with vitamin D) is essential in preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and various types of cancer.
Note that tofu is NOT on this list and is among the soy foods I do not recommend.
Traditionally fermented soy products include:
(as long as it’s fermented in the traditional way, and not all are)
Contrary to what you may have heard, Asians do not consume large amounts of soy. They use small amounts as a condiment (about two teaspoons daily), but not as a primary protein source. And the type of soy they consume is traditionally fermented soy.
Soy and the Thyroid
Apart from the question as to whether soy even has demonstrable health benefits, there are long-standing concerns that soy may have negative effects on thyroid function and hormonal health. Soy falls into a category of foods known as goitrogens — vegetables, grains and foods that promote formation of goiter — an enlarged thyroid. Some goitrogens also have a definite antithyroid effect, and appear to be able to slow thyroid function, and in some cases, trigger thyroid disease. These concerns have been studied for years, but were raised specifically by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) researchers Daniel Doerge and Daniel Sheehan. Doerge and Sheehan were the FDA’s key experts on soy. In 2000, Doerge and Sheehan wrote a controversial letter of protest (PDF) to their own employer, protesting the positive health claims for soy that the FDA was approving at the time. ~ Dr Mercola
They wrote:…there is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones found in soy, including genistein and equol, a metabolize of daidzen, demonstrate toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues and in the thyroid. This is true for a number of species, including humans. Additionally, isoflavones are inhibitors of the thyroid peroxidase which makes T3 and T4. Inhibition can be expected to generate thyroid abnormalities, including goiter and autoimmune thyroiditis. There exists a significant body of animal data that demonstrates goitrogenic and even carcinogenic effects of soy products. Moreover, there are significant reports of goitrogenic effects from soy consumption in human infants and adults.
“Soy Lecithin” This in in many “Health” Claiming Shakes and Foods
How is Soy Lecithin Derived?
Soy Lecithin is derived from the waste product of the processing of the soybean plant. In an excerpt from the book “The Whole Soy Story“, Dr. Kaayla T. Daniels explains:
“Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a ‘degumming’ process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. The hexane extraction process commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today yields less lecithin than the older ethanol-benzol process, but produces a more marketable lecithin with better color, reduced odor and less bitter flavor.7
Historian William Shurtleff reports that the expansion of the soybean crushing and soy oil refining industries in Europe after 1908 led to a problem disposing the increasing amounts of fermenting, foul-smelling sludge. German companies then decided to vacuum dry the sludge, patent the process and sell it as “soybean lecithin.” Scientists hired to find some use for the substance cooked up more than a thousand new uses by 1939.8”
Well, if that isn’t unappetizing, I don’t know what is. Here is a product that is found in most items you pick up and look at in the organic and non-organic sides of the store (ice cream, coffee creamers, etc.) and it’s sludge. Dried sludge.
Concerns About Soy Lecithin
The way soy lecithin is made is pretty scary. That same Huffington Post article explains some other concerns surrounding soy lecithin:
“Others dislike soy lecithin because it’s ‘artificial.’ While lecithin is naturally occurring in soybeans, it’s usually extracted using harsh chemical solvents. The last major concern regarding soy lecithin is that, like most soybean products, it is usually derived from genetically modified (GM) soybean plants. Since most soybean and corn crops grown in North America are GM, it can be difficult to avoid them completely. If GM soy lecithin bothers you, look for a label that says ‘organic soy lecithin’ or ‘organic lecithin,’ since organic ingredients can only be made from non-GM plant sources.”
Not only is Soy Lecithin a concern for people with allergies to soy, but also the fact that most soy beans in the U.S. market are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is just as concerning. The only way to avoid GMOs is to purchase items that explicitly say “organic soy”; but even then, the organic soy still contains properties that can be harmful to your health like naturally occurring toxins, plant estrogens, and anti-nutrients.
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