I came across this article. If any one finds a rebuttal article, I’ll include it to give balance. You can’t make an honest decision without knowing the evidence from both sides.
The Dangers of Soy Are Real–and Much Worse Than You Might Think
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.
A Summary of the Dangers of Soy
- Soybeans and soy products contain high levels of phytic acid, which inhibits assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc.
- Soaking, sprouting, and long, slow cooking do not neutralize phytic acid.
- Diets high in phytic acid have been shown to cause growth problems in children.
- Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders.
- Test animals showed stunted growth when fed trypsin inhibitors from soy.
- The plant estrogens found in soy, called phytoestrogens, disrupt endocrine function, that is, the proper functioning of the glands that produce hormones, and have the potential to cause infertility as well as to promote breast cancer in adult women.
- Hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer may be caused by soy phytoestrogens.
- Infant soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
- Soy has been found to increase the body’s need for vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
- Fragile soy proteins are exposed to high temperatures during processing in order to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein, making them unsuitable for human digestion.
- This same process results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines. (Doesn’t sound like anything anyone would want to eat, does it?)
- MSG, (also called free glutamic acid), a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing. Many soy products have extra MSG added as well. (See video on the dangers of Aspartame, MSG’s chemical first cousin.)
- Soy foods contain elevated levels of toxic aluminum, which negatively effects the nervous system the kidneys and has been implicated in the onset of Alzheimer’s.
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.
Feeding Babies Infant Soy Formula Is Like Giving Them Birth Control Pills
- It’s been found that babies given infant soy formulas have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen than babies fed milk-based formulas.
- Babies fed exclusively on infant soy formula are receiving the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least four or five birth control pills per day! You read that right. Four or five birth control pills per day! Here’s the reference so you can check this out for yourself. [Irvine, C. et al., “The Potential Adverse Effects of Soybean Phytoestrogens in Infant Feeding”, New Zealand Medical Journal May 24, 1995, p. 318.] By contrast, dairy-based infant formula contains almost no phytoestrogens, nor does human milk, even when the mother eats soy products. (Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.)
- There has been an increase of delayed physical maturation among boys, including lack of development of sexual organs.
- Conversely, many girls today show signs of puberty, such as breast development and pubic hair, before the age of eight, and some even before the age of three.
- Both of these abnormal conditions have been linked to the use of soy formulas as well as to exposure to “environmental estrogens” such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene)a breakdown product of DDT.
Would you want to knowingly expose your tiny infant to the dangers of soy formula?
But Don’t Oriental Cultures Eat Lots of Soy?
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.
- Soy foods account for only 1.5 percent of calories in the Chinese diet, researchers found. (1977 Chang KC)
- The actual soybean consumed today is not the same one used by traditional Oriental cultures.
Problems with Soy Protein Isolate
- Furthermore, modern soy foods are very different from those consumed traditionally in Asia. Most are made with soy protein isolate (SPI), which is a protein-rich powder extracted by an industrial process from the waste product of soy oil manufacturing. It is the industry’s way of making a profit on a waste product. The industry spent over 30 years and billions of dollars developing SPI.
- In feeding studies, SPI caused many deficiencies in rats. That soy causes deficiencies in B12 and zinc is widely recognized, but the range of deficiencies was surprising.
- Although SPI is added to many foods, it was never granted GRAS status, meaning “Generally Recognized as Safe”. The FDA only granted GRAS status to SPI for use as a binder in cardboard boxes. During the processing of soy, many additional toxins are formed, including nitrates (which are carcinogens) and a toxin called lysinoalanine. It was concerns about lysinoalanine in SPI that led the FDA to deny GRAS status for SPI as a food additive.
- In spite of all these dangers of soy protein isolate, SPI is the basic ingredient of soy infant formula. The FDA even allows a health claim for foods containing 6.25 grams SPI per serving.
Scientific Studies Showing Adverse Effects of Dietary Soy
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!
The FDA Had the Scientific Information about the Dangers of Soy but Chose to Ignore It
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.
If you simply do a search on ‘soybean’ at the Poisonous Plant Database of the United States FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, you can see this information yourself.
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.
More Confirmation on the Dangers of Soy: Medical Conditions Possibly Attributable to Soy Consumption
Weston Price Foundation
Symptoms of Disorders Possibly Attributable to Soy
Weston Price Foundation
Do You Still Think We’re Exaggerating the Dangers of Soy?
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.
UPDATE (1st May 2013) This article perhaps goes someway to give some balance to the discussion. You make up your own mind.
Soy Protein :: The Real Modern Research
Soy protein is widely used since 1959. In normal life there are so many soy foods which contain soy protein. This is proved to be really good while thinking of its benefits. Commercially there are so many products which contain saturated or textured soy protein. Soy protein may have many benefits over some minor side effects to people with soy protein allergy.
What is soy protein?
Soy protein is such a protein body which is mainly found in soybeans and secondarily in other pulses. When we talk about soy foods, we found many salad dressings, special soy milk, soy powered and many other things which contain high amount of soy protein in it. Here I am giving away a brief list of soy foods which contain soy protein.
- Salad Dressings
- Soy Beverage Powder
- Meat Analogues
- Non-Dairy Creamer Products
- Infant Formulas
Soy Protein Varieties
Varieties or Proteins like Soy can be best explained in the following heads.
Soy Protein Isolate
The Soy Protein Isolate is highly refined form of soy protein which is also more saturated than the other soy protein varieties. Soy Protein Isolate contains normally more than 90% of pure, refined soy protein. Soy protein isolate is formed or produced using soy floor while isolating other non-protein components and fats which were present in the source.
Concentrate Soy Protein
The soy protein concentrate is mainly the form of protein which is extracted from soy floor however while extracting process the water-soluble carbohydrates are removed. In this form of soy protein the pure protein can be found around 70%.
Soy Protein Effects
Soy Protein has many good and bad effects over human body. In my personal opinion the soy protein has more benefits than the side effects. Let me explain the dangers of soy protein as well as benefits of it.
Soy Protein Side Effects or Dangers
Many people has soy food allergy mostly in United States of America and Canada. People do want to know that what type of side effects or dangers are there in soy protein or soy products. The main danger of soy protein is the methods or processing the soy foods, normally soybeans are not as much dangerous as soy protein isolate or soy protein concentrate, Its due to the way, the industries process soy proteins from the raw source. The primary method contains some high temperature and high pressure methods with chemical processors. During the processing of soy products, many good ingredients are removed and such a chemical results is occurred that the resulted soy products may stop or resits to let the body absorb many mineral particulars such as Zinc, Copper, Magnesium and Iron which are necessary to the human body to do certain functions.
Benefits of Soy Protein
- This do have such an energy inside which really imitate like meat products.
- According to FDA, this protein do reduce LDL Cholesterol from the human body, hence it lowers the risk of heart problems.
- Soy Protein Amino Acids inside, so improves the effect of other foods too.
- Soy protein, reduces the risk to many serious diseases such as Colon cancer, Osteoporosis and Prostate Cancer.