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Soy – Good or Bad?

Soybean

I saw a friend yesterday who said to me, "I quit eating soy products because of you." I asked him "why?" He told me when we saw each other a few months earlier I told him about soy.

What I said made him so concerned it motivated him to change his eating habits. So what did I say?

I mentioned to him that I used to eat a lot of soy products including tofu. At various times I used to use soy milk almost daily on my cereal.

One day, while talking with an Alternative Medicine M.D., the conversation drifted into a discussion of soy products. He mentioned several very negative effects from eating unfermented soy products. I immediately drastically cut my unfermented soy consumption.

Unfermented soy products like tofu and soy milk and yogurt cause the following:

  • Block absorption of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. This results from a high content of phytic acid and phytates.
  • Estrogenic effects from the isoflavones causing increasing estrogen levels higher than what’s healthy
  • Suppress thyroid function which is referred to as Goitrogenic effects and disrupt endocrine function
  • Inhibit growth due to the trypsin inhibitors that it contains
  • Can cause blood clots due to haemagglutinin

Whew! That’s quite a list of negatives. By the way textured vegetable protein is really bad due to the way it’s processed with high temperature, high pressure, and the use of acid and alkaline chemicals.

Soy allergies are common but often undetected. The doctor I mentioned above said he conservatively estimates that about 10% of his patients are allergic to soy. Many of them don’t even know this until they are tested. Pay attention to how your body reacts to soy when you eat it in any of its many forms and as part of the ingredients of many foods.

Some of the symptoms caused by soy include acne, canker sore, inflammation and infection of the mucous membrane lining of the eyelids and the exposed surface of the eyeball, dermatitis, diarrhea, eczema, hives, heart palpitation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, panic attack and PMS like symptoms.

Soy has been linked to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility.

Like many other foods, unfermented soy products should be eaten in moderation of 1-2 servings per week. It just goes back to having a well rounded diet that contains a variety of foods.

Are any soy products good for you? Yes. Fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto, and soy sauce are good for you. The fermentation process reduces or eliminates the phytic acid and phytates in soy and changes soy’s other effects mentioned above.

Fermentation creates probiotics, the "good" bacteria necessary for your body, such as lactobacilli, that increase the availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in your body.

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About the Author

Ed Mass is an Alternative Medicine researcher, writer, and business coach. He works with a Board Certified M.D. who practices Alternative Medicine and a Biological Dentist who is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. To discover evidence based Alternative Medicine concepts and immediately useful insights for healing that are rarely discussed in the general media go to his blog at AltMedToday.com.

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Comments

11 Comments »

  1. Pingback by the dark and leafy side « Mr. Kate

    [...] soy! too much soy is not good because of it’s effects hormonally, etc. read more about it here. but Alicia’s emphasizes only having soy protein (tofu, etc.) twice per week, and then rest of [...]

  2. Comment by Susan

    I have more of a question than a comment, i have been trying to find the answer to this but there is always conflicting information. Since this author is an alternative medicine researcher I thought he would be a good person to ask. Is edemame a safe source of soy? the reason I ask is that I need the phytoestrogens that soy offers and I am not sure that they come in the fermented forms of soy. Also i have had tumors removed and have been told by some that I should not have any soy because the tumors will grow back. I need the natural hormones, I am desperately seeking answers.any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Pingback by Not soy good for you (Day 17) | 40 Day Detox

    [...] to these claims there is a growing number of soy research suggesting dangers of using unfermented soy products like tofu and soy milk. While fermented soy [...]

  4. Comment by Stephen

    Wow.. I never heard about this, the negative side of tofu. Thanks for sharing this post.

  5. Comment by Nancy

    Iv’e been drinking soy milk,since the 90′s. I heard some are process. I swiched to another product,that’s organic and has no prerservtives in it.Do you know which soy drinks are good for you.I love soy on my ceal.

  6. Comment by Pam

    In addition to above:

    from: Natural Health Newsletter

    Soy Unsafe for Children

    Soy product consumption has been linked to a long list of diseases and hormone dysfunctions in children including thyroid disease, mineral malabsorption, diabetes, and abnormal sexual development. Here is the evidence that you should not feed your children soy products. Soy foods depress thyroid function. This depression of the thyroid gland is capable of inducing a hypothyroid state, autoimmune thyroid disease, and goiter (swelling of the thyroid gland).

  7. Comment by Pam

    7 Signs of Soy intolerance

    Below is a list of seven symptoms of soy intolerance provided by the Food Allergy Network:

    Vomiting, nausea, bloating, cramps, diarrhea.
    Difficulty breathing, speaking or a drop in blood pressure.
    Heart palpitations, loss of consciousness.
    Anxiety, faintness, distress.
    Hives or a rash, red and itchy skin, flushed face.
    Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat, and tongue.
    Weakness, paleness, or sense of doom.
    http://thehealthyminute.com/general-health/7-signs-of-soy-intolerance/

  8. Comment by Debra

    Very interesting post. I am a soy milk junkie but will now start to compare symptoms. Thanks for the info.

  9. Pingback by Prissie heaven » SoyBean: Is it good? Think again!

    [...] read more, visit these links: Soy: The poison Seed Soy, Homosexuality, and Sexual Identity disorder Soy – Good or Bad? [...]

  10. Comment by practicalmind

    I am confused now after reading this information here and the information in the http://soynutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/SoyMyths_FactSheet.pdf.

  11. Comment by Bryan39

    Image. Here’s the ingredients of the very effective canker sore gargle recommended by my doctor during my terrible canker outbreak: 1. 100 grams Doxycycline. 2. 1canker sore medicine

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