by Jeffrey Dach MD For Part One of this series, click here.
Above image: Soy infant feeding formula courtesy of wikimedia commons.
A Mysterious Recurrence of Menopausal Symptoms
A 55 year old post menopausal executive secretary had been doing well for many years on her bioidentical hormone program. Last week, she called the office to report her menopausal symptoms had returned. She was again feeling miserable, with recurring hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia. Mysteriously, the bioidentical hormone cream has stopped working.
GeniSoy Soy Protein Bars courtesy of Amazon.com
I asked her if she was doing anything differently. She said “No, not really, except for the case of Soy Protein Bars from the discount store.” She had decided to go vegetarian and now consumed three soy bars a day as a protein replacement. Shortly thereafter, the hormone cream stopped working for her.
An Anti-Estrogen Effect
Apparently, the soy protein bars were acting as an anti-estrogen, blocking the effect of the bioidentical hormone cream. Once she stopped the soy protein bars, the bioidentical hormone cream worked again. Her insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats were gone.
A Protein Replacement for Vegetarians ?
Sally Fallon and Mary Enig have warned about the health dangers of Soy consumption (1-6). Dr. Mercola, and Dr. Brownstein have warned about the health dangers of Soy. (7-14)
The Objections to Soy
1) Soy contains plant hormones that can cause either an anti-estrogenic effect or a pro-estrogenic effect, depending on the circumstances.(36-38)
2) Soy blocks thyroid function, causing Goiter (thyroid enlargement) and thyroid dysfunction.(14)
3) Infant Soy formula warnings have been issued by Israel, and the U.K. advising mothers against soy baby formulas. The soy infant formulas have estrogenic effects, block thyroid function, and disrupt the immune system of babies. (19-25)
4) Virtually all soy products are made from GMO, genetically modified Soy called Round-up Ready Soy, conferring resistance to the toxic herbicide, Round-up. GMO (genetically modified food) is inherently unhealthy and should be avoided.(14)
5) Soy is a top allergen, one of the top eight foods known to cause allergic reactions.
6) Soy has a high level of pesticide contamination.
Books on Health Dangers of Soy:
The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food
by Kaayla T. Daniel
The Hidden Dangers of Soy by Dianne Gregg
Conclusion: Soy food products have considerable health risks and should be avoided. Soy is just another part of the Minefield at the Grocery Store
Articles with related interest: This article is part two, for part one of this series, click here: Minefield at the Grocery Store Part One.
Links and References
Soy Alert — Tragedy and Hype The Third International Soy Symposium
by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig, PhD First published in Nexus Magazine, Volume 7, Number 3, April-May, 2000 by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD. All rights reserved.
Soy infant formula
“Approximately 25 per cent of bottle-fed children in the US receive soy-based formula — a much higher percentage than in other parts of the Western world. Fitzpatrick estimated that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the oestrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day. By contrast, almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products. “”
Myths & Truths About Soy Written by Weston A. Price Foundation
Saturday, 01 January 2000
4) http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/complaints-about-soy?qh=YTozOntpOjA7czozOiJzb3kiO2k6MTtzOjM6InNvaSI7aToyO3M6NDoic295cyI7fQ%3D%3D Complaints About Soy Tuesday, 17 February 2004 17:22
5) http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/studies-showing-adverse-effects-of-isoflavones?qh=YTozOntpOjA7czozOiJzb3kiO2k6MTtzOjM6InNvaSI7aToyO3M6NDoic295cyI7fQ%3D%3D Studies Showing Adverse Effects of Isoflavones, 1950-2010
Tuesday, 26 August 2003 19:02
6) http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/bad-news-for-soy-industry?qh=YTozOntpOjA7czozOiJzb3kiO2k6MTtzOjM6InNvaSI7aToyO3M6NDoic295cyI7fQ%3D%3D Bad News for the Soy Industry PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 27 February 2009 16:46
Dr. Joseph Mercola Physician and author. The Health Dangers of Soy 08/23/2012 7:53 am
Soy and the Thyroid = The Controversy Over Soy and Thyroid Health
By Mary Shomon, About.com Guide Updated June 12, 2012
Dangers of Soy Products
There’s No Joy in Soy: The Hidden Dangers By Nancy Jerominski (View Profile)
11) http://www.utne.com/2007-07-01/Science-Technology/The-Dark-Side-of-Soy.aspx The Dark Side of Soy. Is America’s favorite health food making us sick? Mary Vance Terrain Utne Reader July / August 2007
books Kayla Daniel
12) http://www.amazon.com/Whole-Soy-Story-Americas-Favorite/dp/0967089751 The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food [Hardcover] Kaayla T. Daniel (Author)
13) http://www.amazon.com/The-Hidden-Dangers-Dianne-Gregg/dp/1432717022/ref=pd_sim_b_2 The Hidden Dangers of Soy [Paperback] Dianne Gregg (Author)
The Soy Deception By David Brownstein, M.D. and Sheryl Shenfelt, C.N. This book will expose the soy deception and give you the truth about soy. Supporters claim soy can provide an ideal source of protein, lower cholesterol, protect against cancer and heart disease, reduce menopausal symptoms, and prevent osteoporosis – among many other things. It seems like a miracle, right? Or, are there problems with soy? We will show you that soy is not a miraculous food and, furthermore, show you the other side of soy—the side the soy industry does not want you to know about.
Why Avoid Soy?
There are many concerns with soy; it contains many anti-nutrients and components that are toxic to humans. The ingestion of soy has also been linked to the development of many health issues such as breast cancer, digestive issues, hypothyroidism, infertility, thyroid cancer, and many other disorders as listed in our book on page 58.
There are many potential problems with soy discussed in the book including:
Soy causes many thyroid problems. It is a known goitrogen—it promotes goiter or swelling of the thyroid gland. (More about this in Chapter 5.)
Soy inhibits the uptake of iodine, which is used by the thyroid gland in the production of thyroid hormones. (More about this in Chapter 5.)
Soy contains phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) which may disrupt endocrine function. (More about this in Chapter 4.)
Soy contains large amounts of phytates (including phytic acid). Phytic acid is the storage form of phosphate in plants. Research has shown that phytic acid has been found to reduce the assimilation of minerals including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. The fermentation process helps in neutralizing phytic acid, which is one reason why fermented soy is healthier for you. (More about this in Chapter 3.)
Soy has also been shown to increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
It has long been recognized that soy consumption can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.
During the processing of soy, highly carcinogenic nitrates and a toxin called lysinoalanine are formed. Also, many soy foods often contain MSG and aluminum.
Most soy in the United States is genetically modified (GM). It is estimated that about half of the American soybean crop planted in 1999 carries a gene that makes it resistant to an herbicide (Roundup®) used to control weeds. Therefore, these GM soy plants are continually sprayed with large amounts of Roundup®. (More about GM soy can be found in Chapter 8.)
Soy has one of the highest percentages of pesticide contamination of any food. Soy is highly allergenic and is in fact one of the top eight food allergens. It is found as filler in so many foods that people with allergies may be at risk. (More about soy and allergies can be found in Chapter 7.)
Soy contains saponins which have been show to damage the mucosal lining of the intestine or cause leaky gut. (More about leaky gut can be found in Chapter 7.) Soy contains oxalates which can prevent calcium absorption and have been linked to the development of kidney stones.
The Soy Deception dr david brownstein
The Hidden Dangers of Soy
6 min tv nes clip interview qith Kayla Daniel
The Whole Truth About Soy – Kaayla T. Daniel
Diane Gregg, author of The Hidden Dangers of Soy
soy in infant formula warning
19) http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/04q0151/04Q-0151_emc-000348-02.pdf Israeli health ministry warning on soy infant formula
letter to FDA by Sally Fallon
BMJ. 2005 July 30; 331(7511): 254.
Health committee warns of potential dangers of soya Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
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.
Lancet. 1997 Jul 5;350(9070):23-7.Exposure of infants to phyto-oestrogens from soy-based infant formula.Setchell KD, Zimmer-Nechemias L, Cai J, Heubi JE.Clinical Mass Spectrometry Center, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.
The isoflavones genistein, daidzein, and their glycosides, found in high concentrations in soybeans and soy-protein foods, may have beneficial effects in the prevention or treatment of many hormone-dependent diseases. Because these bioactive phyto-oestrogens possess a wide range of hormonal and non-hormonal activities, it has been suggested that adverse effects may occur in infants fed soy-based formulas.
To evaluate the extent of infant exposure to phyto-oestrogens from soy formula, the isoflavone composition of 25 randomly selected samples from five major brands of commercially available soy-based infant formulas were analysed, and the plasma concentrations of genistein and daidzein, and the intestinally derived metabolite, equol, were compared in 4-month-old infants fed exclusively soy-based infant formula (n = 7), cow-milk formula (n = 7), or human breast-milk (n = 7).
All of the soy formulas contained mainly glycosides of genistein and daidzein, and the total isoflavone content was similar among the five formulas analysed and was related to the proportion of soy isolate used in their manufacture. From the concentrations of isoflavones in these formulas (means 32-47 micrograms/mL), the typical daily volume of milk consumed, and average bodyweight, a 4-month-old infant fed soy formula would be exposed to 28-47 per day, or about 4.5-8.0 mg/kg bodyweight per day, of total isoflavones. Mean (SD) plasma concentrations of genistein and daidzein in the seven infants fed soy-based formulas were 684 (443) ng/mL and 295 (60) ng/mL, respectively, which was significantly greater (p < 0.05) than in the infants fed either cow-milk formulas (3.2 [0.7] and 2.1 [0.3] ng/mL), or human breast-milk (2.8 [0.7] and 1.4 [0.1] ng/mL), and an order of magnitude higher per bodyweight than typical plasma concentrations of adults consuming soy foods.
The daily exposure of infants to isoflavones in soy infant-formulas is 6-11 fold higher on a bodyweight basis than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults consuming soy foods.
Circulating concentrations of isoflavones in the seven infants fed soy-based formula were 13000-22000 times higher than plasma oestradiol concentrations in early life, and may be sufficient to exert biological effects, whereas the contribution of isoflavones from breast-milk and cow-milk is negligible.
Phytoestrogens in Soy Depress Immune Function. An article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (May 28, 2002;99(11):7616-7621) has raised new concerns about soy. Researchers injected mice with the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein and then looked at the thymus gland.
They found that the injections produced dose-responsive decreases in thymic weight of up to 80 percent. In other words, the more isoflavones given, the greater decrease in the weight of the thymus gland. The genistein-injected mice showed a large decrease in the number of immune cells and changes in the thymus, where immune cells mature. Genistein decreased thymocyte numbers up to 86 percent and doubled apoptosis (cell death), indicating that the mechanism of the genistein effect on loss of thymocytes is caused in part by increased apoptosis. In addition, genistein produced suppression of humoral immunity.
Genistein injected at 8 mg/kg per day produced serum genistein levels comparable to those reported in soy-fed human infants, and this dose caused significant thymic and immune changes in mice.
Said the researchers: “Critically, dietary genistein at concentrations that produced serum genistein levels substantially less than those in soy-fed infants produced marked thymic atrophy. These results raise the possibility that serum genistein concentrations found in soy-fed infants may be capable of producing thymic and immune abnormalities, as suggested by previous reports of immune impairments in soy-fed human infants.”
These results explain the frequent infections, high fevers and autoimmune problems (including diabetes) that often occur in soy-fed children.
Unlike earlier reports on the negative effects of soy, this study was actually reported in a major newspaper. “A Closer Look at Soy and Babies” appeared in the Science section of the New York Times, May 21, 2002. The article quotes Dr. Paul S. Cook, head of the study, as stating that “parents whose babies did not need to drink soy formula for health reasons, like allergies, should consider using milk-based formula instead, if they do not breast feed.” Mead Johnson Nutritionals, maker of soy formula, naturally defended the use of soy formula. But this article represents the first hole in the media dike and yet another warning to parents to avoid soy formula for their babies.
thymic atrophy from soy infant formulas
The phytoestrogen genistein induces thymic and immune changes: A human health concern? Srikanth Yellayi*, Afia Naaz*, Melissa A. Szewczykowski*, Tomomi Sato*†, Jeffrey A. Woods‡, Jongsoo Chang§, Mariangela Segre¶, lint . Allred§, William G. Helferich§?, and Paul S. Cooke*?** Author Affiliations Edited by R. Michael Roberts, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, and approved March 18, 2002 (received for review December 5, 2001)
Use of soy-based infant formulas and soy/isoflavone supplements has aroused concern because of potential estrogenic effects of the soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein. Here we show that s.c. genistein injections in ovariectomized adult mice produced dose-responsive decreases in thymic weight of up to 80%. Genistein’s thymic effects occurred through both estrogen receptor (ER) and non-ER-mediated mechanisms, as the genistein effects on thymus were only partially blocked by the ER antagonist ICI 182,780. Genistein decreased thymocyte numbers up to 86% and doubled apoptosis, indicating that the mechanism of the genistein effect on loss of thymocytes is caused in part by increased apoptosis. Genistein injection caused decreases in relative percentages of thymic CD4+CD8- and double-positive CD4+CD8+ thymocytes, providing evidence that genistein may affect early thymocyte maturation and the maturation of the CD4+CD8- helper T cell lineage. Decreases in the relative percentages of CD4+CD8- thymocytes were accompanied by decreases in relative percentages of splenic CD4+CD8- cells and a systemic lymphocytopenia. In addition, genistein produced suppression of humoral immunity. Genistein injected at 8 mg/kg per day produced serum genistein levels comparable to those reported in soy-fed human infants, and this dose caused significant thymic and immune changes in mice. Critically, dietary genistein at concentrations that produced serum genistein levels substantially less than those in soy-fed infants produced marked thymic atrophy. These results raise the possibility that serum genistein concentrations found in soy-fed infants may be capable of producing thymic and immune abnormalities, as suggested by previous reports of immune impairments in soy-fed human infants.
Chief Medical Officer of UK Newsletter warns against infant soy formulas. Advice issued on soya-based infant formulas. The CMO is reiterating advice that soya-based infant formulas should not be used as the first choice for the management of infants with proven cow’s milk sensitivity, lactose intolerance, galactokinase deficiency and galactosaemia. Soya-based formulas have a high phytoestrogen content, which could pose a risk to the long-term reproductive health of infants, according to a 2003 report from the Committee on Toxicity (COT), an independent scientific committee that advises the Department of Health and other government agencies.
Furthermore, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), another independent advisory body, has advised that there is no particular health benefit associated with the consumption of soya-based infant formula by infants who are healthy (no clinically diagnosed conditions). SACN also advised there is no unique clinical condition that particularly requires the use of soya-based infant formulas. As an alternative to soya-based products, more appropriate hydrolysed protein formulas are available and can be prescribed. Soya-based formulas should only be used in exceptional circumstances to ensure adequate nutrition. For example, they may be given to infants of vegan parents who are not breast-feeding or infants who find alternatives unacceptable. For more information contact Sheela Reddy, General Nutrition Policy, Department of Health, Wellington House, 133–155 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UG. Tel: 0207 972 2000. E-mail: email@example.com. Also see http://www.sacn.gov.uk and http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/.
Toxicity in Foods and the Environment; Scientific Advisory Committee, Nutrition. SACN) have examined all the evidence, and more, before you and have arrived at these findings
(a) SACN Refs. PEG/2002/01 and PEG/2002/02 1 “Strom et al (2001) and Sharpe et al (2002) raise significant concerns” 2 “the use of soy-based infant formulas is of concern. There is clear evidence of potential risk” 3 “There must be an onus on industry to better inform the general public, and, through a health professional, parents actually using these products to feed their infants
(b) As a result, the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officer of Health in his January 2004 monthly newsletter to all health professionals in the UK wrote, inter alia, “ Health Policy Advice: Advice Issued on Soya-based Infant Formulas” “Soy based infant formulas have a high phytoestrogen content which could pose a risk to the long-term reproductive health of infants”.
Additionally, the US Academy of Sciences has published a text-book for the guidance of regulators called “Hormonally Active Agents in the Environment” That states unequivocally…
Soy Hidden Health Dangers by Dr. Kaayla Daniel.
Over the past two decades, soy has been widely promoted as a ‘miracle’ food that can prevent heart disease, fight cancer, fan away hot flashes and build strong bones and bodies in far more than 12 ways. Fortunately, the ‘whole soy story’ is starting to emerge. In July, 2005, the first major warning came from the Israeli Health Ministry, which warned that babies should not receive soy formula, that children under 18 years of age should eat soy foods no more than once per day to a maximum of three times a week and that adults should exercise caution because of adverse effects on fertility and increased breast cancer risk2 The Ministry took its advice from a 13-member committee of nutritionists, oncologists, pediatricians and other experts who spent a year examining the evidence. The committee was most concerned by the possibility of hormonal disruption caused by the estrogen-like plant hormones in soy. 3
Also in July, 2005, researchers at Cornell University’s Program of Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors warned that excessive soy food consumption can increase breast cell multiplication, putting women at greater risk for breast cancer. 4
In September, 2005, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a report in which it concluded that much of the research carried out on soy is ‘inconclusive’.5 The review prepared by a team of researchers at Tufts in Boston, concluded that soy products appear to exert ‘a small benefit on LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but the effects may be of small clinical effect in individuals’. Furthermore, the researchers couldn’t determine from the many studies how much soy protein might be needed for lipid reduction. The authors found that studies show that soy products may reduce menopausal symptoms but noted they were of poor quality or their duration was too short to lead to definite conclusions.
The researchers failed to find clear evidence that soy causes thyroid damage – but that’s not surprising in that they excluded foreign studies from consideration. Most of the key studies showing thyroid damage from soy have been carried out at leading thyroid clinics in Japan. 6
Then the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported that the studies on soy and cancer are inconsistent and that high intake of soy may increase breast cancer risk. The journal indicated this lack of ‘clear, consistent message’ confuses many women and that ‘health professionals should take an active role in communicating and clarifying such information’. 7
The French Government also takes the soy risk seriously and is implementing new regulations that will require manufacturers to remove soy isoflavones from infant formula and soy foods targeted to children under 3 years old. 8
In 2007 the German Institute of Risk Assessment warned parents and pediatricians that babies should not be given soy infant formula without clear, concrete medical reasons and then only under strict medical supervision.9 Soon after, the Germans issued a second warning to adult consumers, saying that soy isoflavones offer no proven health benefits and may pose health risks.
These and other warnings follow a lengthy report issued in 2002 by the British Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, which found no merit to most of the health claims made for soy. The Committee identified infants on soy formula, vegetarians who use soy as a primary source of protein and adults trying to prevent disease with soy foods and soy supplements as being at risk for thyroid damage. 10
full text !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Environ Health Perspect. 2002 June; 110(Suppl 3): 349–353.
Goitrogenic and estrogenic activity of soy isoflavones.
Daniel R Doerge and Daniel M Sheehan
Soy is known to produce estrogenic isoflavones. Here, we briefly review the evidence for binding of isoflavones to the estrogen receptor, in vivo estrogenicity and developmental toxicity, and estrogen developmental carcinogenesis in rats. Genistein, the major soy isoflavone, also has a frank estrogenic effect in women. We then focus on evidence from animal and human studies suggesting a link between soy consumption and goiter, an activity independent of estrogenicity. Iodine deficiency greatly increases soy antithyroid effects, whereas iodine supplementation is protective. Thus, soy effects on the thyroid involve the critical relationship between iodine status and thyroid function. In rats consuming genistein-fortified diets, genistein was measured in the thyroid at levels that produced dose-dependent and significant inactivation of rat and human thyroid peroxidase (TPO) in vitro. Furthermore, rat TPO activity was dose-dependently reduced by up to 80%. Although these effects are clear and reproducible, other measures of thyroid function in vivo (serum levels of triiodothyronine, thyroxine, and thyroid-stimulating hormone; thyroid weight; and thyroid histopathology) were all normal. Additional factors appear necessary for soy to cause overt thyroid toxicity. These clearly include iodine deficiency but may also include additional soy components, other defects of hormone synthesis, or additional goitrogenic dietary factors. Although safety testing of natural products, including soy products, is not required, the possibility that widely consumed soy products may cause harm in the human population via either or both estrogenic and goitrogenic activities is of concern. Rigorous, high-quality experimental and human research into soy toxicity is the best way to address these concerns. Similar studies in wildlife populations are also appropriate.
Ageing Res Rev. 2007 Aug;6(2):150-88. Epub 2007 May 16.
Isoflavones–safe food additives or dangerous drugs?Wuttke W, Jarry H, Seidlová-Wuttke D.Department of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, University of Goettingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37075 Goettingen, Germany.
The sales volume of products containing isoflavone has increased since the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative. The many apparently contradictory results published on the effects of isoflavones on a variety of estrogen-regulated organs point to both beneficial as well as adverse effects on human health. It is of particular importance that psychovegetative climacteric complaints such as hot flushes are, if at all, only slightly influenced by isoflavones. The substances appear to have weak anti-osteoporotic effect. Their anti-atherosclerotic action is debatable, as not all authors find any beneficial effect on lipids. Most importantly, there is dispute as to whether isoflavones derived from soy or red clover have negative, positive or any effect at all on the mammary gland or endometrium. It is beyond any doubt that soy products may have cancer preventing properties in a variety of organs including the mammary gland. However, these properties may only be exerted if the developing organ was under the influence of isoflavones during childhood and puberty. This may also explain the often quoted “Japanese Phenomenon”, the fact that breast cancer occurs to a lesser extent in Japanese women. When administered to isoflavone “inexperienced” women at the time of menopause, the phytoestrogens appear to share the same effects as estrogen used in classical preparations for hormone replacement therapy, i.e. they may stimulate the proliferation of endometrial and mammary gland tissue with at present unknown and unpredictable risk to these organs. Therefore, the following question arises for the clinician: Why should soy or red clover products containing isoflavone be recommended, if the positive effects are only negligible but the adverse effects serious?
soy is safe
J Med Food. 2007 Dec;10(4):571-80.
Soy isoflavones as safe functional ingredients.
Song WO, Chun OK, Hwang I, Shin HS, Kim BG, Kim KS, Lee SY, Shin D, Lee SG.SourceDepartment of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, MI 48824, USA.
In recent years, isoflavones have increased in popularity as an alternative to estrogen therapy, particularly after the Women’s Health Initiative demonstrated an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, and heart attacks in response to estrogen and progesterone intervention. Isoflavones are heterocyclic phenols with structural similarity to estradiol-17beta and selective estrogen receptor modulators. Actions at the cellular level depend on the target tissue, receptor status of the tissue, and the level of endogenous estrogen. Clinical studies of soy-based diets evaluating the relation between soy consumption and serum lipid concentrations revealed that soy consumption significantly decreased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Epidemiological studies suggest a protective effect of soy protein on breast tissue as evidenced by the lower rates of breast cancer in East Asian countries where soy is a predominant part of the diet. Soy products also alleviate menopausal symptoms by reducing hot flashes. However, whether these biological effects of soy products originated from isoflavones is not clear. Furthermore, data available from human studies on the effect of isoflavones on osteoporosis are limited, and additional studies are needed to support a role in osteoporosis prevention. To date, no adverse effects of short- or long-term use of soy proteins are known in humans, and the only adverse effects known are those reported in animals. In conclusion, isoflavones are biologically active compounds, and current data are insufficient to draw definitive conclusions regarding the use of isoflavones as an alternative to estrogen for hormone replacement in postmenopausal women. Large, long-term intervention studies examining adverse effects and disease outcomes are needed before definitive conclusion can be drawn.
Safety of Soy-Based Infant Formulas Containing Isoflavones: The Clinical Evidence Russell J. Merritt and Belinda H. Jenks2
J. Nutr. May 1, 2004 vol. 134 no. 5 1220S-1224S
Ross Products Division, Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, OH 43215
ABSTRACT Soy protein has been used in infant feeding in the West for nearly 100 y. Soy protein infant formulas have evolved in this interval to become safe and effective alternatives for infants whose nutritional needs are not met with human milk or formulas based on cow’s milk. Modern soy formulas meet all nutritional requirements and safety standards of the Infant Formula Act of 1980. They are commonly used in infants with immunoglobulin E–mediated cow’s milk allergy (at least 86% effective), lactose intolerance, galactosemia, and as a vegetarian human milk substitute. Largely as a result of research in animal models, concerns have been voiced regarding isoflavones in soy infant formulas in relation to nutritional adequacy, sexual development, neurobehavioral
development, immune function, and thyroid disease. We discuss the available clinical evidence regarding each of these issues. Available evidence from adult human and infant populations indicates that dietary isoflavones in soy infant formulas do not adversely affect human growth, development, or reproduction. J. Nutr. 134: 1220S–1224S,
New Research Refutes Soy?s Hypothyroid Effect, Supports Cholesterol-Lowering Ability By Kimberly Pryor
Insights Gained from 20 Years of Soy Research1,2 Mark Messina*
– Author Affiliations Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350
Soyfoods have long been recognized for their high-protein and low-saturated fat content, but over the past 20 y an impressive amount of soy-related research has evaluated the role of these foods in reducing chronic disease risk. Much of this research has been undertaken because the soybean is essentially a unique dietary source of isoflavones, a group of chemicals classified as phytoestrogens. The estrogen-like properties of isoflavones have also raised concern, however, that soyfoods might exert adverse effects in some individuals. There is intriguing animal and epidemiologic evidence indicating that modest amounts of soy consumed during childhood and/or adolescence reduces breast cancer risk. Evidence also suggests that soy reduces prostate cancer risk and inhibits prostate tumor metastasis, but additional clinical support for the chemopreventive effects of soyfoods is needed. Soy protein is modestly hypocholesterolemic and there is suggestive epidemiologic evidence that soyfoods lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) independent of effects on cholesterol. In clinical studies, soy favorably affects multiple CHD risk factors; however, with the exception of improved endothelial function, the data are too limited and/or inconsistent to allow definitive conclusions to be made. In regard to bone health, although recent clinical data have not supported the skeletal benefits of isoflavones, 2 large prospective epidemiologic studies found soy intake is associated with marked reductions in fracture risk. Soybean isoflavones also modestly alleviate hot flashes in menopausal women. Finally, other than allergic reactions, there is almost no credible evidence to suggest traditional soyfoods exert clinically relevant adverse effects in healthy individuals when consumed in amounts consistent with Asian intake.
Mike Messina – a speaker for soy connection
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD for Soy Nutrition funded by
White Wave Foods is the distributor for Silk soy milk,
Mark Messina, PhD, MS
Mark MessinaDr. Messina is the co-owner of Nutrition Matters, Inc., a nutrition consulting company, an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University, and the Executive Director of the Soy Nutrition Institute. He is a former program director with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he initiated a research program on the anticancer effects of soy.
Since leaving the NCI, Dr. Messina has devoted his time to the study of the health effects of soyfoods and soybean isoflavones. He writes extensively on these subjects, having published more than 60 articles and book chapters for health professionals, and he has given more than 500 presentations to both consumer and professional groups in 42 countries.
Dr. Messina is the chairperson of the editorial advisory board of, and writes a regular column for The Soy Connection, a quarterly newsletter that reaches over 500,000 dietitians and other health professionals. He has also organized and chaired eight international symposia on the role of soy in preventing and treating chronic disease and has organized soy meetings in China, India, Brazil, and Italy.
Dr. Messina is the co-author of three books, The Simple Soybean and Your Health (Avery Publishing Group, 1994), The Vegetarian Way (Crown Publishers, 1996), and The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets: Issues and Applications (Aspen Publishers, 1996, Jones and Barlett, 2004).
It’s also troubling to note that the author of this study — and several other recent studies claiming soy is not a danger to the thyroid, is Mark Messina, PhD. Messina, though not a medical doctor, also goes by the name “Dr. Soy.” Messina had been in charge of grant funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he oversaw a $3 million grant for soy studies. Soon after he left NIH, he was hired to serve on the scientific advisory boards of both the United Soybean Board, and international soy agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland. He still serves on both scientific advisory boards as a paid advisor. In addition to his work on these advisory boards, Messina is a consultant to the United Soybean Board and editor of its soy-related newsletter, and serves as a paid speaker and consultant to promote the positive benefits of soy for the United Soybean Board’s “Soy Connection.”. Messina has also published a number of books promoting soy. The “Political Friendster” website, which tracks corporate influence, has documented the close relationship between Messina and the various corporate players in the soy industry.
So, is the study accurate? Honestly, it’s impossible to say at this point. There is a clear ethical and financial conflict of interest in commissioning research on soy’s safety from someone who is a longstanding representative of, and who is lucratively employed by, the soy industry itself.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):356-67.
Clinical outcomes of a 2-y soy isoflavone supplementation in menopausal women. Steinberg FM, Murray MJ, Lewis RD, Cramer MA, Amato P, Young RL, Barnes S, Konzelmann KL, Fischer JG, Ellis KJ, Shypailo RJ, Fraley JK, Smith EO, Wong WW. Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Soy isoflavones are naturally occurring phytochemicals with weak estrogenic cellular effects. Despite numerous clinical trials of short-term isoflavone supplementation, there is a paucity of data regarding longer-term outcomes and safety.
Our aim was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of soy hypocotyl isoflavone supplementation in healthy menopausal women as a secondary outcome of a trial on bone health.
A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 24-mo trial was conducted to assess the effects of daily supplementation with 80 or 120 mg aglycone equivalent soy hypocotyl isoflavones plus calcium and vitamin D on the health of 403 postmenopausal women. At baseline and after 1 and 2 y, clinical blood chemistry values were measured and a well-woman examination was conducted, which included a mammogram and a Papanicolaou test. A cohort also underwent transvaginal ultrasound measurements to assess endometrial thickness and fibroids.
The baseline characteristics of the groups were similar. After 2 y of daily isoflavone exposure, all clinical chemistry values remained within the normal range. The only variable that changed significantly was blood urea nitrogen, which increased significantly after 2 y (P = 0.048) but not after 1 y (P = 0.343) in the supplementation groups. Isoflavone supplementation did not affect blood lymphocyte or serum free thyroxine concentrations. No significant differences in endometrial thickness or fibroids were observed between the groups. Two serious adverse events were detected (one case of breast cancer and one case of estrogen receptor-negative endometrial cancer), which was less than the expected population rate for these cancers.
CONCLUSION: Daily supplementation for 2 y with 80-120 mg soy hypocotyl isoflavones has minimal risk in healthy menopausal women. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00665860.
Natural Medicine Tips – Soy (and Phytoestrogens): Not NECESSARILY Bad For You by Lauren Deville on Feb. 22, 2013, under Natural Medicine Tips
Phytoestrogens are 100 to 1000 times weaker than the estrogen your body produces. What this means: both types of molecules bind to estrogen receptors the same way a key might fit into a lock – but the resulting effects of this match will be very different between the two.
If you have too few natural estrogen molecules in your body, such as in menopause, these phytoestrogens will bind to those estrogenic receptors and weakly stimulate them, which may help improve symptoms of too little estrogen.
If you have too much estrogen relative to progesterone, however (such as in endometriosis, PMS, some menstrual migraines, etc), then a phytoestrogen will still stimulate that estrogen receptor, but it will do so 100 to 1000 times less than the estrogen molecule that otherwise would have occupied that spot!
In other words, phytoestrogens can be either estrogenic OR anti-estrogenic, depending on which one your body needs.
Phytoestrogens in the Body: How Soy Interferes with Natural Hormone Balance
The fact of the matter is that while the medical community has yet to understand and come to grips with phytoestrogen biochemistry, it is clear that phytoestrogens can cause unnatural hormonal disruptions. This is especially problematic for people with high or low estrogen levels or other reproductive issues. If estrogen seems to be increasing by one measure in one type of receptor and in one type of tissue, it is possibly decreasing in others. And vice versa. This can do real damage, since it is impossible for us to understand what is going on in every kind of our tissues at once.
Dangers of Soy Written by Kristen M
Dangers of Soy
Thankfully, more and more independent research has been done regarding the dangers of soy, and what it’s revealed should scare you.
Phytates Phytates are enzyme-inhibitors that block mineral absorption in human digestive tract.
Trypsin inhibitors 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.
Why Soy is Bad for You
Following are some of the major problems caused by soy, as described by the Weston Price Foundation on their website:
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.
Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
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.
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.
Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
The Health Risks Of Soy And Soy Products
(And Why PEERtrainer Guides People Away From Soy)
October 24th, 2012 By Brian Rigby, Clinical Nutrition Writer
Soy Is Allergenic And Promotes Sensitivities
Soy Can Affect Your Thyroid Soy contains goitrogenic compounds,
Soy Contains Phytoestrogens
170 Scientific Reasons to Lose the Soy in Your Diet by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist on September 29, 2012
Neutralizing Soy-Detracting Nitwits
“It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people doesn’t add up to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now…Here’s looking at you kid.” – Humphrey Bogart
Once or twice each day, I receive emails asking for more information on the soy controversy. The anti-soy geniuses claim that soy consumption will turn men into girly-boys. The anti-soy intellects claim that soy will give you cancer of the thyroid, breast, and superego. The anti-soy whiz kids claim that the only safe diet is Paleo, and people should drink raw milk and eat freshly killed animals so that fresh blood will drip down faces rather than cooked gravy. Raw meat is healthy, they claim, and the louder the moo, oink, and woof, the better. Out, damned spot!
Jeffrey Dach MD
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