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TOPIC: Soy Safety

Soy Safety 09 Feb 2009 20:14 #3901

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I would like to know more about soy and if it is truly safe.  I have read that 30 mg of soy (5-8 oz of soy milk) can have a negative impact on on thyroid function.  There are studies that say soy is linked to infertility, breast cancer, hypothyroidism, and thyroid cancer.  Soy can delay puberty in boys, while girls show early signs of physical development.  Isoflavones in baby formula are allegedly harmful to infants and fast industrial processing leaves toxins in our soy products as well.  Several websites feel that the billion dollar soy industry is covering all of this up and continue to market soy as a miracle food.  They have a quote from a doctor that says, "Soy foods are not nutrients.  They are drugs." 

Is soy safe or incredibly harmful? 

Soy Safety 09 Feb 2009 22:24 #3902

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Welcome to the Cycle Diet Challenger,

Here's my take on soy, like all so called healthy foods that are regularly ingested, some people develop sensitivities or delayed food allergies and some people are down right allergic to soy. Soy happens to be one of the top 8 food allergens along with (dairy, wheat, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, fish)  so you're going to see a small percentage of people (<1%) who are indeed IgE hypersensitive to the protein in soy.

What I'm finding is there are a larger percentage of people who have a delayed immune sensitivity to soy. In most cases these individuals have a genetic predisposition to soy and other food sensitivities as well, due to disease or autoimmune conditions that involve gut permeability or inflammation that allows undigested protein peptides to enter the blood stream.

Wheat gluten and dairy have also been linked to infertility but you don't see the kind of safety concerns pop up for them...you could also make the same argument against the wheat and dairy industry, look at the propaganda in the dairy council's mustache advertising....dairy doesn't always do the body good especially if one has a lactose intolerance or sensitivity to the many proteins in dairy. The same can be said for soy. China, Japan and Korea happen to consume soy their entire lives and for thousands of years without too many issues. We can't say the same about dairy and wheat in the US. (sorry I'm getting off the topic here)

As far as the isoflavones are concerned the same applies. If you're a person with a hypothyroid on thyroid medication then you should by all means avoid soy. But soy may not be the only problem, many times there are other undigested proteins causing problems. For someone who's estrogen dominate soy can either be a good thing or a bad thing....it depends on whether or not cancer has formed. So soy would be something you would want to talk with your doctor about when taking any kind of cancer medication.  

I have read that 30 mg of soy (5-8 oz of soy milk) can have a negative impact on on thyroid function. 

30mg's of soy is not 5-8 oz...... Are you talking 30mg of soy protein, soy isolate or soy milk? Your comments are not correct, where did you find this information? 30 grams of soy milk would only be about 1oz so 30mg of soy milk would be a very minisule amount. 5 to 8 oz of soy milk is equivilant to 142-227 grams. This can make a huge difference especially if it's soy isoflavone isolate, the kind they sell over the counter for Menopausal symptoms relief.  There's 7 grams of protein in a 1 cup serving of soy milk and approximately 7mg total isoflavones of Genistein (5 mg)and Daidzein (2mg) in 100g of soy milk or approximately 1/2 cup. But if your talking 30 mg of soy protein isolate than we're talking a much higher percentage of isoflavones. Do you get the picture.

I am not a fan of soy isolates....mother nature never intended us to ingest this stuff. But for someone with a dairy sensitivity, soy milk can offer a nice substitute. And by all means don't try to talk a vegan out of his/her miso, or tofu. :D

Soy Safety 10 Feb 2009 00:38 #3903

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Debra, thanks for the reply.  However, I wish you would peruse (removed)  These websites aren't talking about a small group of people with soy allergies or soy sensitivities.  They are talking about a huge number of people suffering from the negative effects of soy.  Most of us unknowingly eat soy everyday.  Soy is found in bread, salad dressings, crackers, and the list goes on.  Please check it out and maybe it will convey what I was trying to say in my first post. It discusses phytic acid, phytoestrogens, and anti-thyroid agents.  This website also mentions that people in China and Japan use soy as a condiment and not as an animal protein replacement (except in desperate times). They probably consume 10mg/day.  Soy may also be processed a different way, using a lengthy fermentation process to remove the soy toxins.  Studies have also been done on tofu saying it accelerates brain weight loss in aging users and impacts mental abilities.

I am not a dietitian and I am not a scientist, but I am concerned.  Please go to the website and let me know what you think.  There are other websites as well, just google.      

 

Soy Safety 10 Feb 2009 14:32 #3904

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Hi Challenger,

I think your dedication for advocating against soy is rather suspect. As the saying goes.... The Lady Doth Protests too Much...that is if you are a lady :D

I find your original inquiry about the safety of soy insincere. Your recommended website is not what I would call scientific, balanced or accurate and looks more like an attack machine. That is fine, I don't so much have of a problem with freedom of an opinion... except when they spew a lot of inaccurate or marginal information from borderline sources taking a grain of truth and completely blowing it out of proportion. 

I don't think you have any idea what 10mg is..

This website also mentions that people in China and Japan use soy as a condiment and not as an animal protein replacement (except in desperate times). They probably consume 10mg/day.

10mg is equal to .0025 of a teaspoon  or 1/2,500 of a teaspoon. I find this very, very hard to believe...which unfortunately makes the rest of your website's assertions rather iffy too.

1) There are phytates (phytic acid) in many foods, beans and vegetables that bind minerals, would you also recommend we avoid anything with beans, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, corn, oats, kale, nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, wheat or rice?

2) There are also phytoesterogens and lignans, in many foods too. Flax seed contains higher levels of phytoesterogens than soy but I didn't see you or anything on your recommended website about flax seed. Again, not what I would call great research on their part. There are good levels of phytoesterogens in sweet potatoes and yams but I don't see a warning about those. Wheat also contains phytoestrogens. How about a website protesting wheat....oh yeah there are....they're called Celiac and gluten intolerance websites :D 

Thirty percent of our population carries the genes which predisposes to Celiac and gluten intolerance. It would be nice if there was more research regarding genetic predisposition to soy. There then lies the problem, if someone is so worried about a soy sensitivity then by all means please be tested. Any allergist can test for the IgE allergy and there are many labs that now test for both an IgE, IgG or IgA allergy or sensitivity to soy. http://www.enterolab.com is one where you can go without a doctor's order. You can also look into http://www.alcat.com for a whole array of food and chemical sensitivities.

3) Yes, soy is finding it's way into many foods and products...All one needs to do to avoid soy is to Read The Food Label. Since it's a major allergen, it must be declared on the label. Better yet avoid processed foods, make your own salad dressing from healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil and eat a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.

4) Soy is not for everyone but I don't think it's the villain your recommended website makes it out to be. Humans have been ingesting soybeans and legumes a lot longer than wheat or dairy. Asians have had thousands of years to adapt to ingesting soy, the rest of us- Europeans, Caucasians, Africans, South Asians and others may need to watch for any reactions to it.

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