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Milk Health Dangers


October 17, 2017


By Ariadne Weinberg, Associate Editor and Featured
Columnist


When I was a plucky little 15-year-old vegetarian, I
remember that there were soy products everywhere. Soy
yogurt, soy burgers, soy milk. Soy everything. In those days,
there weren’t really alternative options like we have now,
like almond milk, oat milk, burgers composed of beans and
other substances. At least, not that I can recall.

My mother told me not to consume too many
phytoestrogens, the substance in soy that mimicked the
raging hormones in my adolescent body. I paid a little bit of
attention to her, but darn did they make good soy yogurt
back in those days.

I never really thought about the context of soy or the fact
that the product is something that has only recently been
normal for humans to consume.

Soy Used to be Used as a Fertilizer

While many people wane romantic about the fact that soy
has been used for thousands of years in East Asia, the plant
was actually primarily used in crop rotation to fix nitrogen.
Soy wasn’t even deemed suitable for eating until fermented
products such as soy sauce, tempeh, natto, and miso came
along.

Similarly, on the American continent, soy wasn’t used as a
human food until the 1920s; before people considered the
crop a product to feed animals. Indeed, still nowadays, 75%
of soy is used to feed non-human animals, according to the
World Wildlife Federation.

Today, soy is facing an identity crisis: While before, the food
was the go-to vegetarian and health food ( with 38%
protein, more than many animal products), now many
people are questioning whether soy could do more harm
than good.

Read on to find some of the risks you may be taking when
being a regular soy consumer.


































1.
Soy May Disrupt Your Menstruation
     
Soy is a phytoestrogen, which means that the yummy food
imitates estrogen, which unfortunately means that the
potential for messing up the endocrine system is there. One
of the manifestations of such an imbalance is a complicated
menstrual cycle.

In a 2001 study from the University of Pennsylvania, Brian
Strom reports the results of adults who had been in a
controlled feeding study during infancy. Later, they
completed a telephone interview.

Women and girls had received soy formula as infants
consistently reported slightly longer menstrual bleeding and
more discomfort when on their period.


2.
Soy May Cause Difficulties in Becoming Pregnant

The same hormone disrupters that work in menstruation can
affect fertility.

In their 2010 report about soy, Heather B. Patisaul and
Wendy Jefferson cite a 2009 meta analysis that confirms
that, as mentioned above, isoflavone intake (isoflavone is
present in significant doses in soy), increases cycle length
and suppresses the levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle
stimulating hormone.

This was confirmed in more than one report they examined.
These endocrine imbalances can complicate the process of
getting pregnant. So, if you’re interested in becoming a
mom, don’t overdo things on the soy front.

3.
Soy May Trigger Hypothyroidism and Goiter

The above cases just applied to female-bodied people.

However, hypothyroidism can affect everybody, biological
sex and gender regardless.

And the feeling ain’t pretty. In a 1997 report, R.L. Divi from
the National Center for Toxicological Research confirms that
excessive soy intake in vegetarian diets or lots of soy infant
formula inhibits thyroid hormone synthesis.

The condition can be counteracted with high levels of iodine
(present in table salt and other daily comestibles). However,
the best thing to do is just eat moderate to low amounts of
soy in the first place.

4.
Soy May Increase Risk for Breast Cancer in High Doses  

And we go back to the ladies. This one is still quite
controversial, as there are various conflicting reports as to
whether soy is good or bad for cancer. The key elements are
the dosage and the time of life in which soy is consumed.

A 2004 report by Y. Takata from the Cancer Research Center
of Hawaii in Honolulu is just one of many that finds an
association between high soy intake during early life and
increased breast density, which is a risk factor for breast
cancer.

5.
Soy-based Infant Formula Is Correlated with ADHD

As well as endocrine complications, soy-based infant
formula, which a lot of us 80s kids not breastfed probably
drank, is a substance with manganese, which can be
neurotoxic and manifest symptoms of ADHD.

According to a 2012 report from FM Crinella from the
University of California Irvine, there is a demonstrated
association between ingestion of relatively high levels of
manganese and overactivity, disinhibition, inattention, and
alteration of dopamine receptors, all symptoms of ADHD.

6.
Processed Soy Can Block Nutrient Uptake

Phytate, a substance in soy, can inhibit the uptake of various
minerals, including iron. In a 1992 report, the effect of soy
protein isolates on nonheme iron absorption was examined
in 32 subjects.

Dr. H.F. Hurrell and researchers from the Nestlé Research
Center in Lausanne, Switzerland discovered some surprising
results.  Iron absorption increased 4 to 5 fold when phytic
acid was significantly reduced. Even small quantities were
inhibitory and the quantity of phytic acid had to be reduced
to 0.3 milligrams per gram.

Even after almost all the phytic acid had been removed, the
soy only absorbed half as much iron as the egg white
control.

Be aware that phytates can block other important
substances such as calcium, as well.

7.
Soy Can Complicate Digestion

Soy contains trypsin and protease inhibitors, which can make
digestion a tough process, according to New-York based
nutritionist Isabel Smith. A soy overdose leads to a sore
tummy. Additionally, while soy has a fair amount of protein,
the trypsin inhibitors make the good nutrient difficult to
absorb. In order to avoid those problems, cooking and
soaking your own soy beans can help. You can’t trust a soy
burger someone else made for you.

8.
Soy Can Lead to Heart Disease

While soy has those magical omega fatty acids, these can
actually lead to more detriment than good. The reason is that
not all omega fatty acids are created equal, and the type that
soy has can hurt you.

Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, when not balanced with
omega-3 polyunsaturated fats, can actually increase the risk
of chronic heart disease and death, according to a 2010
report by C.E. Ramsden from the Laboratory of Membrane
Biochemistry and Biophysics in Maryland.

9.
Processed Soy May Contain Carcinogens

Genetically modified soy, which accounts for 94% of soy in
the U.S. according to the Center for Food Safety, is sprayed
with a pesticide called Roundup.

This substance contains glyphosate, which the FDA classified
as “probably carcinogenic for humans.”

10.
Soy Is Associated with Low Sperm Count

More than one investigation has confirmed that soy and male
fertility are not best friends.

In a 2008 study by J.E. Chavarro at the Harvard School of
Public Health, they found that there was a correlation
between men with the highest soy intake and the lowest
sperm count, as compared to men who didn’t consume soy
at all.

Bottom Line

You don’t have to totally eliminate soy from your diet.

Try to eat fermented instead of processed soy: soy sauce,
miso, tempeh, natto. Whether you are a vegetarian or not,
don’t eat soy on a daily basis. Rotate with other foods. If
you are a mother, don’t give soy product to your baby if you
can breastfeed or use a different product. If you already
have a health condition, research the interactions with soy.















































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