SOY -- FRIEND OR FOE ?

Here is a food that should be getting a lot of attention from the media, but it has been "flying under the radar" for far too many years now.  I know many of you are eating Soy products and think Soy is supposed to "boost your health," "be a complete source of Protein," so you probably believe it's great because of the "brain washing" tactics of those who are selling those products.  Think this is too strong a position to take? Well, we have no reason to deceive you and we don't have any agenda except to give you the real facts. You owe it to yourself to take a few minutes to read this information and decide for yourself...

According to the American Heart Association (AHA) an analysis of 22 studies on Soy protein and its main ingredient, isoflavones (which have effects similar to the female hormone estrogen), found little to rave about. The AHA concluded:

-- 50 grams (a huge amount) of Soy Protein eaten daily to replace dairy and animal protein is needed to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol by a mere 3%.
-- Soy Protein does NOT improve HDL cholesterol (the "good" one), triglycerides, lipoproteins, or blood pressure.
-- Soy's isoflavones do NOT reduce LDL cholesterol (the "bad" one) or HOT FLASHES.
-- It is "uncertain" whether Soy slows bone loss in older women.
-- Still, Soy foods (such as tofu) are better for your heart than beef burgers, cheese, and other foods high in saturated fats.

Many diseases are attributed to Soy intake, but the most important problem to most people today is that excess soy in the diet KILLS your thyroid gland -- leading to EXCESS BODY FAT!  It's true.  The Committee on Toxicity in Foods and the Environment in Great Britain reports that Soy phytoestrogens "moderate thyroid hormone synthesis" and "Soy phytoestrogens disrupt the pituitary-gonadal axis."

So What Does All That Mean?:  There are basically three power glands in the human body that are harnessed together:  the pituitary, the adrenals, and the sex glands.  And, if one of them is suppressed, the others react, sending the system into "emergency mode" which can make you very sick.  Here's the short list of what happens when the pituitary gland is suppressed leading to a decreased production in the thyroid hormone thyroxin:  narcolepsy, infertility, obesity, learning disabilities, constipation, hair loss, and stunted growth.

There are many other medical conditions that may be attributed to Soy consumption:

-- Asthma
-- Chronic Fatigue
-- Depression
-- Diabetes
-- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
-- Premature or Delayed Puberty, especially in adolescent boys
-- Rheumatoid Arthritis
-- Throid conditions:  Graves' or Hashimoto's disease, Goiter, Hypothyroidism
-- Uterine Cancer

Why All The Interest in Soy?:   Firstly, there was an abundance in world wide Soy production and creative ways were conceived to "get rid of it" and make money doing it.   Secondly, Soy began to gain popularity a decade or more ago when it was reportedly attributed to helping women "fight off" various cancers and menopause.  Unfortunately, the science doesn't affirm those claims.  To the contrary, if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or if you are nursing, stay away from ALL Soy products.  It messes up the hormones in women in a big way, and will cause hormonal problems for your baby.

Many recent studies have inconclusively shown that Soy is worthless in treating the symptoms of menopause.  Those studies were performed at Monash University (Australia), Iowa State University, the University of Milan (Italy), and Helsinki University (Finland).  Additionally, research performed at the University of Pittsburgh found that Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, and Vaginal Dryness improved in the placebo group, but NOT in the Soy group!

HERE IS WHAT RECENT STUDIES REVEALED:

-- Soy caused insomnia in many patients
-- In one study, symptoms were relieved in the placebo group but NOT in the Soy group
-- In some studies, Soy could have an equal reduction in symptoms compared to placebo
-- Soy does NOT improve menopausal symptoms compared to placebo
-- There is NO beneficial effect on frequency, duration, or severity of hot flashes or night sweats

IN SUMMARY: If you are eating Soy products daily, especially if it's 10% or more of your daily Protein intake, YOU NEED TO STOP RIGHT NOW!  If you don't you are going to get fatter, lose muscle mass, get depressed and have a much lower sex drive, maybe even shut down your thyroid and cause problems with other hormones (testosterone and estrogen).  It can even lead to hair loss, always feeling cold, brittle nails, watery or swollen eyes, lethargy, sore bones and joints.  You'll need to minimize ANY and ALL consumption.

But, Wait, There's MORE...
Soy is in many products these days -- especially DIET products and low-carb foods.   You will need to read the labels of all pre-packaged products.

But, Wait, There's EVEN MORE...
Drs Daniel Doerge and Daniel Sheehan, two senior US government scientists with the FDA broke ranks with their colleagues and revealed that chemicals in Soy could increase the risk of breast cancer in women, brain damage in both men and women, and abnormalities in infants. They opposed the FDAs decision in 2006 to approve a health claim that Soy reduced the risk of heart disease.

They wrote an internal protest letter warning of 28 studies revealing toxic effects of Soy, mostly focusing on chemicals in Soy known as isoflavones.  They claimed the reseach clearly showed a link between Soy and the potential for adverse effects in humans.   The studies showed that chemicals in Soy may increase the chances of estrogen-dependent breast cancer and may lead to health problems including altering sexual development of fetuses and causing thyroid disorders.

"There is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones found in Soy demonstrate toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues and in the thyroid." And "During pregnancy in humans, isoflavones per se could be a risk factor for abnormal brain and reproductive tract development." One of the scientists stated that parents who give their children Soy milk or formulas "are exposing their children to chemicals which we know have adverse effects in animals.  It's like doing a large controlled and unmonitored experiment on infants."  Of course, the Soy industry claims the adverse effects seen in animals do not apply to humans!

A Short Soy History Lesson: Until the recent Soy sales miracle, only a few decades ago, the soybean was considered unfit to eat -- even in Asia.  During the Chou Dynasty (1134-246 BC) the soybean was designated one of the five sacred grains, along with barley, wheat, millet and rice.  Agricultural pictographs of the period frequently speak of the soybean and its use in crop rotation.  We can only assume it apparently was used as a method of fixing nitrogen in the soil.

The soybean did not serve as food until the discovery of fermentation techniques, sometime during the Chou Dynasty, and the first Soy foods were fermented products like tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce.  Then, possibly in the 2nd century BC, Chinese scientists discovered a puree of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulfate or magnesium sulfate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a smooth, pale curd - tofu or bean curd.  It was then that the use of fermented and precipitated soy products soon spread to other parts of the Orient, notably Japan and Indonesia.

The Chinese did not eat unfermented soybeans as they did other legumes such as lentils because the soybean contains large quantities of natural toxins or "antinutrients".  First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that blocks the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.  These inhibitors are large, tightly folded proteins that are not completely deactivated during ordinary cooking.  They can product serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion, and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake.  In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.  Soybeans also contain a clot-promoting substance, haemagglutinin, that causes red blood cells to clump together.

Both trypsin and haemagglutinin are growth inhibitors. These "antinutrients" when fed to weanling rats cause the rats to fail to grow normally.  The Chinese knew this and didn't begin to incorporate soy foods into their diets until they discovered how to ferment the soybean.  During the precipitation process, enzyme inhibitors concentrate in the soaking liquid rather than in the curd.  Hence, in tofu and bean curd, growth depressants are reduced in quantity, but not completely eliminated.

Soy Also Contains Substances That Depress Thyroid Function:  99% of Soy is genetically modified and it has one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides of any food.  Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds.  Phytic acid can block the uptake of essential minerals in the intestinal tract.  Calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, and especially zinc are blocked from absorption.   Scientists are in general agreement that grain and legume based diets high in phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries.  And, since the soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume that has been studied, and the phytates in Soy are highly resistant to normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking.  The phytate content of soybeans can only be significantly reduced with a long period of fermentation.

Consequently, vegetarians who consume tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products risk severe mineral deficiencies.  It is well know that vegetarians show calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc deficiency.  Zinc, the intelligence mineral, is needed for optimum development and functioning of the brain and nervous system.  It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; is involved in the blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; is needed for a healthy reproductive system.  Zinc is also a key component in numerous vital enzymes and plays a role in the immune system.  Zinc deficiency can cause a "spacey" feeling.

Most scientists consider milk the reason why second-generation Japanese in America grow taller than their native ancestors.  But some investigators postulate that the reduced phytate content of the American diet (even though it is deficient in other ways) is the true explanation.  They point out that Asian and Western children who do not get enough meat and fish products to counteract the effects of a high phytate diet, hence, they frequently suffer rickets, stunting, and other growth problems.

How Friendly is Soy Protein Isolate (SPI)? Soy protein processors work hard to get the "antinutrients" out of the finished product, particularly Soy Protein Isolate (SPI) which is the key ingredient in most Soy foods -- which is meant to imitate meat and dairy products, including baby formula and some brands of Soy milk.  SPI can't be made in your kitchen since it is a highly sophisticated production process and costly.  Industrial production in factories first produce a slurry of soybeans by mixing with an alkaline solution to remove fiber, then precipitate and separate it using an acid wash and, finally neutralize it in an alkaline solution.

The acid washing takes place in aluminum tanks that leach high levels of aluminum into the final product.  The resultant curds are spray-dried at high temperatures to produce a high-protein powder.  Then, as a final indignity to the original soybean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of Soy Protein Isolate that produces textured vegetable protein (TVP).  Even though some of the trypsin inhibitor content can be removed through the high-temperature processing, not all can be removed.  Trypsin inhibitor content of Soy Protein Isolate can vary as much as five-fold.  And, the high-temperature processing has the unfortunate side-effect of so denaturing the other proteins in Soy that they are rendered largely ineffective.  That's why animals who are fed Soy feed need lysine supplements to induce normal growth.

As if that isn't enough to put you off of SPI what about the nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, which are formed during spray-drying, and a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during the alkaline processing!  Additionally, numerous artifical flavorings, particularly monosodium glutamate (MSG), are added to SPI in order to mask the strong "beany" taste and to impart the flavor of meat.  In numerous feeding experiments, the use of SPI increased the requirements for vitamins B12, D, E, and K and created deficiency symptoms of calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, iron, and zinc.  The test animals fed SPI developed enlarged organs, particularly the pancreas and thyroid gland, and increased deposition of fatty acids in the liver.

Yet, today Soy Protein isolate (SPI) and textured vegetable protein (TVP) are used extensively in school lunch programs, fast food products, commercially baked goods, and diet beverages and are heavily promoted in third world countries and form the basis of many food giveaway programs.

So, Is Soy A Friend or A Foe?  YOU decide...  The real truth about Soy will eventually emerge in the media.  It will just be a matter of time.  In the meantime, if you are not convinced about the myriad of reasons Soy should not be considered "healthy" food, investigate on your own seeking out research from unbiased sources that do not have a marketing agenda.   Example: review the attached link:

The Weston A Price Foundation, research article entitled "Soy Alert!"  You may print the tri-fold brochure "Myths & Truths About Soy".
The Weston A Price Foundation, research article entitled "Dangers of Dietary Isoflavones At Levels Above Those Found In Traditional Diets" with a summary of 137 research studies that provide ample proof of the dangers of adding phytoestrogens (isoflavones) to common foods.

Jenni Ross-Wilkinson, author of
"NUTRITION - THE MISSING LINK:   Personalizing Optimum Performance"


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