Soya - healthy or not exactly?

( I know it's long, but please read it!)

We all listened about the benefits of the soy. They recommend it as replacement and alternative of meat and milk products, they put it in chocolate bars, meat derivatives, bread, everything. Is it really that good for our health or it has its dark side?
Below, it is an article that changed my view on soy. It's about some side effects of over-consumption of soya. I tried to make a list of the things I found most shocking, so that even people without enough patience to read it, will know what it is about. If you're interested, please to read the whole article and  search google for more information.

My comment is that we all know about the positive effect of soy related to the existence of natural hormone estrogen in the soy (along with many other vitamins and mineral which are good for our health). This one of the female hormones and it's connected with the secondary sex marks and the "female-like" behaviour in general.  I consider its intake in moderate quantities to be beneficial for women, especially for those who lack estrogen(we know that women start aging significantly during and after the menopause when the production of estrogen in the body decreases ), as well as it could moderate men's aggression.

BUT! Here we talk about our personal choice,first, and second, for MODERATE consumption. What we see is a flooding of soy-"enhanced" products against our will, which violates point one and two directly. Besides, I tend to believe that the intake of soy from growing humans (as in BABY) can do much more harm ( we're talking for cases where there is no meat or milk allergy, if there is, well, they simply don't have that choice). Especially when the soy is EVERYWHERE! And anyway, that hormonal attack can seriously damage men, also, because it's kind of nonnatural and probably it could decrease the natural positive form of aggression- passion, courage, desire to win and capture-so essential for our life. And in women- it could damage our bodies- hormonal balance is so fragile, it should be strictly protected, every intrusion can do HARM.

I love soy germs, sometimes I even eat tofu (really seldom actually, prefer milk and cheese and so on), but except for them, I try to avoid relentlessly products containing soy, with the big exception of chocolates which I simply cannot stop. I consider there are many qualities of soy that are actually healthy,but not in processed soy- in the fresh, natural, germinated soy.

I strongly oppose its overwhelming existence on every label of not organic food, as well as it's existence in genetically modified form in the same products. For me this is encroachment upon the liberty of human will and the liberty to choose. And again, the fact that it is one of the most modified seeds in USA makes it unacceptable for human intake in any circumstances. Unfortunately, as I know, this is major industry in USA, so this fight is really hard to win. But still- knowledge is power, I hope with this article, you'll have one more weapon in the battle for healthy and free life.
Lets all be stronger, healthier and happier!
This is my list of important issues in the article. I'll be more than happy to be contacted by people that can see more things than me and I'll update the list when appropriate.

So,some side-effect and facts on soy:


1.
 Dizziness, wholes in the memory- linked to thyroid problems, which are usually treated by thyroxin. It seems that the soy is natural thyroid depressant (due to the isoflavines which actually are good for our health, decreasing the risk of cancer and hearth diseases) and it shouldn't be eaten by people with such disorders.
2. 2 to 3 intakes of toffy weekly can lead to brain-aging which can cause Alzheimer and other diseases after years.
3. The estrogen blocks the thyroid hormones and that is the reason why women are more likely to have problems with thyroid than men. Because thyroid hormones are neuro-transmitters, their low levels can mimic psychiatric diseases.
4. Defender of soy claim that it actually decrease the risk of hearth diseases, but a survey shows that women with low cholesterol tend to have higher mortality than men with the same levels, the difference obviously is due to the existence of estrogen (meaning thyroid depressant).
5. The article claims that it's possible that higher levels of cholesterol prevents heart-deseases but I don't believe it, if you ask me, it's simply a way to make people live unhealthy and feel good. A deception tool.
6. Other possibly dangerous elements in soy are phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of zinc, which is essential for the work of the brain. Other elements are aluminium, fluoride and others which are toxic for the neuro-system (go figure why there is fluor in the tooth paste and the water). Beside, in the processed soy, there are 2 more cancerogene elements.
7. It's observed that there is an increase of the last 2 elements in the genetically modified soy.
8. Defenders of soy claim, it should be safe and good, because it's consumed in Asia. But there, it's used mostly in fermented form, in low quantities and it's NOT to be fed to Babies.
9. It's possible that soy is damaging for babies,because of the hormones in it and the thyroid depressants which hinder the natural development of the newborn.
10. A survey claim that feeding to babies of soy can lead to prematuring in girls. The Puerto Rico based survey shows strong correlation between feeding with soy and early maturing in girls (which is not so shocking considering the high hormonal levels in it).
11. It seems that because of the intensive use of soy based baby food as alternative of moth breast-feeding, girls of age 3 shows signs of pubic hair and breast, they feel odd sensation, which they are not able to deal with and they have problems with sexuality later in their life. With the boys it turns our that the estrogen suppress the testosterone which is essential in early stages of male development and leads to decreased capability to learn, to read and even low spatial orientation, something that is way better in men than in women.
Again, those children has problems with their immune and reproductive systems in later stages of their life.
Although all this is well know, as I said the soy industry is so strong, it's hard to fight it. Please at least don't feed your babies with soy-based food. If you can't breast feed them, use something natural, like goat milk and so on.

For more details, please check the article or use Google.


Google

Soy: The Dark Side of America's
Favorite "Health" Food

by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD

Jenny Smith, a secretary and receptionist, could not explain what was happening to her. She began to make mistakes in her work and suffer from memory lapses. She would type a word backwards without even realizing it and proofread right over her mistakes. Her speech was slurring and when she answered the phone. . . she didn't know what to say. One day she found herself walking across a busy intersection against the lights and didn't know how she got there.

Leslie Blumenberg went to pick up her mother at the airport and got lost coming home. Although she had lived in the area for years, she became completely disoriented. It took her two hours to find her way back to her house. She was also suffering from cognitive problems, her words would jumble when she tried to speak coherent sentences, and she forgot how to spell.
Leslie had been eating soy foods, lots of them, for three years. When she went off soy, her problems cleared up, her mind returned to normal. But Jenny Smith did not eat soy. Her problems cleared up only when she went on a diet and stopped eating bread. She discovered that she could eat homemade bread without any problem. But supermarket bread gave her brain fog.

Jenny had a thyroid problem and had been taking thyroxine for years. When her office connected with the internet, she went online to a thyroid site. There she learned that soy was a potent thyroid depressant and should not be consumed by anyone with thyroid troubles. Next trip to the grocery store, she began to read labels and discovered that every loaf of bread in the supermarket contained soy flour.

"Thyroid enlargement in rats and humans, especially children and women, fed with soyabeans has been known for half a century," according to Theodore Kay at Kyoto University in Japan. His 1988 study attempted to determine the amount of iodine required to prevent goitre in populations consuming soy foods. He found that small amounts of iodine could indeed prevent noticeable thyroid enlargement, but even large amounts did not prevent pathological changes to the thyroid gland. He also determined that the most potent goitrogens in soy cannot be removed by cooking.

Although scientists have known for many years that soy is goitrogenic, it was only recently that they were able to pinpoint the actual thyroid-depressing compounds. Researchers at the US Toxicological Laboratory in Arkansas found that the thyroid-depressing substances are isoflavones, the estrogen-like compounds found plentifully in the soybean.

This discovery came as a shock to the soy industry, which has heavily promoted these phytoestrogens as beneficial. It is the phytoestrogens or isoflavones in soy that are supposed to protect us from heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and the discomforts of menopause. Yet in normal women consuming sufficient iodine, just 30g of roasted soybeans daily, containing about 38mg isoflavones, were found to depress thyroid function--less than the amount in two glasses of soy milk, two servings of tofu, or a handful of roasted soy nuts. In sensitive individuals, such as Jenny Smith, even small amounts of soy were able to provoke the mental confusion indicative of disrupted thyroid function.

ISOFLAVONES IN OUR FOODBread with added soy flour, 2 slices  4 mg
Meatless chicken nuggets, 1/2 cup  15 mg
Soy hot dog  15 mg
Soymilk, 8-ounce glass  20 mg
Green soybeans, raw, 1/2 cup  20 mg
Miso, 1/4 cup  21 mg
Tofu, 1/2 cup  28 mg
Soy cheese, 1/2 cup  31 mg
Soymilk skin or film , cooked, 1/2 cup  51 mg
Tempeh, cooked, 1/2 cup  53 mg
Soybean chips , 1/2 cup  54 mg
Mature soybeans, cooked, 1/2 cup  55 mg
Dry roasted soybeans , 1/2 cup  128 mg


Revival soy-based meal replacement, 1 serving  160 mg


Further confirmation of soy's adverse effects on the mind comes from a recent study of Japanese Americans living in Hawaii. Professor Lon White found a significant statistical relationship between two or more servings of tofu per week and "accelerated brain aging." Those participants who consumed tofu in mid-life had lower cognitive function in late life and a greater incidence of Alzheimer's and dementia. What's more," said Dr. White, "those who ate a lot of tofu, by the time they were 75 or 80, looked five years older."

According to Jennifer A. Phillips, writing for Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, estrogens (including the phytoestrogens in soy) can block the efficiency of thyroid hormones. This is why women need more thyroid hormones than men and are more prone to thyroid troubles. Since thyroid hormone acts as a neurotransmitter, low levels can mimic psychiatric disease. Severe hypothyroidism can cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease, including memory loss, confusion, slowness, paranoid depression and even hallucinations. Other symptoms of low thyroid function include fatigue, loss of hair, difficulties at menopause, digestive problems, constipation, infertility and brittle bones.

Individuals with low thyroid function are also prone to heart disease. Soy proponents claim that soy helps the heart because it lowers cholesterol. Yet in 1992, researchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute looked at every study that had been published about the risk of having high or low cholesterol and concluded that mortality was greater in women with low cholesterol than with high cholesterol. And a new study, published in the Lancet, suggests that high cholesterol levels are protective even for men. In any case, no study has ever offered direct proof that soy can prevent heart disease and in most of the major studies in which cholesterol levels were lowered through either diet or drugs, a greater number of deaths occurred in the treatment groups than in controls, deaths from stroke, cancer, intestinal disorders, accidents and suicide.
Scientists looking at the correlation of soy foods and "brain aging" have focussed on isoflavones, but there are a number of components in soy foods that can contribute to reduced mental function. One is phytic acid which blocks zinc absorption. Zinc is essential for proper functioning of the brain. Modern processed soy foods contain high levels of MSG, fluoride and aluminum, all of which are toxic to the nervous system. Furthermore, during processing, at least two categories of carcinogens are formed, lysinealanines and nitrosamines.

Other substances in soy can contribute to the digestive problems so common in individuals with thyroid troubles, including potent enzyme inhibitors that block the breakdown of protein, and lectins that are highly irritating to the digestive tract. These compounds tend to occur in higher amounts in genetically engineered soybeans.

When soy protein isolate was fed to rats, the animals required higher than normal levels of vitamins E, K, D and B12 and developed deficiency symptoms of calcium, magnesium, zinc and many other minerals.

Soy proponents claim that soy is a staple in Asia. A "staple" is defined as a major commodity, one that provides a large portion of calories in the diet, such as rice and fish in Japan, or rice and pork in China. The Japanese consume 150 pounds of fish per person per year, or almost one-half pound per person per day and a 1977 dietary survey in China determined that 65 percent of calories came from pork, including the pork fat used in cooking. By contrast, overall consumption of soy in Asia is surprisingly low. The average soy consumption in China is about 10 grams or 2 teaspoons per day. Levels are somewhat higher in Japan, averaging about 50 grams or 1/4 cup per day. In both countries, soy is used as a condiment or flavoring, and not as a substitute for animal foods. Seafood and seaweed in the Japanese diet provide sufficient iodine to counteract the negative effects of the isoflavones in soy.

In Asia, soy is mostly consumed in fermented form, but it is not considered an appropriate food for babies. When a mother is unable to nurse and a wet nurse is unavailable, her infant is given milk from cows or water buffalo. In the US, however, an estimated 750,000 babies per year receive infant formula made from processed soybeans. Parents use soy formula in the belief that is it healthier than formula based on cows' milk. In fact, when soy infant formula first became commercially available, manufacturers promised that soy formula was "better than breast milk."

Naomi Baumslag, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical College and an expert on breast feeding, cites many reasons for parents to avoid soy formula. "There is a great deal of scientific evidence that soy formula can be damaging to newborns," she says, citing high levels of phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, lectins, manganese and phytoestrogens. High levels of manganese are toxic to babies because they lack the blood-brain barrier that develops later in childhood. Manganese overdose is associated with brain damage leading to violent behavior. Furthermore, soy lacks many factors that are essential to normal brain development including essential fatty acids, DHA-brain growth factor and cholesterol.

The most serious problem with soy formula is high levels of isoflavones. In Japan, soy foods contribute about 25-28 mg of isoflavones per day, or just less that one-half mg per kilogram of body weight. In American women, 45 mg of isoflavones or three-quarters mg per kilogram of body weight per day caused endocrine disruption after just one month. Babies fed exclusively on soy-based formula receive a dose that is four to eleven times higher, based on body weight. A recent study found that babies fed soy-based formula had 13,000 to 22,000 times more isoflavones in their blood than babies fed milk-based formula. Dr. Mike Fitzpatrick, a New Zealand toxicologist estimates that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day.

PHYTOESTROGENS IN DIETS OF INFANTS AND ADULTS  Average
Isoflavones
Intake  Isoflavone
per Kg of
Body Weight*
Japan (1996 survey) 10 mg 0.17 mg
Japan (1998 survey)  25 mg 0.42 mg
Japan (2000 survey) 28 mg 0.47 mg
In Japanese women, causing thyroid suppression  38 mg 0.60 mg
In American women, causing hormonal changes after 1 month 45 mg 0.75 mg
FDA recommended amount for adults 75 mg 1.25 mg
In children receiving soy formula  38 mg  6.25 mg


* Assumed 60 kg for adults, 6 kg for infants

Fitzpatrick believes that soy feeding accounts for the alarming levels of premature maturation in girls. This was the same conclusion reached in 1986 by investigators in Puerto Rico, where early maturation is commonplace. The researchers expected to find a correlation with consumption of milk and meat and were surprised to discover that the strongest correlation was with soy infant feeding. Girls who had consumed large amounts of cow's milk as children actually had lower rates of early development.

In the US, one percent of all girls now show signs of puberty, such as breast development or pubic hair, before the age of three; by age eight, almost 15 percent of white girls and just under half of African-American girls have one or both of these characteristics, according to a recent study reported in the journal Pediatrics. Fitzpatrick believes that soy infant feeding disrupts hormonal development in the same way as environmental estrogens such as PCBs and DDE (a breakdown product of DDT), or the synthetic estrogen DES. The use of soy formula in the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, which supplies free formula to low income mothers, may explain the astronomical rates of early development in African American girls.

The consequences are tragic. Young girls with mature bodies must cope with feelings and urges that most children are not well-equipped to handle. And early maturation in girls is frequently a harbinger for problems with the reproductive system later in life, including failure to menstruate, infertility and breast cancer.

What are the effects of soy products on the hormonal development of boys? Male infants undergo a "testosterone surge" during the first few months of life, when testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male. During this period, the infant is programmed to express male characteristics after puberty, not only in the development of his sexual organs and other masculine physical traits, but also in setting patterns in the brain characteristic of male behavior. In monkeys, deficiency of male hormones impairs learning and the ability to perform visual discrimination tasks--such as would be required for reading--and retards the development of spatial perception, which is normally more acute in men than in women.
Learning disabilities, especially in male children, have reached epidemic proportions. Soy infant feeding--which floods the bloodstream with female hormones that could inhibit the effects of male hormones--cannot be ignored as a possible cause for these tragic developments.

Other problems that have been anecdotally associated with children of both sexes who were fed soy-based formula include extreme emotional behavior, depression, asthma, immune system problems, pituitary insufficiency, thyroid disorders and irritable bowel syndrome.

Why have parents not been alerted to the potential dangers of soy formula? The formula industry is large and powerful, able to influence the outcome of scientific research and wage successful publicity campaigns. A good example is a recent University of Iowa study, funded by the formula industry and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, comparing the reproductive health of adults who had been fed soy- or milk-based formula as infants. The survey found that the soy group had higher levels or reproductive disorders, asthma and allergies. Females of the soy group were more likely to be sedentary and to have taken weight loss medications. Yet the authors omitted these findings in their abstract and concluded that ". . . the findings of the current study are reassuring about the safety of soy infant formula." The University of Iowa study was widely reported in the press as a vindication of soy formula.

The JAMA study follows a June 1, 2001 report published in Cancer Research which found that genistein, one of the isoflavones in soy, was more carcinogenic than the synthetic estrogen DES when exposure occurred during "critical periods of differentiation," such as during infancy. Medical professionals insisted that DES was safe for pregnant women until they discovered that women whose mothers took DES suffered from very high rates of cervical cancer. The authors of the Cancer Research study concluded that ". . . the use of soy-based infant formulas in the absence of medical necessity and the marketing of soy products designed to appeal to children should be closely examined."

Concerns about the dangers of soy have prompted consumer groups in New Zealand and Canada to call for a ban on the sale of soy infant formula. The law firm of Johnston Lawrence in New Zealand is collating a list of victims in preparation for a class action lawsuit in New Zealand, with follow-on legal action in the US. If you believe your child has been damaged by soy infant formula, or if you have suffered thyroid problems as a result of soy consumption, send your confidential information to PO Box 1213, DX SP 20004, Wellington, New Zealand or roger@....

In the US, the Weston A. Price Foundation is spearheading efforts to have soy formula removed from the market. If you suspect your child has been damaged by consumption of soy formula, please write to the following congressmen, with a copy to the Weston A. Price Foundation:

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
United States Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee
328A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT)
Senate Subcommittee on Health Care of the Finance Committee
Caucus of Complementary and Alternative Health Care
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Dan Burton (R-IN)
Chairman, House Committee on Government Reform
Caucus of Complementary and Alternative Health Care
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Caucus of Complementary and Alternative Health Care
U.S. House of Representatives
1730 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Weston A. Price Foundation
PMB 106-380 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Sources:

www.csa.com/hottopics/thyroid/oview.html
soyonlineservice.co.nz
www.westonaprice.org

Sally Fallon is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, with Mary G. Enig, PhD (NewTrends Publishing 877-707-1776). She is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation (www.westonaprice.org) and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk (www.realmilk.com).

Mary Enig, PhD is the author of Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol (Bethesda Press 301-680-8600). She is President of the Maryland Nutritionists Association and Vice President of the Weston A Price Foundation, Washington, DC.