Soy – A Miracle Food or Health Threat?
Soy products have made it into the food industry big time. Soy has been praised as the miracle food that will save the world. However, in spite of impressive nutritional content, soy products are biologically useless to the body, for reasons explained below. Today, soy is contained in thousands of different food products, which has led to a massive escalation of disease in both developed and underdeveloped countries.
Given the fact that soybeans are grown on farms that use toxic pesticides and herbicides – and many are from genetically engineered plants – increasing evidence suggests soy is a major health hazard. With a few exceptions, such as miso, tempeh and other carefully fermented soy products, soy is not suitable for human consumption. Eating soy, soy milk, and regular tofu increases risks of serious health conditions. In addition, soy is a common food allergen. Numerous studies have found that soy products:
increase the risk of breast cancer in women, brain damage in both men and women, and abnormalities in infants
contribute to thyroid disorders, especially in women
promote kidney stones (because of excessively high levels of oxalates which combine with calcium in the kidneys)
weaken the immune system
cause severe, potentially fatal food allergies
accelerates brain weight loss in aging users
Soy products contain:
Phytoestrogens (isoflavones) genistein and daidzein, which mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen
Phytic acids, which reduce the absorption of many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, thereby causing mineral deficiencies
‘Antinutrients’ or enzyme inhibitors that inhibit enzymes needed for protein digestion and amino acid uptake
Haemaggluttin, which causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits oxygen uptake and growth
Trypsin inhibitors that can cause pancreatic enlargement and, eventually, cancer
Phytoestrogens are potent anti-thyroid agents which are present in vast quantities in soy. Infants exclusively fed on a soy-based formula have 13,000 to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in their blood than babies fed a milk-based formula. This would be the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day. For this reason, premature development of girls (early puberty) has been linked to the use of soy formula, as has the underdevelopment of males. Infant soy formula and soy milk have been linked to autoimmune-thyroid disease, and now also to death.
In 2007, two parents were convicted of murder and given life sentences in prison for starving their 6-week-old baby to death by feeding it with soy milk and apple juice. Now, soy experts are again calling for clear and proper warning labels on all soy milk products – following this and several other babies’ hospitalizations or deaths under similar circumstances.
Only properly fermented soy products, such as miso and tempeh, provide soy nutrients that can easily be absorbed. To make soy products nutritious and healthy, they must be carefully fermented – according to the traditional preparation methods used in Japan. Typically, soy must be fermented for at least two summers, ideally for 5-6 years, before it becomes beneficial for the body.
In spite of the documented scientific evidence that shows soy to be carcinogenic and also cause DNA and chromosome damage, the multi-billion dollar soy industry has managed to turn this generally worthless food into one of the most widely used ‘nutritious foods’ of all times. In a written statement, a spokesman for Protein Technologies said that they had “…teams of lawyers to crush dissenters, could buy scientists to give evidence, owned television channels and newspapers, could divert medical schools and could even influence governments…” We cannot expect that the powerful and wealthy soy industry is going to disappear any time soon, but we can still make the choice to avoid non-fermented soy products or foods that contain soy. Soy acts more like a drug, not a food, upsetting the body’s entire hormonal balance. This is enough reason to avoid soy at any cost.