Understanding Soy

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Today’s topic is quite a controversial one. While I generally do not partake in food debates, as I strongly believe that one persons food is another persons poison, soy is the one exception. I have studied over one hundred different dietary theories and been privy to all of the real information and facts on all sides of every food related debate, and after all of that one of the few truths that I can safely say applies to everyone is that soy is not a health food. 

In fact soy is extremely dangerous. Does that sound rash? I assure you it won’t once you’ve finished this article. In this article I am going to try and give you a glimpse into the truth behind the lies that public officials are well paid to tell you. I am going to provide you with information that the soy industry doesn’t want you to know, and for good reasons.

Did you know that the Israeli Health ministry, the French Food Agency, the German Institute of Risk Assessment and many other foreign governments and non profit organizations have all issued warnings against the consumption of soy?

Here in the U.S. however, there is still a faulty FDA health claim that soy actually prevents heart disease. It is because of this that many well meaning practitioners still recommend soy products as a good alternative to dairy.

The more educated you become in the field of natural healing, however, the greater your understanding will be of just how bogus an FDA claim really is. This is the very FDA that has stamped aspartame and growth hormones and antibiotics in factory farming as “safe for consumption”. Why do they approve these things while studies repeatedly prove their direct link to cancer, just to name one?

As you will no doubt discover sooner or later, the FDA is in bed with big business. The FDA is actually being sued because it is illegal for them to give their approval on a product such as soy that has had ‘inconclusive’ findings.

Thankfully, in january 2006 the American Heart Association refuted these claims, stating that soy does in fact not lower cholesterol and does not prevent heart disease, however the average American still believes these things to be true.

The biggest reason people still believe that soy lowers cholesterol is because it actually lowers LDL receptor activity. This is actually a compensatory mechanism increasing bile excretion and leading to major losses of thyroid and steroid hormones, which are both essential to us. These losses compromise levels of italothene, which regulates key metabolic pathways, and is needed for well-funtioning immune systems that protect us from cancer and other illnesses. If cholesterol is indeed lowered, it comes at too high a price.

As far as the faulty heart claim, incredibly Soy actually increases risk of cardiomyopathy, which is the leading cause of death among young athletes today, and is being linked to heart arrhythmia’s as well.

What with veganism being so in vogue right now, and for good reason too, there is certainly an increase in consumption of soy as a good protein source. The truth is that consuming soy makes it hard for our bodies to digest protein because the cystein in soy is tied up in something called protease inhibitors, and thus the cystein is bio-unavailable to us. Because of this imbalance our bodies overproduce homocystein and the the pancreas doesn’t make enough protease, which is needed for proper protein digestion.

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The most serious problem with soy, however, are the phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are not real hormones, but are similar enough structurally to act like hormones and can cause significant endocrine disruption in the body. They bind with hormone  receptors and interfere with the production of testosterone and estrogen in men and women.

Because of this the most dangerous times for a woman to consume soy are during all of the major changes; infancy, puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

Lets start with soy consumption during pregnancy. Did you know that every mammalian species tested with soy during utero resulted in birth defects? We are mammals and as such cannot escape this truth either; devastatingly we are seeing a huge influx of baby boys being born with a genital deformity called hypospadias, where the opening of the penis is not at the tip but underneath.

This is the result of an estrogenized baby boy. Due to the phytoestrogens binding with real hormones and receptors, soy can easily disrupt a developing fetus’s sexual differentiation at this crucial developmental state.

Now moving on to soy during infancy. Not only is soy infant formula a large part of our country’s epidemic of young girls hitting puberty early, it also has devastating effects on baby boys that won’t show up until later in life.

An alarming 48% of African American girls today hit puberty by age 8! This is in large part due to the fact that African Americans in general have the most incidences of lactose intolerance, and as a result most babies are put on soy formula from the start.

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It is hard to believe , but for the first month of a baby boys life he will have as much testosterone as a gown man. This is when the critical programing for life happens, and more often than not soy formula results in underdevelopment and low sperm counts in adulthood.

Skipping ahead to menopause, tragically most women are advised to consume soy during this time, as it is widely believed that the phytoestrogens will bring balance to a woman’s body. In short the truth is that soy is not only extremely detrimental to thyroid function, but stimulates the growth of estrogen-dependent cancers.

I can’t tell you how many times Ive heard women complaining about thyroid distress, and almost every time without fail she will shake her head in disapproval when I suggest she lay off the soy.

The evidence is right in front of her, but the media so widely upholds soy that it is sometimes impossible to convince her otherwise. If this is the case, it is very important that a woman in the least does not consume soy with her thyroid medication.

Finally, you’re probably envisioning all those healthy asians and asking yourself, isn’t soy a traditional asian food?

Yes and no. Yes, traditionally small amounts of fermented soy ( meso, tempe, natto ) were incorporated as condiments in Asian culture, but not in the way it is prepared here, and certainly not in the amounts our country consumes.

Some funny soy facts:

* Seventh Day Adventists from Ohio actually introduced soy milk to Asia in the 1920’s, so in no way is soy milk native to anywhere but America.

* Traditionally Japanese housewives have been known to feed soy to their unfaithful husbands as a way of keeping his sex drive down

* Monks consume a fair amount of soy products to assist in their abstinence.

One thing I have noticed is that when it comes to the soy debate, people in general ( but especially advocates ), get more worked up over it than they would over a religious or moral debate.

Im not really sure sure why this is, but apart from voicing my knowledge to my clients, I stay out of it. After that it’s ‘live and let live’ in my book.

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