Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Dangers of Soy

Soy is one of the most talked about "health foods" out there. But most of what you hear is not the truth. The propaganda put out by the soy industry has led us to believe that soy is a miracle food.
Soy didn't even start out as a food product. It was used in crop rotation to fix the nitrogen level in soil. Once the fermentation process was discovered, it became an occasional food product by the Chinese. The Chinese NEVER ate it unfermented because of the toxin level. It can cause many problems such as gastric distress, deficiencies, and pancreatic problems.
99% of soy today is genetically modified. Because of this a high amount of pesticides and herbicides are needed therefore making soy one of the highest pesticide contaminants of any food.
Then we come to the deficiency problem. Soybeans have a high phytic acid content which blocks the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Zinc is most affected by the mineral blocking and zinc is needed for optimal brain function. Soy happens to have one of the highest phytate contents of any grain or legume. Unlike other high phytate containing grains, soybeans are resistant to long, slow cooking to reduce it. The only way to get around this at all is to consume soybeans with meat which reduces the mineral blocking effect. This is obviously a problem for vegetarians that use soy as a meat replacement. When Chinese consume soy, it is in small amounts usually in a broth of a fish based soup and then they follow it with a meat or fish dish. They use it as a condiment, not a meat replacement. Celibate vegetarian monks in monasteries use soy to dampen libido.
The main "ingredient" in most soy foods is Soy Protein Isolate (SPI). To make this, an acid wash is done in aluminum tanks which leach a high amount of aluminum into the product. Nitrites are formed during the spray drying technique, which are very potent carcinogens. Often MSG is added for taste. Animals that are fed SPI have enlarged organs, especially the pancreas and thyroid. SPI is added to many products including school lunches, baked goods, beverages, and fast food items.
In China, soy has never been consumed in high amounts except during times of poverty or famine. So how has this been advertised to the American consumer as a health food? Soy is marketed is an upscale miracle food. "The quickest way to gain product acceptability in less affluent society is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society," said an industry spokesman.
There are no great amounts of conclusive studies that prove soy reduces cancer.
A 1991 study by Japanese researchers showed that 2 TB of soy a day for a month increased the thyroid stimulating hormone. 25 grams of SPI contains 50-70 mg of isoflavones. In studies it only took 45 mg of isoflavones in women to disrupt thyroid function. This happens to be the minimum amount for cholesterol lowering. Replacing meat with soy only lowers cholesterol if the cholesterol level is higher than 250. 100g of soy is the maximum amount of soy suggested for lowering cholesterol. This can contain 60 mg of isoflavones, which is toxic.
Soy can't prevent osteoporosis since it blocks calcium absorption and causes Vitamin D deficiency.
Soy fed to birds speeds up their coloring. Birds that wouldn't obtain their color until 18-24 months get their color at a few months old. One long time bird breeder noted that their birds had decreased fertility, deformed babies, and premature death, mostly in females. Their autopsies showed disintegrating organs. When taken off the soy, their birds started reproducing normally and eventually got back to normal. Mike Fitzpatrick, PhD, toxicologist, investigated this and found evidence that soy consumption leads to infertility, cancer, leukemia, and other disorders.
A baby fed soy formula receives the same level of estrogen as 5 birth control pills a day. There is almost no estrogen content in dairy formula or human milk, even if the mother consumes soy. Many years ago it was proven that soy formula causes thyroid problems in babies. Normal male babies have a testosterone surge in the first few months of life which helps start normal mail brain function. A male that is fed soy formula is getting too much estrogen to have the testosterone surge. Studies done in animals show that the lack of male hormone causes learning disabilities.
Female puberty age is getting lower and lower. Studies are showing that soy formula is more responsible for this than the hormones in chickens. Entering puberty too early can cause other problems later in life such as not menstruating, infertility, and breast cancer. New Zealand put out a warning in 1998 about soy formula, the US never has.
Consuming soy late in life increases the incidence of Alzheimer's and dementia.
The only thing soy has ever been labeled GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA is for binder in cardboard boxes. The FDA requires safety specifications and monitoring procedures before food can be labeled as GRAS. This has never been done with soy.
Check the list of ingredients on your packaged foods. Many contain some form of soy. This is to be avoided as much as possible. For the many reasons stated, don't ever eat unfermented soy! Be careful with your health, and especially your children's health. This miracle food isn't such a miracle after all. It's cheap to produce so it is saturated onto the market to fill the pocketbooks of the industry leaders. Farmers are generally not to blame, they are fed the same information as the rest of the American public and have been scammed into thinking soy is good for you. It's not.
References:
Coleman, Richard J., "Vegetable Protein - A Delayed Birth?"
Katz, Solomon H., "Food and Biocultural Evolution: A Model for the Investigation of Modern Nutritional Problems"
Rackis, Joseph J. et al., "The USDA trypsin inhibitor study. I. Background, objectives and procedural details"
El Tiney, A.H., "Proximate Composition and Mineral and Phytate Contents of Legumes Grown in Sudan"
Ologhobo, A.D. et al., "Distribution of phosphorus and phytate in some Nigerian varieties of legumes and some effects of processing", Journal of Food Science 49(1):199-201, January/February 1984
Rackis, Joseph J. et al., "The USDA trypsin inhibitor study"
Fallon, Sally, "Nourishing Traditions"
www.unitedsoybean.org

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