Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Most informative, least biased article on pros & cons of Soy I've ever read

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Most informative, least biased article on pros & cons of Soy I've ever read

    Benefits of Soy & Soy Protein Dangers -- Natural Health Blog

    Benefits & Dangers of Soy Products

    By Jon Barron Sept 17, 2012

    I've never made a secret of the fact that I'm not a big fan of the benefits of soy, at least when used as a primary protein source. Soy products are by no means as safe or nutritious as their proponents would have us believe. Then again, on the other side of the equation, the dangers of soy are nowhere near as pronounced as many of its detractors claim. On a good-bad scale, they probably come in at a 35:65 ratio, with the 65 lined up on the negative side. However, a great deal depends on which soy products you use and what your age is.

    The History of Soy

    The proponents of the benefits of soy state that the value and safety of soy products have been proven over several millennia of use in East Asia. Unfortunately, that's only half true. Yes, soy has been grown in Asia for several millennia, but not as a food. In fact, it was originally used only in crop rotation to fix nitrogen. For a long, long time, soy was not considered suitable for eating, at least until fermented products such as soy sauce, tempeh, natto, and miso came along. In America, until the 1920's, soy was grown only for its industrial by-products. Then as an animal feed -- still its primary use -- and only more recently has it been used as a primary protein source. In Japan, the average consumption of soy runs about 8-9 grams of soy products a day. That's less than two teaspoons. Again, most of that's fermented (miso, soy sauce, and natto) or precipitated (tofu).1 China and Hong Kong, however, have moved away from their roots and are now consuming large amounts of soy beverages -- more than in Europe and the US in fact. Soy protein isolate is more of a Western phenomenon, at least to this point in time, although countries like India are exploring its possibilities as a supplemental protein source for its large, less economically advantaged, vegetarian populace.2
    Pretty much all of the data supporting the benefits of soy as a food comes as the result of recent studies promoted by the agricultural industry to justify soy's newfound status as a "healthy alternative" to dairy and meat. It should be taken with a grain of salt -- and I'm not referring to seasoning.

    The Benefits of Soy
    Current marketing says that soy is rich in protein and other important nutrients and that it makes a valuable contribution to an overall healthy diet. The curious thing is that this marketing comes from both big agribusiness and the health food industry -- strange bedfellows indeed. Nevertheless, there are some studies on the benefits of soy to support their enthusiasm. Soy is high in phytoestrogens -- particularly isoflavones -- which means that it is likely to have a positive hormonal impact on both men and women. And in fact, some studies have shown that consuming soy products can help with menopausal symptoms in women3 and prostate problems in men.4,5 Studies on the benefits of soy in regard to menopausal bone health and the prevention of breast cancer, though, have been more equivocal despite claims to the contrary.
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that they are (unless adulterated) low in saturated fats and have no cholesterol, the consumption of soy products has been associated with improved cardiovascular health. Specifically, it has been found that diets high in soy products are associated with lower blood pressure,6 reduced triglyceride and cholesterol levels,7 and a reduced incidence of diabetes.8
    All of that said, a 2011 report from the North American Menopause Society was far more equivocal in its support of the benefits of soy. According to the report, "From the hundreds of studies reviewed in this report, there are mixed results of the effects on midlife women. Soy-based isoflavones are modestly effective in relieving menopausal symptoms; supplements providing higher proportions of genistein or increased in S(-)-equol may provide more benefits. Soy food consumption is associated with lower risk of breast and endometrial cancer in observational studies. The efficacy of isoflavones on bone has not been proven, and the clinical picture of whether soy has cardiovascular benefits is still evolving. Preliminary findings on cognitive benefit from isoflavone therapy support a "critical window" hypothesis wherein younger postmenopausal women derive more than older women."9 Specifically, the report found that:
    • Soy relieved certain menopausal symptoms. "If you give estrogen a 9 out of 10 score, and placebo 4 of 10, soy would be about 6.5."
    • "On bone health, we really didn't find adequate evidence to recommend its use for preventing or reducing the risk of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture."
    • Soy's heart health benefit is still evolving in research.
    • Soy appears to help women under age 65 with cognitive function, but not those over 65.
    •
    Soy as a Protein Source
    At one time, soy protein was a waste product -- a byproduct from manufacturing soy oil. Then, in typical American industry brilliance (think fluoride), manufacturers found a way to turn a waste product that cost money to dispose of into a major money maker: they used it as cattle feed.10 And in fact, the use of soy protein as cattle feed is one of the primary driving forces in the growth of the meat and dairy industry. (It's also a major component of feed used to raise chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows, and even fish raised on fish farms.) The next step, obviously, was to make it palatable for human beings. In its raw form, after oil extraction, it looks and smells quite nasty. But by adding flavorings, preservatives, sweeteners, emulsifiers and synthetic nutrients, what was formerly cattle feed is turned into a pretty palatable meat substitute for humans.
    Incidentally, soy milk used as a low-fat high-protein dairy substitute has seen the biggest gains in market share. Sales have increased exponentially from $2 million a year in 1980 to approximately $1billion a year today -- and that's just in the US.11
    If you consider everywhere it's used (not just by bodybuilders, where whey is king), soy just might be the number one protein supplement on the planet. In fact, according to Margaret E. Cook-Newell, one of the lead researchers in a 1995 review of soy protein published in the New England Journal of Medicine,12 "There are 12,000 soy products on the market, and many more will be coming soon." Seven years later, that number is likely now much, much higher. The bottom line is that, worldwide, the soy protein market currently tops $5.1 billion a year and is projected to just keep on growing as the need for inexpensive protein supplementation only increases as it keeps pace with the world's expanding population and as incomes in third world countries continue to increase.13

    The Dangers of Soy
    As I mentioned earlier, soy was not used as a food in Asia until fermented soy products appeared. The reason is that soy contains some very powerful nutrient blockers -- bio-chemicals that stop your body from absorbing nutrients found in the soy…or in any other foods that you eat with the soy. There's nothing evil or sinister or even unusual about this. A number of foods contain similar "anti-nutrients." The reasons, at least from the plant's perspective, are simple: first, the plant doesn't want a seed or bean to "activate" until it is in a location suitable for growing; and second, anti-nutrients make plants unappealing to birds and insects. Thus, soy contains enzyme inhibitors and nutrient binders to prevent just that from happening. For most plants, exposure to water is all that is needed to nullify the anti-nutrients. That's why sprouting releases so many nutrients in seeds, and it's why we have to soak most beans overnight before cooking them -- to eliminate the "anti-nutrients." Key anti-nutrients include:
    • Phytates are prevalent in cereal grains and are capable of forming insoluble complexes with calcium, zinc, iron, and other nutrients, thus interfering with their absorption by the body. The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume, and unlike the phytates in most beans, the phytates in soy are highly resistant to soaking and long, slow cooking. Soy phytate levels, however, can be significantly reduced through a long period of fermentation. Soy milk is very high in phytates, whereas tofu, because of the precipitation process used in its manufacture, falls somewhere in between. People who consume large amounts of soy milk and tofu as their primary protein sources risk severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc deficiency are well known. Diets high in phytic acid can be sufficient by themselves to cause rickets.14

  • Omni
    replied
    James
    Just one, maybe two questions.
    With regards to the assessment of Soy value to nutrition in the article introduction:
    On a good-bad scale, they probably come in at a 35:65 ratio, with the 65 lined up on the negative side.
    On the basis of the way Soy is marketed to general consumers and incorporated into a wide range of food products, and without justifications and qualifiers please, as I have taken the time to look at the pro Soy arguments you have presented here and in the past.

    Do you agree with that statement?
    If not what ratio would you put the Soy pro's & con's at?

    If you can not answer this in one or two lines, please don't bother answering at all.

    For the record I agree with the article and feel that the 35:65 ratio of Pro's vs Con's is fairly appropriate given all the evidence I have seen.

    Leave a comment:


  • zoebird
    replied
    we let DS have organic tamari at school. they have tamari rice balls as one of their snacks/treats, so i'm cool with it. I figure the intense amount of primal foods that he eats counteracts a drizzle of tamari once a week. LOL

    Leave a comment:


  • sbhikes
    replied
    Wow, 10 pages. I knew your wouldn't disappoint. Swami was right. I quit reading as soon as our resident soy shill arrived.

    Leave a comment:


  • Betorq
    replied
    In an attempt to show solidarity, I have not used any tamari this past week, while this thread winds down.

    I still think its not harmful for me, as its such a tiny % of my diet. I gave up miso & tempeh/tofu many years ago, after reading WAPF info about shrinking gonads & Hawaiian soy-eating men's brains weighing less in autopsy compared to non-soy eating men in their community. THAT got my interest!

    Leave a comment:


  • zoebird
    replied
    Originally posted by JamesS View Post
    The WAPF is a complete joke. Their ridiculous claims have been discredited so many times. And now they have Mercola as a spokesperson who has also made numerous discredited claims. I have addressed the bogus claims made by both WAPF and Mercola in previous posts. Again, this is an example of why I don't follow propaganda sites like WAPF and rely on real sources of research such as Medline.
    I suppose I was just blinded by their science:

    1. FDA Soy References
    2. Studies showing adverse effects of soy 1939-2008
    3. Studies showing adverse effects of isoflavones 1951-2010

    Back when I was first introduced to this information, it was 2001-ish. I was a vegan then, and a member of a very large board of vegetarians. It caused a massive stir, and most everyone said the same thing that you did: that WAPF was a propaganda organization, not backed by science, making ridiculous claims, etc.

    Because -- at the time -- I still had research capacity through the university library and access to most of these papers in their electronic format (through Lexus/Nexus searches and similar), i was actually able to read the majority of the articles on this list, and couldn't refute the conclusions that WAPF had drawn, even though I tried to.

    I am not an ignorant, uneducated fool who is easily "duped." I study and read and dig deeper. I have this whole time.

    As far as I'm concerned, the organization is not a "complete joke" -- even though I do not like a lot of their particular methodologies in communicating their messages (which I find clumsy and often difficult for the average person to take seriously). I feel that if their information wasn't presented in such an "alarmist!" fashion, then it would be more accessible to people.

    That being said, as an organization of people who have had some great political impact, I have to say that the activism has worked. By being a part of the WAPF, we were able to work to help maintain the family run farms that provided the many dairy, egg, and meat products that we prefer -- and I've been able to do that in two countries.

    Socially, the organization here not only provides easy access to difficult-to-get products (like fermented cod liver oil which my husband has taken religiously since 2001 and it cleared up his psoriasis after he'd lived with it for over a decade trying any number of treatments that didn't do much for symptoms, let alone causes), but also great opportunities to meet like minded people, access to our cow share, a network of people who love fermenting things. I'm looking forward to our summer mass gatherings where we go out to the cow-share farm, grab inexpensive produce along the way, set up long tables as a group, and get to fermenting the heck out of salsa that we then pick up several weeks later all jarred up at the milk-drop place. It really gave us a reliable social network of farms and a community of people when we first arrived.

    So, I do not accept that the organization is a "joke" or even that their science is.

    Going soy-free improved my health. I'm not going to simply consume soy because whatever you refuted says that I should. There's plenty of things to eat, so why would I "need" to consume soy?

    I don't know much about mercola. I've heard of him over the years, but. . . I never thought anything of him really.

    Leave a comment:


  • BONZ
    replied
    Betorq, first of all you're too kind, thank you sir! Second... his reply to that is, I believe..... going to be epic! Maybe not in a good way if his past behavior is any indicator.

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." ~ Doesn't matter who said it, every quote on the internet is credited to Abraham Lincoln. Ghandi is ready as a second in the event you have two quotes in the same paragraph.

    Leave a comment:


  • Betorq
    replied
    Originally posted by BONZ View Post
    Awww shucks, thanks!
    <sly smile> Guilty
    Or don't be a condescending a-hole to EVERY SINGLE PERSON you talk to and BONZ will mind his own business and simply soak in the information provided.... which is after all why I come here in the first place. I don't like bullies, even pissant little internet bullies...... if you insist on poking people in the eye, I'm gonna poke you in the chest and redirect your energy.
    Bonz is not a true troll as he is self-aware & owns & even talks about the reason for his trollish behavior. He doesn't hide, he reveals & doesn't deny he's being entertained & pissed off. Trolls act their part while hiding their true motivations. Plus the fact that Bonz exults in the compliment of being called out. Bonz is thick skinned, funny, insightful, self-aware & smart. Just the stances one ought to assume in their approach posting & bantering on the internets. He tells us his motivations, James.

    You are so close, this close, to seeing that we aren't attacking you, as a person, nor are we attacking ALL of your assertions & evidence. We dislike & we attack your attack mode while claiming, apparently without either self-awareness nor humility nor perhaps the inability or the unwillingness to apologize, a flip flop between "poor misunderstood me" & "stupid you". Mostly the latter. People are offended & pissed off by that "stupid you" tone & overt wording, your haughty, dismissive tone & put downs.

    Can you not see that? Can you apologize? Is that part of your natural or enforced psychological make-up? Or do you ascribe to the view, that many too-smart-for-their-own-good intelligent people, that are trapped in & by their egos, into thinking their shit doesn't smell? But the rest of us, man, we're seriously stinking up this place.

    My business partners are both Mensa members, one is off the charts intelligent (I think he's an E.T. or at least a half-breed!)
    So, I do have some recent real-life experience in dealing with arrogant geniuses. It's not always fun (but often it is actually, when I keep my cool & humour), but I'm seeing the forest not just the trees. Plus they are great guys, & someday we'll sit on a private beach with the stereotypical umbrella drinks in hand & laugh about all my/their argumentative bantering & debating.

    Why do I take the time and effort to reply to you in such terms, James?
    To toss out some things for you to think about & self-reflect on?
    Is it because I'm attacking you, or is it coz I'm trying to help you?

    Think of these things, James. & take your time. No need to reply point by point in a defensive nor an offensive way to my post or anyone's posts. Just look in the mirror & see your inner self & honestly reflect & consider these things I/we are saying...
    Last edited by Betorq; 09-21-2012, 12:19 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BONZ
    replied
    Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
    BONZ. He is one of the nicest trolls you'll ever meet,
    Awww shucks, thanks!

    Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
    but he is still clearly trolling you.
    <sly smile> Guilty


    Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
    In actual fact, I think they are trying to help you. The lesson to be learned from BONZ is, don't feed the troll. Just go you your mental happy place and move past his posts without responding.
    Or don't be a condescending a-hole to EVERY SINGLE PERSON you talk to and BONZ will mind his own business and simply soak in the information provided.... which is after all why I come here in the first place. I don't like bullies, even pissant little internet bullies...... if you insist on poking people in the eye, I'm gonna poke you in the chest and redirect your energy.

    Leave a comment:


  • magicmerl
    replied
    Originally posted by JamesS View Post
    I see your point, but keep in mind that what you are referring to does not constitute a personal attack.
    I read it as one. In your initial posts you were casually dismissive of anyone that disagreed with you as not having any common sense. Given that the 'common sense' on MDA is that soy is bad, your stance is quite clearly in the minority here. You must know that. So, I read your posts as being deliberately provocative.

    Look, I don't agree with 100% of what Mark has to say. But where I disagree with him (insidious weight gain....) I don't post here about those points declaring that they are 'obviously wrong' as that would be trolling the people on here who hold a different opinion from my own. I need to be mindful of the opinions and ideas of others.

    Originally posted by JamesS View Post
    But I do agree that I could have handled things a little differently. On the other hand I find it interesting that the focus keeps getting put on me and people ignore the fact that I was being targeted in this thread even before I made my first post. Then there is the fact that I mentioned about people playing games, which one poster just admitted to in another post. Yet despite all this and the continued attacks off topic I am being made out to be the bad guy.
    That's at least based in part because you hold a position that is not the consensus.

    However, it's really easy to have misunderstandings flare up on 'the internets', and I definitely see that with you. You start out thinking that you are giving 'nothing', when actually you have misperceived the baseline environment you are posting into and are provoking. Then people respond to the perceived provocation. Then you give as good as you get in a tit-for-tat manner, forgetting that
    1. They may be responding to a perceived insult from you in a previous post, or
    2. They might not be intending to insult you at all

    If either of those situations is the case, then tit-for-tat is the wrong response for you to take. I think that it's actually more constructive for you to just let some insults fly. Rise above them. Maybe even apologise. I personally find it *very* easy to apologise for things where I haven't done anything wrong (since in my head I'm really apologising for them being a mental defective). Make sense?

    Originally posted by JamesS View Post
    So how is it that if I make a generalization about people not using common sense for example and I am evil yet people can be posting personal attacks against me even before I start posting and they can continue throughout the entire thread and not only is there not even a peep about that but I am not expected to react even though it is acceptable for people to react to a generalization that is not a personal attack. You don't see something wrong with this extreme one sidedness? I feel like I am in the middle of a bunch of juveniles in high school and because I am not part of their clique and kissing their butts that I am to be ostracized as much as possible. Its too bad that expression of other ideas is so controlled by a few here so that only what they approve is allowed. That really discredits a site since only a few views, right or wrong, are allowed. So if false information is being propagated people are still only going to hear that false information. Being a lawyer that would be like you going in to Court and only the opposing counsel being able to speak and present evidence. Would you like that and think it is fair? What would our court system be like if that were the case? Everyone would be guilty or innocent depending on what side is allowed to speak and present evidence.

    James
    Look, I think that the key word here is grace. Please have more of it. Sometimes the 'other' person you are debating with is an idiot, or they mistyped something, or they misinterpreted you, or maybe even sometimes they are just wrong. You don't have to stick it to them in any or even all of those situations.

    Additionally, there's usually 10x the number of readers as posters, so most of the 'value' in your posts is actually going to people who are not posting at all. Why not direct your helpful guidance to them?

    Edit: case in point - BONZ. He is one of the nicest trolls you'll ever meet, but he is still clearly trolling you. In actual fact, I think they are trying to help you. The lesson to be learned from BONZ is, don't feed the troll. Just go to your mental happy place and move past his posts without responding.
    Last edited by magicmerl; 09-22-2012, 12:07 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BONZ
    replied
    Originally posted by JamesS View Post
    Why do you think I mentioned in an earlier post about people who have no clue what they are talking about playing games. You're not near as smart as you want to believe.
    Up early in the morning for more comedy gold! It's 5 a.m. my time and I see you haven't failed to dissapoint. Let me get this straight.... Maybe you catch on that I'm poking you with a stick. Your tactical response is to accuse me of ignorance of the topic, and therefore attribute my behavior to that ignorance. "can't beat you, so I beat you up..." Because you have said it.... ipso facto.... therefore it is and I am officially in a "debate" with you. Man, what could I possibly say to that? <FACE PALM>

    Leave a comment:


  • JamesS
    replied
    Originally posted by Betorq View Post
    Wow, touche' re: JamesS being the worst kind of troll! Maybe the "S" on the end of his name stands for "Soybean"
    So anyone posting evidence to back their claims is now a troll? Apparently you understand the definition of troll. Well that sure says a lot about this site and the people who keep trying to control what can and cannot be said.

    Leave a comment:


  • JamesS
    replied
    Originally posted by BONZ View Post
    For such a smart guy, you can certainly be a bit of a moron. I'll not be needing a link to "debate" on dictionary.com, thank you sir. Apparently you haven't picked up (it's not like I haven't advertised it IN THIS THREAD) that I'm having a very good time at your expense......
    Why do you think I mentioned in an earlier post about people who have no clue what they are talking about playing games. You're not near as smart as you want to believe.

    Leave a comment:


  • JamesS
    replied
    Originally posted by Lawyerchick12 View Post
    James, I actually like some of the things you write and can clearly see that you are extremely intelligent in your areas of research and versed in its understanding as well. I respect the fact that you are willing to provide concrete rationale and evidence that goes against the grain especially in a forum where most people will tow the same line of thinking (like attracts like afterall).

    I think the issue a lot of people have with you is how your points come across. I know people already have a defence when replying to you without actually reading what you have to write about but then again your abrasive nature does not help matters.

    You mentioned u never initiate any personal attacks, but yet, in your introductory post you kept saying something along the lines of "common sense would dictate" or "if people had common sense they would know"...anywho something along those lines. That in and of itself already creates a defensive mechanism to anyone who eventually responds to you because you are pretty much saying that anyone who does not know the science and/or facts about soy or had misinformation about soy does not have common sense. I mean you are obviously smart enough to figure out the drawbacks with that kind of reasoning.

    Anywho I don't care either way about soy just not a fan of the taste but I am pretty much a blank slate soaking both sides of the debate and information. I like learning..as is. I just wanted to point out a reason for why you might have a hard time in getting your messages across albeit well intentioned.
    HI Lawyerchick,

    I see your point, but keep in mind that what you are referring to does not constitute a personal attack. But I do agree that I could have handled things a little differently. On the other hand I find it interesting that the focus keeps getting put on me and people ignore the fact that I was being targeted in this thread even before I made my first post. Then there is the fact that I mentioned about people playing games, which one poster just admitted to in another post. Yet despite all this and the continued attacks off topic I am being made out to be the bad guy. So how is it that if I make a generalization about people not using common sense for example and I am evil yet people can be posting personal attacks against me even before I start posting and they can continue throughout the entire thread and not only is there not even a peep about that but I am not expected to react even though it is acceptable for people to react to a generalization that is not a personal attack. You don't see something wrong with this extreme one sidedness? I feel like I am in the middle of a bunch of juveniles in high school and because I am not part of their clique and kissing their butts that I am to be ostracized as much as possible. Its too bad that expression of other ideas is so controlled by a few here so that only what they approve is allowed. That really discredits a site since only a few views, right or wrong, are allowed. So if false information is being propagated people are still only going to hear that false information. Being a lawyer that would be like you going in to Court and only the opposing counsel being able to speak and present evidence. Would you like that and think it is fair? What would our court system be like if that were the case? Everyone would be guilty or innocent depending on what side is allowed to speak and present evidence.

    James

    Leave a comment:


  • Neckhammer
    replied
    Originally posted by JamesS View Post
    This just got posted on another thread but it is an interview with yet another doctor saying the same things I have been saying all along that Paleobird keeps claiming I and all my evidence from the medical journals and from the statements of other doctors are wrong just because she says so:

    KGNU Calcium and Heart Disease 2010.mp4 - YouTube
    I've actually seen that. He actually states that a bone density scan of a child would show "a horrible case of osteoperosis"....this according to him would be WITH a strong matrix, but without mineral. In your previous responses this was the exact thing you were calling osteopenia.....rather than osteoperosis. I don't see were Dr. Rosedale is attempting to make that differential so much as discussing the overconsumption and assumed necessity of calcium. While I actually thing your remarks in previous threads as to the difference is more accurate, the diagnostic values in place do come down to simply measuring bone density. So you have to understand that clinically these things are treated almost the same. And particularly on this board in terms of preventative recommendations to increase weight bearing exercise, get vitamin D replete, take magnesium, and such rarely include any mention of supplementing calcium. Most around here are relatively well versed in the negative side effects of calcium supplementation. Obviously these recommendations and or testing would have to be a bit different if your dealing with the other bone disorders that were mentioned in that previous thread (osteomalacia/rickets).

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X