The war against soy beans and soy products has been raging for many years.
Thousands of scientific papers have been published on soy and its constituents. In many instances it has been heralded as a wonder food containing more first-class protein than meat and it is endowed with large amounts of calcium, iron and other important minerals as well as vitamins B and E.
Much mis-information is provided by critics which is clearly biased or inaccurate. It is said that soy beans contains large amounts of phytic acid (which is true) and that “Phytic acid impairs absorption of all minerals, including calcium.” If this is true then we are in big trouble if we eat wheat which has been referred to as the “Staff of Life.” Durham
wheat contains 8 times more phytates than soymilk!
Most of the criticism of soy is in regard to the isoflavonic phytoestrogens (‘phyto’ means plant). Many plants contain these, including whole grains, peas and beans. Soya beans are just one of many plants that contain hormonal compounds that help to balance the hormones in the human body. Soy helps alleviate some menstrual and menopausal symptoms, lowers cholesterol & triglycerides and makes your arteries more elastic and helps improve intestinal health. There is also good evidence that soya beans may help prevent osteoporosis, cancer and a number of Western diseases.
Many chemical pollutants mimic human hormones. They accumulate in the body and contribute to hormone related cancers. Women with breast cancer have a much higher level of these chemicals in their breast fat cells than women without cancer. Breast and prostate cancer are hormonally related. The ‘friendly oestrogens’ in soy isoflavones prevent and treat hormonally related cancers. Premarin (HRT) and similar oestrogens have been shown to increase the incidence of some cancers but phytoestrogens have an anticancer effect.
It is true that soy milk made from the ‘isolates’ of soy instead of from the whole soy bean, may in time cause health problems just like any other refined food such as white flour, white sugar and refined salt.
Allergies to soy is another accusation made but let’s remember that many people have allergies to cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, corn, fish etc but who is warning them to stay away from these?
If you want to do an Internet search for yourself, look up the Medline database (http://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/PubMed/)