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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Soy Isoflavones: Superfood or Toxic Killer?

Soy Isoflavones: Superfood or Toxic Killer?  After reading this article in it's fullness, I can't help but wonder about feeding soy formula to infants who are utterly helpless to
prevent being fed such a toxic substance, and eventually will suffer the harm from soy.  One question continues to haunt me, is soy in formulas responsible for earlier sexual development in children?  We see so much hyper-sexualized behavior in young kids that it begs the question as to why any parent would risk such toxic foods to their beloved babies.    

 In this article excerpted below, the issues of soy and cancer are incredibly important to consider. I see major nutritional supplement companies promoting soy isoflavones in their line of products and wonder if they even read the research that speaks to the toxic effects of soy.  So many questions.  There is extensive research listed below the article excerpts for your use.

"Soy and Cancer…
On the cancer front, soy advocates point to the fact that the Japanese, who eat significantly more soy that Americans, have a lower incidence of breast, uterus, and prostate cancers7.
But, what they fail to mention is that this same Japanese population have higher rates of other cancers, namely esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, thyroid, and liver cancer8, 9. This inconvenient fact is something you almost never hear about.

The reality is there are good studies on both sides of the fence. Soy does seem to have cardio-protective benefits, and it clearly helps ease menopause symptoms. However, the very reason soy works so well for lowering cholesterol and relieving hot flashes is because it is an effective estrogen mimic.
That being said, it stands to reason it could be a concern for those with estrogen-dependent cancers or thyroid issues. And, most problematic, feeding those estrogens to infants whose little bodies aren’t prepared for the estrogen onslaught.
Or, in the words of those FDA researchers, “While isoflavones may have beneficial effects at some ages or circumstances, this cannot be assumed to be true at all ages. Isoflavones are like other estrogens in that they are two-edged swords, conferring both benefits and risk.”
Therefore, taking a commonsense approach, we side with the soy opponents, and encourage the vast majority of people to avoid soy, especially those with a personal or family history of estrogen-dependent cancer or thyroid disease. And, under no circumstances, use soy-infant formulas.
Another way to think about soy is that whatever benefits there MAY be to consuming soy, those benefits can be replicated through other natural means, such as by consuming other plants that have cardio-protective and cancer-preventing phytochemicals.
Therefore, simple common sense says that if you can get those same benefits naturally somewhere else, there’s little point in consuming something with such well-documented dangers.
The only exception we see for soy is those women going through menopause who DO NOT have any of the following issues:
  • personal or family history of estrogen-dependent cancer, such as breast, uterine, cervical, or ovarian cancer;
  • thyroid or family history of thyroid disease [link to thyroid article];
  • soy allergies; or
  • problems digesting soy or other legumes.
For this small population, soy may confer some benefit. If you fit into this group, avoid soy supplements and processed soy foods and limit your soy consumption to organic soybeans (edamame) and organic, fermented soy foods, such as:
  • tempeh,
  • miso,
  • tamari, or
  • natto.
The organic element to soy is critical. Ninety-one percent (yep, 91) of all soybean crops grown in the U.S. are genetically modified.13"

"In case you aren’t familiar with genetic modification (always referred to as GMO), it means that a company (the largest of whom is Monsanto) genetically alters the plant, usually to be herbicide tolerant. As you can imagine, this creates a whole cascade of health concerns, all of which are hotly debated by the GMO developers and medical researchers.14
Not sure what’s to debate. One animal study alone found that hamsters that were fed a GMO-soy diet for two years (and three generations of hamsters) had not only lost their ability to have babies, but those pups that were born had higher “infant” mortality rates and slower growth. Some of the third generation pups even had hair growing inside their mouths.13
All of this just makes it more and more clear that you should simply say no to soy. If you would think twice about popping a few birth control pills at lunch or slugging back some hormone replacement pills with dinner, then you shouldn’t be using soy either.
Treat soy like the true estrogen it is."

1Anderson, JW et al. “Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids.” N Engl J Med. 1995;333:276-82.
2Lichtenstein, AH et al. “Lipoprotein response to diets high in soy or animal protein with and without isoflavones in moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects.” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2002;22:1852-8.
3Bazzano, LA et al. “Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women.” Arch Intern Med. 2001;161:2573-8.
4Ferrari, A. “Soy extract phytoestrogens with high dose of isoflavones for menopausal symptoms.” J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2009 Dec;35(6):1083-90.
5Carmignani, LO et al. “The effect of dietary soy supplementation compared to estrogen and placebo on menopausal symptoms: A randomized controlled study.” Maturitas. 2010 Sept 10 [Epub ahead of print].
6Sheehan, DM and Doerge, DR. 1999 Feb 18. Letter to FDA in reference to Docket #98P-0683.
7Natural Medicine News (L&H Vitamins, 32-33 47th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101), 2000 Jan/Feb p. 8.
8Harras, A (ed). Cancer Rates and Risks. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 1996, 4th edition.
9Searle, CE (ed.). Chemical Carcinogens. ACS Monograph 173, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1976.
10Ju, YH et al. “Dietary genistein negates the inhibitory effect of tamoxifen on growth of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells implanted in athymic mice.” Cancer Res. 2002 May 1;62(9):2474-7.
11Doerge, DR. “Goitrogenic and estrogenic activity of soy isoflavones.” Environ Health Perspect. 2002 June;110 Suppl 3:349-53.
12Setchell, KD et al. “Exposure of infants to phyto-oestrogens from soy-based infant formula.” Lancet. 1997 Jul 5;350(9070):23-7.
13Smith, J. Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality in Hamsters. The Huffington Post. April 20, 2010.
14de Vendomois, JS, et al. Debate on GMOs health risks after statistical findings in regulatory tests. Int J Biol Sci. 2010 Oct 5;6(6):590-8.

Soy Isoflavones: Superfood or Toxic Killer?  The soy farmed in this nation is literally a frankenfood.  Genetically modified and toxic to the human.  No one with a grain of sense will use GM soy.  There is so much scientific evidence that is presented not only in this article but in countless other online sources that one only has to research and read it to learn the toxic side effects that are particularly devastating to infants.  

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