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Skinny Without Willpower

Monday, August 30, 2010


Most of us have heard that Soy protein is the most complete vegetable source of protein with all the 8 essential amino acids needed for proper assimilation and protein synthesis in the body. Also in recent years soy has been touted as a perfect milk substitute under the silk® brand name. Soy also contains isoflavones which are claimed to be beneficial to health. So is Soy really a super food or is it just another food fad headed for demise?

A little bit of history on soy first. Soy was first used as food as early as 1100 BC by the Chinese. The Chinese learnt to ferment soy beans to make tempeh, natto and tamari. Contrary to popular belief the Chinese and the Japanese eat soy sparingly as a condiment and not as a replacement for conventional dairy and meats.

Even though soy has all the 8 essential amino acids it lacks the sulfur containing amino acids, methionine and cystine. Also most soy processing denatures and destroys Lysine which is one of the most important amino acids for protein synthesis. So even thought soy is high in protein content, in most modern soy foods, it is not bio available. Soy foods also contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein synthesis and pancreatic function. Lab animals fed a diet of soy exhibited stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy also increases the body’s need for vitamin D which is needed for strong bones and growth. Also Soy hinders in the absorption of iron and zinc, both of which are essential for healthy brain development. Soy also lacks cholesterol (yeah the dreaded cholesterol!) which is essential for proper brain development in children.

In recent years, phytoestrogens present in soy have received widespread attention. What do these estrogen promoters do in the body? We all know estrogen is the female sex hormone responsible for sexual development in girls. High doses of these estrogen inducing compounds present in soy formulas are implicated in the current trend towards increasingly premature sexual development in girls and retarded sexual development in boys. Also it’s widely known that cancerous cells are very sensitive to the hormone estrogen. That’s the reason estrogen blockers are used in breast cancer therapy in women. So a diet rich in soy should be avoided by women that are predisposed to developing breast cancer. The other estrogen side-effect is the promotion of belly fat deposition. So a soy rich diet has been linked to hypothyroidism and weight gain in the mid section. Also estrogen production suppresses the production of testosterone in men leading to hair growth and a depressed sexual libido. So the men reading this article shouldn’t be disheartened if they love soy. They may not be able to perform but at least they will look good with a head full of hair!

To top it all off most soy products sold in the US are engineered with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in order to increase yields and many studies are now linking GMOs to the production of cancerous cells in the body. So is all soy damned? No, as long as it’s fermented (fermentation process destroys the natural toxins found in soy) and made from organic soy it’s relatively harmless in small quantities.


  1. hey, many docs recommend soy rich food for their diabetes patients and also many food/drinks are available with its combination, then are they all misleading ..............

  2. The medical community always lags the research community by a decade or so. Eggs were considered evil when we were growing up and the cholesterol in egg yolks was considered poison, but in the recent years the medical community is starting to recommend eating eggs daily for a number of benefits while research showing that eggs haven't shown to increase blood cholesterol levels in the long run has existed for over a decade.

  3. every woman should know about the link between breast cancer and vitamin D deficiency. Take a look at the information on

    The vitamin D experts now refer to breast cancer as a vitamin D deficiency disease

  4. Thank you mbarnes for the information. Apparently soy milk increases the body's requirement for vitamin D, so there is another reason to avoid soy milk.