Soy Consumption and Related Health Risks

 

For years we’ve been told that soy foods are “good for us.”  Soy milk, soy shakes, energy bars, veggie burgers…that sort of thing.  But the idea that soy prevents breast cancer has come under question in a book by Kaayla T. Daniel entitled “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food.”  According to Daniel, soy protein contains high levels of plant estrogens.  These estrogens, though not identical to human estrogens, have been shown to increase the production of breast cells, an indicator of breast cancer risk.

The soy industry has tried to minimize that risk, citing lower breast cancer rates among people with Asian diets.  The reduced cancer risk is attributed to the high soy content of those diets.  Daniel, however, points out recent studies which determined that eating more soy did not reduce cancer rates in the Asian population.  Further, the governments of France and Israel have come to the conclusion that high soy consumption may actually increase the risk of breast cancer.  Warning labels on products high in soy are being considered in those countries.   
So, before deciding that eating soy products is “good for you,” take a closer look at the issue.  Consult an expert in the area of nutrition.  

Comment From Dr. Esposito

I would have to say I have been very conservative over the years with my professional recommendations in regards to clinical nutrition. There are many fads, gimmicks and short term studies that created billion dollar markets on unhealthy products and I have managed to keep my patients away from most of them. The one product that I would say I have had a considerable change of heart is…soy.  About two years ago I was at the International and American Association of Clinical Nutrition conference in Orlando, Florida and I sat next to Dr. Kaayla Daniel the author of The Whole Soy Story: the Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. I was shocked at the conviction in her voice regarding the dangers of soy. Since I used soy milk as a formula for my son, I was extremely interested, yet defensive for my decision to utilize soy for my infant son.  However, once you review her book and the extensive research she has done to create the document I think you will be equally as shocked as to the corruption soy has commited on the health food market, the research arenas and the American public.

I will still stand the ground that soy is NOT a bad food, but when consumed as much as some people have been consuming since the 90’s I have some concerns. The concerns are greater in regards to infants since they are going through very sensitive stages of development. Soy has the potential to cause significant, potential permanent, effects on the hormonal balance of the body especially in infants. Soy has been shown to slow sexual development in boys, it is a very common and serious food allergy, it can affect thyroid function and cognitive function and numerous other health concerns.  If you or your family has been a heavy consumer of soy I would highly recommend Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s book The Whole Soy Story: the Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food.

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