Soy and cancer
One of the biggest arguments for the use of soy is that it protects against cancer. This is based on the fact that people in the Far East have lower rates of breast, prostate and colon cancer. However, this cannot be attributed solely the soy consumption and is likely also due to the higher consumption of fruit and vegetables, fish, green tea and nuts. What you are not told about though is that people in the Far East suffer more from oesophagus, stomach, thyroid, pancreas and liver cancer – this also cannot be solely attributed to soy consumption – but do not be fooled in to thinking soy is a panacea for cancer treatment. You see the use of soy that may save you from breast cancer may kill you from thyroid cancer.
Soy Isoflavones are also touted as having anti cancer properties. This again may be misleading. Soy Isoflavones in high therapeutic doses appear to anti-oestrogenic, however in lower dietary induced doses they appear to be oestrogenic and can stimulate cancer cell growth.
The use of soy in cancer management is complicated, inconsistent and inconclusive.
Other affects of soy
Soy food may act as natural birth control as if affects fertility, results in menstrual problems and reproductive disorders. You need to be soy free for 3 months before you normalise your LH and FSH again. Soy is also touted as a high protein food, but soy beans lack methionine, like all legumes and does not deliver a completed amino acid profile.
Should we eat soy?
If you are of Asian descent the use of a small amount of traditional soy may be warranted, however if you are of any other descent eating a little traditional soy such as going out to eat sushi will probably be quite enjoyable and will certainly not kill you if you do it infrequently, however AVOID PROCESSED SOY FOODS full stop – this includes tofu, soy milk, edemame, soy cheese, soy ice cream, textured vegetable protein and any food products containing any amount of soy.
For a more in depth analysis please read:
The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel from whom I have based this article.