By Judy Wein
Soy is one of the most highly debated topics in the nutrition community. As always, do your research. Below are some of the top documented reasons to avoid soy:
1. Soybeans contain large quantities of natural toxins or “anti-nutrients”. First among them are potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.
2. These inhibitors are not deactivated during cooking & processing. Test animals fed these inhibitors developed enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.
3. Soybeans also contain hemaglutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.
4. Over 90% of soy is genetically modified and is among the highest contamination by pesticides of any of our foods.
5. Soy products contain high levels of aluminum, leached from the aluminum tanks in which they are acid washed and processed at high temperatures. This is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
6. Nitrites, which are potent carcinogens, are formed during the spray-drying of soy.
7. Soy Protein Isolates have been shown to enlarge the pancreas and thyroid, and increase fatty acid deposits in the liver.
8. Soy contains toxic isoflavones.
9. Soy foods have a high concentration of goitrogens which block production of thyroid hormones.
10. High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
11. Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
12. Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
13. Soy phytoestrogens are potent anti-thyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
14. Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.
15. Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
16. Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
17. Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
18. Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
19. Infants exclusively fed soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day.
20. Non-Organic Soy is oftentimes processed using the toxic solvent hexane in the United States, coupled with genetic modification to make it even more damaging to your health.
Soy is actually listed in the FDA poisonous plant data base (click here to view the studies showing the toxic effects it can have on your health; especially when it’s GM and heavily processed as it is in so many packaged American foods).
Finally, as mentioned above it is worth noting that there are two sides to the soy story. Find out how one organic soy company is responding to those who say soy is harmful in this article.