Soy Health Topic

Soy Health Topic

Non-fermented soy products contain phytic acid, which contains anti-nutritive properties.9 All beans do, however soybeans have higher levels of phytic acid than any other legume. Phytic acid may block the absorption of certain minerals. Soybeans also contain potent enzyme-inhibitors.1 Soy products contain hemaglutinin which promotes clumping of red blood cells.2 Compounds in soy, isoflavones, have been shown to have oestrogenic and anti-oestrogenic effects. They vie with a human oestrogen, oestradiol, to bind with the oestrogen receptors in cells.3 Soybeans, as provided by nature, are not suitable for human consumption.1 Fermented soy stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of isoflavones. The fermentation also creates probiotics – the "good" bacteria.9 Only after a long period of fermentation (as occurs in the creation of miso or tempeh) are the antinutrient and phytate levels of soybeans reduced.1

Note: Essense-of-Life.com encourages personal research and a balanced view of health and nutrition topics. The links below provide a broad overview of various research findings and hypothesis on the role of nutrition in health. This information is not intended to promote any particular product. Unless noted, the articles below do not include any scientific references.


Soy Nutrition Information

  1. Is Soy Healthy?

    Soy contains a natural chemical that mimics estrogen, the female hormone. Some studies in animals show that this chemical can alter sexual development. Soy critics point to the fact that soybeans, as provided by nature, are not suitable for human consumption. Only after fermentation for some time, or extensive processing, including chemical extractions and high temperatures, are the beans, or the soy protein isolate, suitable for digestion when eaten. Soybeans also reportedly contain an anti-nutrient called "phytic acid", which all beans do. However, soybeans have higher levels of phytic acid than any other legume. Phytic acid may block the absorption of certain minerals. Soybeans also contain potent enzyme-inhibitors. These inhibitors block uptake of trypsin and other enzymes which the body needs for protein digestion. Only after a long period of fermentation (as ocurs in the creation of miso or tempeh) are the antinutrient and phytate levels of soybeans reduced. A very large percentage of soy is genetically modified, and it also has one of the highest percentages contamination by pesticides.

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  2. Are Soy Products Dangerous?

    The authors trace the origin of the soy bean to the Orient, where it was apparently used during the Chou Dynasty (1134-246 BCE) as a crop rotation material, for its capacity of fixing nitrogen in the soil. Soy products did not serve as food until fermentation techniques were developed. Soy products contain hemaglutinin which promotes clumping of red blood cells. These clumped red cells are unable to fully take up oxygen and carry it in the blood stream to all tissues. Traditional fermented soy products have a long history of use that is generally beneficial when combined with other elements of the Oriental diet including rice, sea foods, fish broth and fermented vegetables. Precipitated (Western) soy products can cause serious problems, especially when they form the major source of protein in the diet.

  3. Soy, Wonder Food or Health Hazard?

    Soy protein isolates (SPIs) are processed differently from tofu and are used by the food industry as hidden bulking agents for many foods, including baby formulas. SPIs have been criticised for high aluminium levels because of the way that they are processed. Compounds in soy, isoflavones, have been shown to have oestrogenic and anti-oestrogenic effects. They vie with a human oestrogen, oestradiol, to bind with the oestrogen receptors in cells, but on binding they fail to stimulate a full oestrogenic response.

  4. Soy on Mercola.com

    Why soy can damage your health. A collection of article links.

  5. Spilling the Beans: The Trouble with Soy

    Soybeans were used as crop fertilizer and livestock feed. Knowing soy could be harmful raw, the resourceful Asians made an art out of fermenting techniques to make them digestible. Hence, miso and tempeh, the most edible forms of soy, are important arts in Asian history. "My intention was not to bash the soy industry but to make the public aware of what the Western version of soy contains, and that if they are not feeling like themselves, or are developing health issues, to try and eliminate soy and see if they don't feel better."

  6. Alternative Vegan: International Vegan Fare Straight From The Produce Aisle

    Author: Dino Sarma. Over 100 international vegan recipes without the use of tofu or other meat substitutes.

  7. The Hidden Dangers of Soy

    Author: Dianne Gregg. "I share my story, the pros, and the cons, including testimonials from others and how soy affected them. Read why vegans especially can be at risk."

  8. The Whole Soy Story

    Author: Kaala T. Daniel. "Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive problems, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, even heart disease and cancer."

  9. Soy Bad, Soy Good: The Pluses of Fermented Soy

    It's hard to avoid soy in processed foods. Nonfermented soy products contain phytic acid, which contains anti-nutritive properties. Phytic acid binds with certain nutrients, including iron, to inhibit their absorption. This is a direct, physical effect that takes place in the digestive system. Fermented soy stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of isoflavones. The fermentation also creates the probiotics – the "good" bacteria the body is absolutely dependent on. Many studies have shown traditionally fermented soy – which is the form that is very popular in many Asian cultures – aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases. Fermented soy products include natto, miso, tempeh, soy sauce, and fermented tofu and soymilk.

  10. Living with a Soy Allergy

    WebMD list of foods that contain soy and soy products. Some may surprise you.

  11. Soybean Oil: One of the Most Harmful Ingredients in Processed Foods

    Part of the problem with partially hydrogenated soybean oil is the trans fat it contains. Completely unnatural man-made fats created through the partial hydrogenation process cause dysfunction and chaos in your body on a cellular level, and studies have linked trans-fats to health problems ranging from obesity and diabetes to reproductive problems and heart disease.

  12. Soy and Breast Cancer - Research, Controversy and Your Diet

    Is soy healthy or risky for breast cancer patients and survivors? Do soy foods protect you from cancer, or do they hasten its development? Soy foods contain isoflavones (phytoestrogens). These isoflavones have powerful antioxidant properties, and may be able to prevent cell damage (oxidation) caused by free radicals. Soy isoflavones can act like weak estrogens, and may block estrogen receptors. But there may be a problem of "too much of a good thing." Just as an excess of natural estrogen may fuel the growth of a breast tumor, too much of the soy isoflavone genistein, in concentrated form in many over-the-counter nutritional supplements, may set the stage for tumor development.

Tags: soy, soy protein isolates, soy and thyroid, soy and phytoestrogens, soy and digestion, soy and enzymes, soy and hemaglutinin, fermented soy, soy processing methods, soy marketing, soybean oil, soy and isoflavones, soy and genistein

Statements on this website have NOT been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; research is ongoing. All third-party health topic links provided on this website are for information purposes only. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist about any health or nutrition-related questions you might have.

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