Soy Products aren’t the Culprit… Your INGESTING more ESTROGEN than you think!

A dear friend of mine, who happens to be a cancer survivor, loves soy lattes, yet is afraid to indulge. Why? . Like many cancer survivors, she worries that the phytoestrogens will fuel tumour growth. . It’s not just cancer survivors that fear soy. Women worry it will cause breast cancer or reproductive issues, while men worry about ‘man boobs’ or lower sperm count. Others don’t know exactly what they fear but would rather “play it safe”. . My latest article tells the story of soyaphobia including a deep dive into the science. This story also provides insights into the pitfalls of science and its communication to the public. By the end of the story, I hope you will join me in fearlessly embracing this fabulous food. . My family and I enjoy 1 to 3 servings of soy based foods per day - usually soy milk, tofu and edamame. . . . #fueledbyscience #foodfears #foodsafety #soy #phytoestrogens #soya #soyalovers #eatyourveggies #plantpower #healthychoices #plantbasednutrition #foodfacts #soyissafe #goscience

 

“Soy will give me man boobs.”  “Soy is going to give me cancer.”

Have you thought these yourself? Have you ever actually looked at scientific studies proving this?

Soy can be GMO, just as many other fillers in your diet. Soy fillers that contain GMO are bad, just like GMO fillers are bad in the fast food burger you had last weekend. Soy is significantly less likely to give you cancer than the colored dye in your bag of potato chips or the pesticides from the raspberries you never washed.  

Tofu and tempeh with a GMO and organic label are what most vegetarians consume and contain many health nutrients such as: calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C and zinc. Even though tofu and tempeh are great to add to your diet. This article is NOT intend to tell you a vegetarian diet is better than a meat one. It’s to show you the misconceptions about soy, estrogen, phytoestrogen and the need to learn about what’s in our food. 

SOY GIVES YOU MAN BOOBS AND CANCER

The soy gives you man boobs myth is still circulated around today. This most likely stems from the confusion between estrogen and phytoestrogen. Also the misconception about what type of soy products a lot of these studies are on. 

This study is just one of many, that proves soy does not cause an increase in estrogen in men. https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(10)00368-7/abstract

Soy does not contain estrogen; however, animal foods do. Both animal flesh and cows milk contain their own naturally occurring estrogen, even if it is grass fed and organic. Estrogen is also found in our tap water especially with the rise of women on birth control pills. 

Just because you avoid soy doesn’t mean you’re avoiding phytoestrogens that are found in dairy, meat, eggs and many other foods listed bellow. Phytoestrogens contain isoflavenoids which are  found in soy, meat, eggs and bind to alpha and beta receptors in the body. Isoflavenoids may bind to receptors and have an estrogen mimicking effect but its important to know it is very weak. It raises hormonal estrogen very little and for most people not at all. Phytoestrogens are also a source of antioxidants when it comes from beans, legumes and other whole food sources. The antioxidants are beneficial as they can remove free radicals before they cause gene mutation. These foods, including soy, have demonstrated a protective benefit against hormone dependent cancer cells in some studies. Harvard studies even showed soy to be beneficial in improving risk of prostate cancer in men by 25%. Overall, eating clean whole food sources of soy and other phytoestrogens are safe and healthy to include in your diet.

 

WHAT OTHER FOODS CONTAIN PHYTOESTROGENS? 

  • Soybeans and soy products 
  • Flaxseeds
  • Oats 
  • Barley
  • Lentils
  • Sesame seeds
  • Yams
  • Alfalfa
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Pomegranates
  • Wheat germ
  • Coffee
  • Licorice root
  • Bourbon
  • Beer

Male Athletes Who Eat Soy / VEGAN

Callee Alexander, NINJA WARRIOR

Bryant Jenning, BOXER

Torri Washington, PRO BODYBUILDER

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WHAT PEOPLE FORGET TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION

Studies have shown that phytoestrogens can have different affects on different people. However, where are the studies that compare phytoestrogens affects on people who are able to eliminate estrogen efficiently? Estrogen binds to bile to get eliminated from the body. Which means a proper functioning colon and liver are needed, a high fibre diet, healthy fats and water are required. Studies need to account for how well our bodies are able to have bowel movements and eliminate not only estrogen but other hormones and toxins efficiently. 

It’s also important when reviewing each study to look into what type of soy product they are using. Are they studying the effects of a whole food source of GMO free tofu or are they studying the soy filler in sauces and cereal? 

 

WHAT THE REAL CULPRIT IS! XENOESTROGENS 

This is one of the main reasons people get confused about how estrogen can affect the body. Negative estrogen comes from outside sources and not from phytoestrogens which comes from whole foods. This misunderstanding is why soy gets a bad rap and all the negative affects associated with it.

Image result for xenoestrogen

TIME TO TAKE CHARGE

To sum this up, make it a goal to take charge of your own health and well being. Take the time to learn about what’s really in your food:

  • Why is organic chicken really that much more expensive?
  • How much pesticides are in the fruit you eat and how do they actually affect your health?
  • Is the tap water we are drinking actually safe long term? 

And do your best to ensure your body is eliminating xenoestrogens efficiently. Stay tuned for a follow up article on how you can do this!

And for the last time, soy is NOT going to give you man boobs or develop female characteristics! 

Image result for xenoestrogens causing estrogen dominance

Click to see harvard study on Breast Cancer and Soy:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/soy/

Disclosure: I am not a doctor and I am not in the health field. All information has come from articles and studies. Please discuss the topic with you doctor if you have cancer or are at risk of cancer.

 

References:

https://veganliftz.com/is-soy-bad-for-men/

https://freefromharm.org/health-nutrition/vegan-doctor-addresses-soy-myths-and-misinformation/

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1345/aph.10257

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/soy/

https://www.mylabfax.com/post/soy-and-testosterone-harmful-to-men-or-just-a-myth

https://draxe.com/phytoestrogens/

https://slideplayer.com/slide/11303179/

https://www.picbear.org/media/Bwyx89tB_8L

https://draxe.com/phytoestrogens/

https://www.greatveganathletes.com/all-athletes/

https://womeninbalance.org/2012/10/26/xenoestrogens-what-are-they-how-to-avoid-them/

https://health.bastyr.edu/news/health-tips/2018/02/debunking-three-myths-about-soy

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/89/4/1155/4596781 (25% reduction in prostate cancer study)

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