Most people assume
soy is a very healthy food because it is what most of
the mainstream media tells
us. Soy, soy flour and soy products are in almost
every packaged food today. But is soy really a healthy food for us? Based on the
holistic research we have done, we feel the
answer is "NO". This is an important question to ask because soy is everywhere
in processed foods today, even pet foods. You do not have to be a vegetarian or
health food "nut" who eats soy substitutes for dairy and meat, to have a lot of
soy in your diet. Soy is a hidden ingredient found in many processed foods. It
is used to extend fast food hamburgers, added to most supermarket breads and
found in many dry kibble pet foods, even the premium brands. You will find even
higher levels of it in the foods in health food stores, where it is promoted as
a heart-healthy, cancer-preventing, menopause-alleviating ingredient.
Sources that promote soy assert that Asians have eaten "tons of soy" for
millennia. If you search the Internet for "soybeans", you can find statements
such as "soybeans have been a major source of protein for people in Asia for
more than 5,000 years". However, according to the extensively
researched book, The Whole Soy Story: the dark side of America's favorite health food, by
Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, (this month's
Book of the Month),
the Chinese first started eating soybeans about 2,500 years ago, after they
figured out how to ferment it. Somehow, the ancient Chinese knew that soybeans
still contain many toxins after cooking and thus avoiding eating it until they
learned to neutralize those toxins through fermentation. And in traditional
Asian diets, soy is only used in small amounts as a condiment, with pork,
seafood and other animals providing the bulk of the protein. Only very recently
has soy been eaten the way we typically eat it, consuming large amounts in an
unfermented and often highly processed form. Soy was originally considered an
inedible plant, used to fix nitrogen in the soil. Even today you can find people
from farming families who remember that as the primary use of soy.
was first used in monasteries in China about 2,000 years ago, in part to promote
sexual abstinence, since the phytoestrogens in soy can lower testosterone levels
(so maybe there really is something to the saying that "real men don't eat
tofu"). Except in times of famine, tofu was only used as a condiment, with pork,
seafood and other forms of protein being preferred. The Japanese
probably started eating miso (which is fermented) about 1,500 years ago. Tempeh
(another fermented soy food) was not invented until after 1,000 AD when soy came
to Indonesia, and it was considered a food for the poor. Most Asians eat only
small amounts of fermented soy products (miso, tempeh or soy sauce) as a
condiment, and the Japanese typically combine it with fish broth and seaweed
that naturally contains iodine, helping offset the thyroid-suppressing effects
of soy. Soybean milk was never used historically by Asians to feed their
children and soy formula was not invented in China until 1928. The soy milk we
drink today is a highly processed food, full of the toxins that naturally occur
in soy as well as additives to make it palatable, and not the "health food" it
is promoted to be. If you can't tolerate pasturized cow's milk (which is also
not a healthy food), we suggest looking for a source of raw milk or even raw
goat's milk (as goat's milk is much easier to digest).
As Americans, we eat soy mostly in unfermented forms, made into various processed
imitation foods such as burgers, sausages, TVP chili, soymilk, soy cheese, and soy
ice cream, as well as consuming large amounts of "hidden" soy flour, protein and
oil in most processed foods.
So, what is the problem with eating all this soy?
Isn't soy good for us? Many doctors, including holistic doctor Andrew Weil,
promote it. Dr. Weil even partners with a pet food brand containing soy that is marketed as a high-end
super premium food, sold in health food stores and natural pet stores. Unfortunately, consumption of soy can create many health issues,
both in humans and animals.
Following are some of the major problems caused by soy, as described by the
Price Foundation on their website:
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.
Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause
pancreatic disorders. In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors
caused stunted growth.
Do you have
disease, Celiac's disease, gluten intolerance?
What all this scientific information boils down to is that soy can
really mess up your body and your health. To understand this in human terms, all you have to do is read some of the
stories of people whose health has been damaged by soy. You can find these
stories in the book
The Whole Soy
Story as well as the letters to the editor in nearly every edition of Wise
Traditions, the quarterly
journal published by the
Foundation. The Weston Price Foundation is actually considering filing a
class action lawsuit on behalf of the many people that have been harmed
physically and medically by soy. Following is a typical story, reported in
Whole Soy Story book from someone in Boulder, Colorado:
Do you have menopausal
symptoms, enlarged thyroid, hair falling out, low energy,
foregtfullness, lack of mental clarity or depression?
"I am a healthy 48-year-old woman. An avid runner, I have followed
primarily a vegetarian diet for over five years, and have always had excellent
blood chemistry results...Last year, however, I added something significant to
my regular diet of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains: soy products. I
followed the conventional wisdom that this would alleviate early menopausal
symptoms, keep my heart healthy, etc. I ate tofu daily, consumed soy milk in
abundance, snacked on soy nuts...and looked for soy isoflavones in my
supplements. Results: I now am facing surgery for a goiter (enlarged
thyroid)...I have symptoms of thyroid damage. My skin, nails, hair are all
suffering visibly. I have chest pain when I run. Worst of all my cholesterol has
risen from 137 to 210 in the last six months. A nonsmoking, non-drinking
vegetarian who eschews all dairy products simply cannot experience this kind of
change in less than six months without some external factor."
There are many more stories like this, telling of a myriad of health problems
caused by soy. An executive secretary in her 50's with thyroid problems tells of
how the hidden soy added to the bread she was eating caused such severe forgetfulness
that she couldn't perform her job. When she stopped eating soy, the mental
problems went away.
There are numerous problems caused by soy formulas fed to infants, including
difficulty digesting it,
lack of sufficient nutrients and toxins.
of the biggest problems is the hormonal disruption caused by the isoflavones in soy. Soy isoflavones
are phytoestrogens, which are plant-based estrogens that act like hormones.
There are enough of them in soy to cause severe disruption to the hormonal
systems of infants during a critical period in their hormonal development. The
effects are often not seen until later, when they enter puberty (sometimes
the phytoestrogens even cause early puberty).
The Whole Soy
Story cites a study with cheetahs at the Cincinnati Zoo that were failing
reproduce and suffering from liver disease. Part of the cause was found to be
the soy-protein portion of their feed. Cheetahs fed whole carcasses of beef,
chicken and other animals have no difficulty reproducing. Cats are particularly
susceptible to damage from soy, since they do not have the liver enzymes to
deactivate the phytoestrogens, however soy estrogens are a risk for all animals
and can be compared with taking DES (a synthetic estrogen given to promote
growth in animals). There are studies suggesting that
soy is playing a role in the current epidemic of infertility, menstrual and
other reproductive problems in humans.
If you are wondering why a plant would
contain a compound like phytoestrogens that can be damaging to animals, it is
actually an ingenious survival mechanism for the plant. Research has found that
plants produce more phytoestrogens in dry years. The animals eating the plant
would then have lower reproductive capacity, so there would be fewer animals
produced to eat up the plant and the plant could survive the drought. In wet
years, when the plant is growing more prolifically, they produce fewer phytoestrogens and therefore the animals eating them would reproduce in greater
How could something so bad for you be promoted as a health food, you may ask?
Like many other things, it's all about big business, marketing and profits. Even
the holistic doctors promoting soy usually benefit from it financially, in their
associations with companies that make foods containing soy. One has to assume
they are ignorant of the problems with soy or think them insignificant, as
evidenced by the fact that Christiane Northrup, M.D., promoter of the
high-isoflavone Revival soy products, was recently diagnosed as hypothyroid (soy
isoflavones suppress the thyroid). Growing and
processing soy is a big business. All the various components of soybeans are
highly processed to create the wide array of soy foods now on the market, as
well as adding soy components to many existing foods, like meats at fast food
restaurants. No part of the soybean is thrown away--every part of it is
processed into some type of food product for humans or animals. There is a huge profit to be made in selling all these soy
products. The soybean industry therefore puts a spin on the supposed health
benefits of soy and downplays the levels of toxins in them. For instance, soy is
promoted as helping alleviate the symptoms of menopause but there are numerous
studies showing that soy is no better than a placebo for this. Soybeans have
replaced indigenous crops in many countries around the world. According to
The Whole Soy Story, soybean farming has caused more loss of Amazon rainforest than
cattle ranching. So if you are eating your soy burgers to spare the rain forest,
you are actually causing more destruction of it.
for holistic gateway to Freedom From Illness.
There are so many health issues with soy that they cannot all be addressed in
this article. If you want to learn more, we suggest going to the Weston Price
website page on soy:
Soy Controversy or reading the
Whole Soy Story,
featured as our
Book of the Month. When buying pet foods, we suggest reading the
labels carefully and avoiding those that contain soy, especially soy protein
isolate, which is quite concentrated in soy toxins. You will find soy protein
isolate even in some premium brands of pet foods. We have also removed soy
from our own diets, except for the fermented products of soy sauce, miso and
tempeh and we look for products that have been slowly fermented over
time, to maximize the reduction of toxins in soy.
The problems with soy are so extensive that we could write a book on it.
Fortunately, we don't have to because Kaayla Daniel just did. The Whole Soy
Story is a book that needs to be in the hands of every human and animal
health care provider and nutritionist in America. This extensively researched
and footnoted book details the history of soy consumption in humans, how and why
soy foods became popular in America, the problems with how soy is processed
today (creating even more toxins) and the myriad of health problems caused by
the different types of soy that are now ubiquitous in our food supply. She cites
many scientific studies and explains how the soy industry has twisted the
results of scientific studies for marketing reasons, to make it appear that soy
is good for us. If you think soy is a health food, read this book and you will
emerge with a different point of view. The author of the book, Kaayla T. Daniel, is a certified nutritionist with a PhD in Nutritional Sciences
and a board member of the Weston Price Foundation.
I wish this book had been available four years ago when a prominent,
nationally-known environmental medicine doctor in Denver told me to take soy
isoflavones to reduce my breast cancer risk. I mentioned my concerns to him
about the toxicity of soy, which he dismissed as "nonsense from the Internet". I
said it came from the Weston Price Foundation and he responded that he had never
heard of them. Then he explained that Jonathan Wright, MD (a nationally-known
holistic doctor) recommended soy isoflavones for someone with lab results like
mine and that was good enough for him. (Fortunately for me, I did not follow the
doctor's recommendations and I never took soy isoflavones).
After that encounter, you can imagine my surprise when I opened The Whole
Soy Storyand read the following endorsement by the same Dr. Jonathan
"Our bodies are simply not designed or adapted to safely use and
metabolize more than very small quantities of any food, including soy, which is
not part of the original human diet. In The Whole Soy Story, Kaayla
Daniel ably explains the science showing that for the best long-term health, we
should consume soy and soy products sparingly, if at all."
The book contains a whole chapter on the problems with the phytoestrogens in
soy (including isoflavones). All I can say after reading it is "thank
God I never took soy isoflavones or received soy formula as an infant".
Run not walk to get this book
to find the true story on soy!
William Campbell Douglass, M.D. states "This is the most important
nutritional book of the decade" and I agree with him. You should run, not
walk, to get this book and find out the damage that soy can do to your health as
well as how to recognize the hidden soy found in most processed foods.
The least expensive place to purchase this book is from the website of
Tropical Traditions, who offers healthy foods and body care products, as
well as important health books such as this. They are currently offering the
book at a discounted price of $13.95 if ordered with a bottle
of virgin coconut oil (this offer may be for a limited time only). The book is also available at
Pet Empawrium in
Arvada, Colorado. You can find more information about the book and soy on Kaayla Daniel's
We encourage you to do your own research and determine what is
right for your body. You deserve more than just the elimination of
symptoms. You deserve total optimum wellness.
Do you suffer from low
testosterone levels, low sperm count. low sex drive, menopausal
symptoms, pancreatic disorder, IBD, Crohn's disease, Celiac's disease,
gluten intolerance, thyroid or
adrenal imbalance, any
disorder, low energy, forgetfulness,
lack of focus, depression or low
Vitamin B12 caused by soy?
Click the buttons below.
Nothing on this website has been evaluated by the FDA. This information
is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please
see a qualified healthcare practitioner for any disease or illness.