I started eating soy instead of meat, and i also started drinking soy milk and drinks based on soy instead of cow milk, some specialists say it's healthier. But which are the real benefits and disadvantages of soy in nutrition?
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Let's consider soy's affects on T production first. The ability of soy protein to decrease Testosterone levels has been well demonstrated. One study displayed a 76% reduction of Testosterone production in men, after ingestion of soy protein over a brief period of time.(4) In yet another study, an inverse association was found between soy protein intake and Testosterone levels in Japanese men.(5)
Finally, in yet another study, using healthy adult males, a diet containing soy was compared to a diet that consisted of meat protein in terms of sex hormone concentrations. Well, after evaluation, Testosterone levels were significantly lower in the soy diet. Not only this, but the estimated amount of free Testosterone was 7% lower after the soy diet as well.(6)
4.Zhong, et al. "Effects of dietary supplement of soy protein isolate and low fat diet on prostate cancer." FASEB J 2000;14(4):a531.11
5.Nagata C, et al. "Inverse association of soy product intake with serum androgen and estrogen concentrations in Japanese men." Nutr Cancer 2000;36(1):14-8.
6.Habito RC, et al. "Effects of replacing meat with soyabean in the diet on sex hormone concentrations in healthy adult males." Br J Nutr 2000 Oct;84(4):557-63
Scientists Protest Soy Approval in Unusual Letter
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH and HUMAN SERVICES Public Health Service Food and Drug Administration National Center For Toxicological Research Jefferson, Ark. 72079-9502 Daniel M. Sheehan, Ph.D. Director, Estrogen Base Program Division of Genetic and Reproductive Toxicology and Daniel R. Doerge, Ph.D. Division of Biochemical Toxicology February 18, 1999 Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305) Food and Drug Administration Rockville, MD 20852
To whom it may concern,
We are writing in reference to Docket # 98P-0683; "Food Labeling: Health Claims; Soy Protein and Coronary Heart Disease." We oppose this health claim because there is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones found in soy, including genistein and equol, a metabolize of daidzen, demonstrate toxicity in estrogen sensitive tissues and in the thyroid. This is true for a number of species, including humans.............and we subsequently have found 31 dose-response curves for hormone-mimicking chemicals that also fail to show a threshold (Sheehan, 1998a)...............Our conclusions are that no dose is without risk; the extent of risk is simply a function of dose. These two features support and extend the conclusion that it is inappropriate to allow health claims for soy protein isolate................. and provides evidence that soy (tofu) phytoestrogens causes vascular dementia.........While isoflavones may have beneficial effects at some ages or circumstances, this cannot be assumed to be true at all ages. Isoflavones are like other estrogens in that they are two-edged swords, conferring both benefits and risk (Sheehan and Medlock, 1995; Sheehan, 1997)............... Estrogenic and goitrogenic drugs are regulated by FDA, and are taken under a physician's care. Patients are informed of risks, and are monitored by their physicians for evidence of toxicity. There are no similar safeguards in place for foods, so the public will be put at potential risk from soy isoflavones in soy protein isolate without adequate warning and information.
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