Let me start out by saying there is an endless feed of independently published human research on the value of soy foods, and soy isoflavones. The studies go back for decades, over one hundred going back over 40 years to 1970. If you start researching different diseases and conditions like cancers, menopause, prostate health, heart and artery disease, the studies on isoflavones helping and in some cases reversing these conditions are overwhelming. Studies from clinics around the world in major medical journals kept finding new or confirmed benefits for soy supplementation.
Articles were published in the Journal of Nutrition (v 131, 2001 and v 132, 2002) on the value of soy isoflavones for heart and artery health. In the first study, 208 women were studied. The doctors concluded, "These data suggest a protective role for dietary soy intake against CVD in post-menopausal women." The women with the highest intake of isoflavones had lower body mass indexes, lower body fat, smaller waists, and much lower insulin levels. High insulin leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and other illnesses. Read the two insulin articles. The second study was from the famous Framingham Study. Here doctors studied 939 women. "High intake of phytoestrogens in postmenopausal women appears to be associated with a favorable metabolic, cardiovascular risk profile."
First, let's look at some of the anti-soy propaganda. The claim is made that Asians really don't eat much soy after all. That's ridiculous, as anyone will tell you who has visited Japan, China, Viet Nam, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and other countries. They have been eating soy for centuries. A wide variety of soy foods has been an essential part of their culture. The Okinawans are the healthiest and longest-lived people on earth. They eat an astounding 12% of soy foods in the daily diet. Who is the second longest living and healthiest? The Japanese and they eat a lot of soyfoods. So do the Taiwanese, Vietnamese, and other cultures. Billions of Asian people over the last 100 years are indisputable proof soy is good food. This is inarguable proof of how healthy soy foods are.
Two articles were published in the Journal of Nutrition (v 131, 2001 and v 132, 2002) on the value of soy isoflavones for heart and artery health. In the first study, 208 women were studied. The doctors concluded, "These data suggest a protective role for dietary soy intake against CVD in post-menopausal women." The women with the highest intake of isoflavones had lower body mass indexes, lower body fat, smaller waists, and much lower insulin levels. High insulin leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and other illnesses. Read the two insulin articles. The second study was from the famous Framingham Study. Here doctors studied 939 women. "High intake of in soy isoflavones in postmenopausal women appears to be associated with a favorable metabolic, cardiovascular risk profile."
Let's take a look at cholesterol, for example. There have been so many studies published on the value of soy supplementation for lowering total cholesterol and LDL (the bad kind) cholesterol you can hardly count them. Soy added to the diet also raises HDL (the good kind) cholesterol levels. All this without any change in diet or exercise. When soy supplements are added to a better diet and lifestyle changes, the benefits are even more dramatic. How can soy improve your blood lipids so powerfully if it is "dangerous"? Doesn't make sense, does it?
What is the most significant killer disease all over the world? Coronary heart and artery disease by far. The Framingham Study is the largest and longest ongoing CHD study of all. This study concluded, “high intake of phytoestrogens in postmenopausal women appears to be associated with a favorable metabolic, cardiovascular risk profile.” In fact, they found a massive 34% difference in CHD disease between women with low soy intake and high soy intake. 34% folks.
Here is a significant fact you need to embrace, Soy is not a “phytoestrogen” as it is completely and totally unrelated to any kind of estrogen. Hormones only exist in animals and not plants. Soy has Isoflavones which are PLANT PIGMENTS, not phytoestrogens. Our estrogen receptors will not accept soy isoflavones. No one else on earth is telling you that there is no such thing as "phytoestrogens"... but now you know.
A lot of the anti-soy hysteria is coming from places like the America Dairy Association (ADA), who obviously wants you to keep drinking lots of milk. When you trace back the negative studies, as I have done you will find this nasty little connection, most roads lead back to the ADA. Shame, shame... Mooo, Mooo. Furthermore, eating meat and exposing oneself to endocrine disruptors in the environment are the primary contributors to feminization.
Interestingly enough, drinking beer with hops is one of the strongest sources of feminization. Hops contain 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN), which binds to alpha receptors that are responsible for triggering cell growth in tissues affected. Conversely, soy binds to beta receptors that are responsible for retarding the cell growth response. In other words, soy has anti-growth effects whereas hops tell tissues to grow. This is one reason why heavy beer drinking men develop so-called man-boobs, gynecomastia. I say, very interesting, don't you think?
Now listen, all is not rainbows and sunshine for us soy users (#soyboy), no far from it my tofu friend. You see soy is a significant cash crop in this country and it is grown in massive amounts to feed livestock. Yup, your steak burger was raised on soy but not the friendly healthy type, no instead this is GMO (genetically modified) and grown with many nasty chemicals to produce optimal yields. Hmm, consider that the ADA is telling you not to eat or drink soy products, but it is buying these same products, the heavily poisoned, GMO version and feeding it to the animals they are selling you to eat and drink (cows milk). Now that's screwed up! Isn't it? You cannot make this stuff up people, it's that unbelievable.
So first make sure all your soy foods are marked “organic” or “non-GMO”, so you avoid GMO soy. Personally I enjoy organic plain soy milk and Tempeh almost daily, and by the way, I have full blood work done twice a year, and my hormone levels are perfectly balanced, in fact, my estradiol is <5 (which is actually very low), so no man boobs in my future. Of course, I also do not drink beer... just saying.
Since I started eating organic soy products my LDL cholesterol have come way down and my HDL cholesterol has come up. This is a good thing. Also, my blood pressure has come under control without medications (I tend to run a hypertension profile), and all my numbers show I am much more healthy. Of course, I am not eating as much red meat and other animal products because of the soy substitution so all these are considered factors, like the fact I am drinking green tea and not coffee, etc...
Still the overall vibe for soy is positive, and I am always recommending it to patients, as long as they do not have adverse reactions to it. You see there is not one size fits all, and I acknowledge some people just don't do well on soy... or dairy, or fish or nuts. So as always, we have to make smart decisions based on our individual biochemistry, but when you hear that eating soy causes terrible illness like thyroid conditions, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, pancreatic problems, endocrine disorders, brain dysfunction, and even various cancers, this is too ridiculous to comment on. Too many people, however, take such ravings seriously. When you try to find proof of these allegations, they start to evaporate. If you actually hunt down any of these so-called "studies" and look at them in detail, you'll see they have no validity at all.
If you want to improve your health, just drink soy milk and use it in cooking or you can take a 40 mg isoflavone capsule daily. This will benefit you in ways we haven't even discovered yet. New studies are being done all the time in clinics around the world. Soy is good stuff, science has proven it and now you know.
SOME SOY RESEARCH:
Phytoestrogens and Disease: http://tinyurl.com/hfxu23q
Phytoestrogens and Heart Disease: http://tinyurl.com/zg2nh7a
Phytoestrogen and Kidney Disease: http://tinyurl.com/jtwyanb
High soy can result in 59% less breast cancer study: http://tinyurl.com/j8ywsra
Soy yields 13% lower LDL/Bad Cholesterol Study: http://tinyurl.com/hhf4weq
Soy and Men Hormones Study: http://tinyurl.com/hsu4wqk
Meta-analysis on men, soy and phytoestrogen extracts: http://tinyurl.com/ja5s9k2
30-50% of men get manboobs: http://tinyurl.com/zb58cbs
Phytoestrogen content of various foods: http://tinyurl.com/z3kpvsw
220 women over 2 years soy study: http://tinyurl.com/z4tbb7d
Meta-analysis on 47 studies no estrogen change: http://tinyurl.com/hsm6ctb
Soy Men Review/Final Quote on Soy being fine for men: http://tinyurl.com/zwddamh
LONG DISTANCE PATIENTS
Today there are so many people offering advice on the internet it is hard to make the right choices concerning your health, so you must be cautious. It is very difficult to recommend diet and nutritional support (whole food concentrates and herbs) without a detailed case history. Many symptoms can be caused by different conditions and so it is not a simple case of take this for that. Also, anything that has the potential to heal equally has the possibility of making you sick, so you must be very careful. While there is no guarantee, I find that it is possible to help patients who are not able to present in my clinic for a physical exam if I can get a good health history form them. Its not perfect but it really increases positive outcomes. If you are unable to schedule a clinical visit with me in Fort Myers, please fill out the 3 forms below (click to download) and email them to me at email@example.com, I will review your information and usually correspond, via email with a few other questions or comments before sending you my final recommendations. This gets you a professional evaluation and recommendation concerning your health concerns and also registers you with my clinic as a long distance patient, allowing you to purchase supplements and herbs at our patient discount plus free shipping over $100.
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Dr. Stephen Stokes interests include innate healing, Taoism, and food.