By: Gleason Center Editors, Dr. Daniel Gleason DC
Yes, conventional, unfermented soy is bad for you. In fact, the health risks of eating soy based foods outweigh any potential benefits. Well over 90% of soy in the United States is now genetically modified and highly processed. Unfermented soy contains phytoestrogens and goitrogens which disrupt endocrine function and phytic acid which interferes with nutrient absorption. Organic, fermented soy is the safest and most beneficial way to enjoy this food.
The vast majority of soy today is genetically modified. Genetically modified soy has raised serious health concerns. The only published human study on GMOs verified that the gene inserted into genetically modified soy transfers into the DNA of our gut bacteria.
Soy contains plant sterols called phytoestrogens which have an estrogenic effect on the body. Phytoestrogens increase the risk and development of hormonal disorders, infertility, PCOS, endometriosis, breast and cervical cancer. Moderate amounts of soy in your diet may alter your menstrual cycle causing metrorrhagia.
The phytoestrogens in soy infant formula may irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated 5 birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day. Additionally, infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed other formulas.
Soy contains molecules called goitrogens which interfere with thyroid function. Goitrogens block the synthesis of specific thyroid hormones. They also interfere with iodine metabolism, a critical component of a healthy thyroid.
Soy contains phytates (phytic acid) which bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Most processed foods include ingredients derived from soy. We suggest eliminating soy from your diet by avoiding all processed foods and instead choosing fresh, whole foods. If you do choose processed foods for your family, check the label for soy. Soy is a top allergen and will be listed on the label if present.
Avoid these soy based foods:
You may be wondering if any soy is safe to enjoy. In fact, fermented soy has numerous health benefits and can be found in probiotic rich foods such as Natto, Tempeh, and Miso. These foods contain Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) which protects cardiovascular health, supports bone health, and improves your body’s regulation of calcium. The gut healthy bacteria in fermented soy also makes it easier to digest and increases the absorption of nutrients.
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