by Barbara Minton
December 1, 2014
Whether you call it soybeans
or edamame, the bottom line is the same:
should not be eaten by anyone pursuing good health.
By now, it's well known in the
natural health community that almost all soy is
modified, but what is not so well known is that instead of
contributing to nutrition,
soybeans and most of the products made from them may actually rob
the body of nutrients, destroy thyroid function, and cause
developmental problems in infants and children.
In the late 1990's, the FDA allowed the
soybean industry to make a
health claim about soybeans, and marketers jumped at the chance
to capitalize on the event. Since then, sales of soybeans have
skyrocketed, and an amazing array of products made with soy has
proliferated store shelves.
But contrary to popular belief, soy is
not a health food, and now is the time to get off the soy bandwagon. In their natural form, soybeans contain
that have negative effects on the human body.
anti-nutrients found in soy are,
All plants have some
anti-nutrient properties, but the soybean is especially rich in
If they aren't removed by extensive
preparation such as fermentation or soaking in the Chinese way of
making natto, tempeh or miso, soybeans are one of the worst foods a
person can eat.
While Americans have been consuming soy
products at record levels, research has linked a whole host of
health problems to soy consumption, including:
Unfermented soy consumption has
also been linked to:
In addition to the health conscious who
have been buying up soy products, the groups most at risk of
experiencing negative effects from soy appear to be infants fed soy
based formulas, vegetarians eating a high soy diet, and mid-life
women going heavy on the soy foods thinking they will help with
symptoms of menopause.
Phytates from Soy Rob the Body of Essential Minerals
All legumes contain phytate (also
known as phytic acid) to some extent, but the soybean
is loaded with it.
from unfermented soy products works in the gastrointestinal
tract to tightly bind minerals such as zinc, copper, iron,
magnesium, and calcium - one of the main reasons soy has
been linked to osteoporosis.
Pytate has a particularly strong
affinity for zinc,
a mineral that is critical in avoiding breast cancer while
supporting wound healing, protein synthesis, reproductive
health, nerve function, and brain development.
In most legumes such as other
varieties of beans, soaking is enough to break down most of the
phytate content. However, the soybean requires enzymes released
in the fermentation process to reduce its phytate content to the
point where it becomes fit for consumption.
Soy protein bars
Soy protein isolates,
all the other products made from soybeans and advertised as
health foods are not fermented and contain
levels of phytate.
These products are simply junk, and
not fit for human consumption.
Enzyme Inhibitors in Soy Cause Digestive Distress
When food is eaten, digestive
enzymes such as amylase, lipase, and
protease are secreted into the digestive tract to help
break it down and free nutrients for assimilation into the
The high content of enzyme
unfermented soybeans interferes with this process and makes
carbohydrates and proteins from soybeans impossible to
When foods are not completely
digested because of enzyme inhibitiors, bacteria in the large
intestine try to do the job, and this can cause discomfort,
bloating, and embarrassment.
Soybeans can Block Production of Thyroid Hormone
Soybeans have a high content of
goitrogens, substances that can block the production of
thyroid hormone as well as
cause goiter formation.
This is important because low
thyroid activity plagues women in America, particularly
Thyroid hormone stokes the cellular
furnaces known as mitochrondria. So
when thyroid production is low, energy levels as well as
body heat are also low. Low thyroid level is one cause of
elderly people moving so slowly. Low thyroid also means the
action of the heart is reduced, resulting in lack of oxygen to
an isoflavone found in soybeans,
block thyroid production, too. Phytate accentuates these
effects because it binds up zinc and copper, leaving little of
these critical minerals available to make thyroid hormone.
A transport protein called GLUT1
is shut down by genistein. This protein sends glucose into the
cells where it is used to generate energy. Slowing the transport
of glucose means less energy production for every other action
in the body.
Another way in which soy isoflavones
reduce energy is by inhibiting tyrosine kinases,
enzymes involved in the transfer of energy from one molecule to
These enzymes drive cellular
division, memory consolidation, tissue repair, and blood vessel
maintenance and regeneration.
The Benefits of Genistein Come at a High Cost
Women have been encouraged to use
high genistein soy products to alleviate symptoms of menopause
and as a guard against bone loss and breast cancer.
But given the full range of effects
genistein has in the body, this is a bad idea. Commercial
soybean products offer genistein levels as high as 20 to 60 mg
per serving. Asians are presented as an example of the benefits
of eating soybeans, and their incidence of breast cancer and
osteoporosis is low.
Asian diet of fermented
soybean products such as miso and tempeh includes only around 5
mg of genistein a day. Unfermented soy is not usually consumed.
Genistein slows the growth of
blood vessels to tumors, another action that makes it popular as
a cancer fighter. However, it has the same effect on blood
vessels serving normsal cells.
Eating a regular diet high in genistein can
result in the starvation of healthy blood cells, and a
reduction in their oxygen supply.
In the late 1990's
a study of 8,000 Asian men showed that those consuming the
highest amounts of tofu had smaller brain size and nearly three
times the rate of senile dementia as those who ate the lowest
With fermented soy foods, a little goes
a long way.
The nutrients found in fermented soy
products such as,
...can be beneficial in the
moderate amounts found in the typical Asian diet, but have the
potential to do harm in higher amounts.
In China and Japan, only about one ounce
of fermented soy food is eaten on a daily basis.
When fermented soy foods are used in
small amounts they help build the inner ecosystem, providing a
wealth of friendly microflora to the intestinal tract that can help
with digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and boost immunity.
Dr. John Lee, famed professor
from the Harvard Medical School and author of several books on
women's health, recommended that people wishing to
consume soy eat only miso, tempeh and natto.
Small amounts of tofu can also be eaten
but only in the Asian manner of accompanying it with high protein
and high mineral foods.