The Dangers of Soy

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    • The Dangers of Soy

      Making this thread to explain why I chose to avoid soy.


      Confused About Soy?

      * 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.
      * Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
      * Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
      * Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body's requirement for B12.
      * Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.
      * Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
      * Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
      * Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
      * Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.

      Comes from this site which has many articles on the topic:

      ABC News:

      Also a site here with many links:

      Lack of Joy with Soy

      If you do a search in google 'dangers of soy' you will get a ton more aswell!
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • On the topic of soy, now that I am pregnant and need to raise my carb intake a tad (and watch what I eat more) I have been looking around at all the run of the mill breads and rolls in the supermarket.

      Holy crap so far they all contain soy :rolleyes:

      I wouldn't have checked them all out yet but so far not good :mad:
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

      Let me know if you think of anything else handy from the site to put here.
    • They hailed it as a wonderfood.

      They hailed it as a wonderfood.

      Soya not only destroys forests and small farmers - it can also be bad for your health,3858,5054093-108294,00.html

      Anthony Barnett
      Sunday November 7, 2004

      The Observer
      On a crisp winter morning in Belfast, Dr Lorraine Anderson was nearing the end of her doctorate research project. She had spent weeks hunched over a microscope looking at samples of sperm. Anderson was trying to figure out what made some sperm move slower than others. As a specialist in reproductive medicine at Belfast's Royal Maternity Hospital she was particularly interested in why some samples moved so sluggishly that they would have trouble reaching and fertilising an egg. Anderson knew that a sperm's 'motility' was one of the critical factors in fertility. 'It doesn't matter how many sperm a man's got; if they can't get from A to B then there's little chance of reproduction,' she says.

      Anderson's 'eureka' moment arrived when a complex analysis of the samples she was working on revealed that the seminal liquid surrounding the slower-moving sperm contained chemicals called isoflavones. These compounds are also known as phyto-oestrogens or plant-oestrogens because they mimic oestrogen, the powerful female hormone.

      These highly active compounds are found in large concentrations in soya. Indeed such are the doses of these chemicals, a woman drinking two glasses of soya milk a day over the course of a month will see the timing of her menstrual cycle alter. It has been estimated that infants who are fed soya formula exclusively receive an amount of oestrogen equivalent to five birth control pills every day.

      For a growing number of scientists the question is this: if such a strong biologically active compound is found in soya, what is its effect on humans regularly eating or drinking products made from the bean?

      In recent years the food industry has wasted no time in extolling soya's alleged health benefits, claiming it can lower cholesterol, help with menopausal systems, ward off osteoporosis and even reduce the risks of some cancers. However, aside from research linking soya to reduced male fertility, studies now link the phyto-oestrogens found in the plant to an increased risk of other types of cancer. It has also been claimed that it damages brain function in men and causes hidden developmental abnormalities in infants. Some even attribute the early onset of puberty in western women to the spread of soya in diets.

      Certainly, Dr Anderson has no doubt about the conclusions of her own research: the more soya a man eats, she believes, the more difficulty he will have in fertilising an egg. Anderson's head of department, Professor Neil McClure, is one of Britain's leading fertility experts and he is already acting on the results. 'If a couple were having trouble conceiving and the man's sperm was a borderline case, then I have seen enough evidence from these studies to advise a change in his diet to minimise soya.'

      But this is much easier said than done. Today, soya is no longer just the preserve of the vegetarian or the Asian food junkie but is an invisible ingredient in nearly everything we eat, from pork pies and breakfast cereals to mayonnaise and margarines. Soya is used to 'bulk out' and bind many processed foods, such as sausages, lasagne, beefburgers and chicken nuggets and it allows food firms to claim a higher protein content on the label. Some research estimates that soya is present in more than 70 per cent of all supermarket products and widely used by most fast food chains. The reason for its rapid rise in popularity is that it is both a very cheap source of protein and - when crushed - a source of high-quality vegetable oil.

      No fragment of the bean is wasted. Even the husk is used as a source of fibre in breads, cereals and snacks. The oil extracted from soya is the most consumed vegetable oil in the world, and is used in margarines, salad dressings and cooking oils. Food labels will simply list soya oil as vegetable oil.

      During the oil extraction, the bean also produces a substance called lecithin. This is a valuable emulsifier that helps fat mix with water. It is a critical ingredient of the baking and confectionery worlds, as it prevents ingredients in food from separating. So the food labels of many of our favourite chocolate bars, biscuits and cakes will list lecithin as an ingredient without linking it to soya.

      Of course, it is not just the 'invisible' market in soya that has enjoyed rapid growth. Soya milk is one of the success stories of the last few years. Sales have rocketed by 20 per cent per annum and it is now one of the fastest growing drinks in the country. Starbucks now offers frothed up soya milk with its cappuccinos and supermarkets have invested in their own brands.

      For those who suffer a strong allergic reaction to cow's milk or follow a vegan diet, soya milk has always been an important option. But others drink it as a less fattening alternative to cow's milk. What they don't realise is that it also gives them an injection of a chemical that mimics oestrogen. One industry source admitted that the breakthrough for soya milk came when retailers were persuaded to put soya milk into the chilled cabinet, giving it the illusion of being a fresh product. Some soya milk adverts tell the reader to look for it in the fresh food section. In reality, soya milk is no more than bean juice with some added flavouring to make it more palatable.

      As well as the growth in popularity of soya products for direct human consumption, some 90 per cent of the 200 million tonnes of soya produced around the world each year is used to feed animals. Whether it's beef, lamb, bacon or processed chicken, it is highly likely that the meat comes from an animal reared on a diet based on soya meal. In some parts of the world, soya has long been a small part of animal diets, but after the BSE crisis revealed the problems of feeding cattle with animal parts, the soya alternative was taken up with gusto.So when you eat a piece of meat, the chances are you are also consuming some soya as well.

      Towering proud like a church steeple, the 200ft-tall silver silo in the Argentinian town of Las Lajitas, shines in the South American sun. These huge storage silos, filled with dried soya beans have become the new temples of Argentina. Today's plantation owners listen to a gospel preached by US biotech corporation Monsanto.

      Located more than 1,000 miles north west of Buenos Aires and close to the Chilean and Bolivian borders, Las Lajitas is the agricultural capital of a region that has seen untrammelled expansion in soya production. Where only a few years ago thick native forests filled the landscape, now all that stands between Las Lajitas and the Andes shimmering on the horizon are green pastures sprouting soya.

      Satellite photos of the region show the dramatic change. Only 15 years ago the area appeared from space as a lush green carpet, now it resembles a threadbare rug covered with the spreading stains of soya plantations. The figures speak for themselves: in 1971 soya was only farmed on 37,000 hectares; now the area covered is more than 14m hectares and rising. Soya now occupies more land in Argentina than all other crops added together, covering more than half the country's arable land. It is predicted that 10,000 hectares of forest is being lost every year - the equivalent of 20 football fields an hour. If this continues, in five years' time the country's native forests will disappear completely.

      It is a scenario that is troubling conservationists. 'This is a precious habitat that is home to many rare animals and plants. We are in danger of losing it all in a race to feed European and Chinese chickens.,' says Emiliano Ezcurra of Greenpeace. 'How many jaguars and toucans will have to be killed to feed Danish pigs?'

      But the campaigners are up against some of the world's most powerful corporations who now control the market in soya. In the mid-Nineties, with Argentina facing an economic crisis, Monsanto stepped in with an offer of salvation. Its message: plant our genetically modified Roundup Ready soya beans that are much easier to grow than conventional soya and the money will flow in. And so it happened. For the lucky few it has indeed been a godsend. A handful of soya barons are making handsome profits and the government of Argentina is enjoying improved tax revenues from exporting their soya to Europe and China.

      But for many others, the drive to cover every spare hectare with soya comes at a high price. More than 200 miles north of Las Lajitas is the small rural Argentinian village of Pizarro. Carlo Odonez and his family run the main store. He was made redundant from the country's largest oil company a few years back and, with his payoff, brought his family to Pizarro with the dream of being an organic beekeeper. Yet all around the village, protected forest - where he hoped to keep his hives - is being destroyed to plant soya. The community of peasant farmers that has lived off this land for generations rearing cattle, pigs and chickens as well as producing cheese will soon be forced from their homes with nowhere to go.

      'Nobody can see a future in staying here,' says Odonez, as he explains how the loss of trees will lead to flooding and changes in the local climate. Local people are also afraid of the mists of chemicals they have heard are sprayed on the soya.

      'We hear many stories from other communities who have lived near the soya plantations,' said Odonez. 'Some say they have become ill from breathing in the chemicals they spray. Also we hear some have skin diseases.'

      Worst hit by the land clearances are the indigenous tribes that have lived for thousands of years in the forests. The Wichi people are an aboriginal group who still rely on a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. They use their dogs to hunt wild boar in the forests and collect four different types of honey from hollows in the trees. They make baskets and bags from local plants and use forest flora as a source of traditional medicine to cure their sick. Now they face extinction as their tribal lands are ripped apart.

      A mile from one of their encampments the latest deforestation is occurring. Giant bulldozers linked together with huge metal chains drive through the forests literally tearing up everything in their path. The felled timber and leaves are piled high in 1km rows as far as the eye can see, ready to be set alight. It is hard for these people to understand the destruction of a habitat they have lived in harmony with for so long. 'Why is the white man destroying our lands?' asks one of the tribal chiefs. It is difficult to explain that it's to be used to feed animals in Europe and China.

      If Argentina's soya revolution brought local economic benefits, perhaps there would be less hostility. But the genius of Monsanto's Roundup Ready soya is that it allows the crop to be farmed intensively with minimal labour. Only one worker is needed for every 400 hectares compared to more than 70 on a traditional citrus farm. By inserting a special gene into the plant's DNA, Monsanto's scientists discovered they could make it immune to a very powerful herbicide called glyphosate. Farmers can then spray this over their crops once or twice a year and everything but the soya is exterminated leaving the soya to grow vigorously with highly profitable yields and little maintenance. So more than 300,000 farmworkers have lost their jobs. Most head towards the big cities like Buenos Aires or Salta to find work, but with few skills they end up unemployed and homeless.

      The story of the soya boom in South America, is not just limited to the GM revolution in Argentina. While other countries have not embraced Monsanto's beans with such gusto, such is the rush to cash in on the green gold that similar scenarios are being played out in Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. The marketing men have even dubbed the region the Republic of Soya.

      For Brazil the environmental consequences of non-GM soya have been as dramatic as in Argentina. Newly released satellite imaging data has revealed a 40 per cent jump in deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforests. The massive leap is the worst acceleration in the loss of tropical jungle since 1995, with much of the destruction being blamed on the illegal logging of land for soya production.

      Unlike Argentina, the majority of soya crops grown in Brazil are GM-free, although parts of southern Brazil are becoming contaminated with transgenic plants as farmers smuggle Monsanto seeds across the borders in the belief that they are more lucrative.

      In September, the World Wide Fund for Nature published a detailed report on the impact of soya expansion in South America. It makes depressing reading. The WWF calculates that nearly 22 million hectares of forests and savannah in South America - an area about the size of Great Britain - will have been wiped out by 2020. It says the crop has triggered soil erosion, siltation of waterways, widespread use of toxic chemicals and pesticides and road building through some of the world's most delicate habitats.

      On the main road heading out of Las Lajitas, the slogan emblazoned on the giant advertising billboard reads ' mejor agriculture, mejor futuro ' which translates as 'better farming, better future'. For many of the people in South America, it is a promise that rings hollow.

      'Inside the soya bean you'll find the power to feed a family and feed the world. You'll find the ability to improve health and combat diseases. You'll find a unique combination of properties that makes the soya bean as important to animal nutrition and industry as it is to human health. In short, you'd find the magic in the magic bean.'

      This is the world according to a brochure published by US multinational Archer Daniel Midlands, one of the handful of corporations along with Monsanto that today controls the multi-billion dollar soya industry. Others include Cargill, Bunge and Louis Dreyfuss.

      Every weekday morning at 8.30am the bell rings at the Chicago Board of Trade to announce the beginning of the day's action. Dozens of brokers, wearing their famous bright-coloured jackets,wave their arms in a frenzy, trying to make big bucks for their investment clients on guessing what will be the future price of soya.

      Today soya is traded as an international commodity, just like oil or gold. Depending on estimates of weather patterns, demand for animal food or general geopolitical pressures the price will rise or fall. By the end of the day millions will have been made or lost on these minute fluctuations.

      With so many commercial interests dependent on the continued appetite for soya across the globe, those few telling a different story face an uphill struggle in getting their voice heard.

      Perhaps the most graphic illustration of this was in the US three years ago. After a huge lobbying effort from the soya industry, the US Food and Drug Administration agreed to issue a health claim that eating 25g of soya protein a day can help lower cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of heart disease. This was a view later backed by Britain's Food Standards Agency.

      With heart disease one of the biggest killers in the West, this is clearly a major benefit for soya and has allowed many food companies to stamp labels on soya products claiming they help reduce cholesterol. In such a health and diet-obsessed culture this has been a big boost for the soya industry. However, it is very difficult for any individual to eat the necessary 25g a day of soya - this is equivalent to five soya yoghurts or three large glasses of soya milk.

      Yet for two senior food scientists who worked within the US Food and Drug Administration, the official backing of the health claim - which ignored the impact of plant-oestrogens in soya - was potentially dangerous. In a highly unusual move Dr Daniel Sheehan and Dr Daniel Doerge wrote a letter of protest to the department of Health and Human Services at the FDA denouncing the claim, concerned that the problems of soya consumption were being ignored.

      An extract from their letter seen by Observer Food Monthly states: 'We oppose this health claim because there is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones [phytoestrogens] found in soy demonstrate toxicity in oestrogen-sensitive tissues and in the thyroid. This is true for a number of species, including humans. Additionally, the adverse effects in humans occur in several tissues and, apparently, by several distinct mechanisms...Thus, during pregnancy in humans, isoflavones per se could be a risk factor for abnormal brain and reproductive tract development.'

      It added: 'There exists a significant body of animal data that demonstrates goitrogenic [effect on the thyroid gland] and even carcinogenic effects of soy products.'

      Sheehan was particularly concerned about the increasing number of babies been weaned on soya infant formula. 'We are doing a large uncontrolled and unmonitored experiment on human infants,' he said.

      OFM contacted the scientists but was told they are not allowed to comment publicly on the health risks of soya. Doerge suggested speaking to another expert Dr Bill Helferich, a professor of food at the University of Illinois who has discovered a possible link between the growth of certain breast cancer tumours that require oestrogen and the chemicals found in soya. Helferich was unwilling to comment on whether a woman at risk of such a cancer should stop eating soya products. But, when asked what the health implications were of increasing amounts of soya in the Western diet, he told OFM : 'It's like roulette. We just don't know.'

      It is not just across the Atlantic that the increased consumption of soya has concerned authorities. In Britain, the Food Standards Agency commissioned a report from its Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food to look at the issue. Published in May 2003, and titled Phytoestrogens and Health, the cover of this 400-page tome is illustrated with a soya plant.

      In its introduction the report states: 'In 1940 adverse effects on fertility were observed in animals that had been graz ing on phytoestrogen-rich plants. In the early 1980s it became clear that phytoestrogens could produce biological effects in humans.'

      What follows is a highly complex and comprehensive analysis of every scientific study ever carried out on the subject of plant oestrogens. The scope is immense: interaction with immune systems, central nervous systems, thyroid glands and cardiovascular systems. It analyses evidence for and against the impact of these soya chemicals on breast cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer.

      The findings are inconclusive. Some case studies find soya reduces the risk of one cancer, but possibly increases the risk of another.

      Professor Frank Woods was the chair man of the working group that produced this report. He is one of the country's leading toxologists and has been a key government adviser. If anybody can be called an expert on soya, it is him. Yet even he will not be drawn on whether the increase in soya in Western diets is good or bad. 'We still have a lot to learn,' he said. There is, however, one area where his mind is made up. 'If my daughter ever asked me advice on whether she should feed her baby on soya formula, I would say no, unless her doctor had specifically advised her to do so.' Even if the the baby had an allergy to dairy products, he believes that other options, such as hydrolysed cow's milk protein, are safer.

      'Soya has been eaten for thousands of years as a mainstay of Asian diets,' said Dominic Dyer of Britain's Soya Protein Association. 'There is no evidence of reduced fertility in these populations or an increased risk in any other of these problems allegedly related to soya. Indeed the opposite is true. They are healthier, live longer and have less chance of dying from diseases like breast cancer.'

      This is a powerful argument in soya's favour but scientists such as Professor Woods, who studied this issue as part of the FSA's report, says it is far more complex than just attributing these facts to the intake of soya in their diets.

      US nutritionist Kaayla T Daniel who has studied the history of soya consumption dismisses the comparison, arguing that the soya eaten in China and Japan, such as tofu and miso, is very different from the industrially processed variety used in today's Western food. 'Claims that soya beans have been a major part of the Asian diet for more than 3,000 years, or from "time immemorial" are simply not true,' she said.

      The soya bean originated in China, and according to Daniel the ancient Chinese called it 'the yellow jewel' but used it as 'green manure' to enrich the soil for growing other crops. She says soya did not become a staple human food until late in the Chou Dynasty in 1134 BC when the Chinese developed a fermentation process to turn the bean into a paste best know by its Japanese name miso. The liquid poured off during this production of miso is what is known as soya sauce. She claims that the traditional process of making fermented soya products like tofu or tempeh destroys many of the allegedly dangerous chemicals in soya, unlike modern factory methods used today.

      For Daniel, environmentalists and a growing number of scientists, the point is not that soya is all bad but that neither is it the cure-all for many Western ills. And there is certainly no escaping its environmental impact.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

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    • This is a goodie:

      Myths & Truths About Soy

      Myth: Use of soy as a food dates back many thousands of years.

      Truth: Soy was first used as a food during the late Chou dynasty (1134-246 BC), only after the Chinese learned to ferment soy beans to make foods like tempeh, natto and tamari.

      Myth: Asians consume large amounts of soy foods.

      Truth: Average consumption of soy foods in Japan and China is 10 grams (about 2 teaspoons) per day. Asians consume soy foods in small amounts as a condiment, and not as a replacement for animal foods.

      Myth: Modern soy foods confer the same health benefits as traditionally fermented soy foods.

      Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralize toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens.

      Myth: Soy foods provide complete protein.

      Truth: Like all legumes, soy beans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.

      Myth: Fermented soy foods can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets.

      Truth: The compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy cannot be used by the human body; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12

      Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants.

      Truth: Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys.

      Myth: Soy foods can prevent osteoporosis.

      Truth: Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, both needed for healthy bones. Calcium from bone broths and vitamin D from seafood, lard and organ meats prevent osteoporosis in Asian countries—not soy foods.

      Myth: Modern soy foods protect against many types of cancer.

      Truth: A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other forms of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.

      Myth: Soy foods protect against heart disease.

      Truth: In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol improves one's risk of having heart disease.

      Myth: Soy estrogens (isoflavones) are good for you.

      Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.

      Myth: Soy foods are safe and beneficial for women to use in their postmenopausal years.

      Truth: Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause.

      Myth: Phytoestrogens in soy foods can enhance mental ability.

      Truth: A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease in later life.

      Myth: Soy isoflavones and soy protein isolate have GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.

      Truth: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently withdrew its application to the FDA for GRAS status for soy isoflavones following an outpouring of protest from the scientific community. The FDA never approved GRAS status for soy protein isolate because of concern regarding the presence of toxins and carcinogens in processed soy.

      Myth: Soy foods are good for your sex life.

      Truth: Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals. Soy consumption enhances hair growth in middle-aged men, indicating lowered testosterone levels. Japanese housewives feed tofu to their husbands frequently when they want to reduce his virility.

      Myth: Soy beans are good for the environment.

      Truth: Most soy beans grown in the US are genetically engineered to allow farmers to use large amounts of herbicides.

      Myth: Soy beans are good for developing nations.

      Truth: In third world countries, soybeans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.
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    • Soy Online Service

      I'm pretty sure this is the good site on soy I lost, heres their into:

      Soy Online Service is a small group of private citizens with a mission to inform the public of the truth about soy. We have no membership as such and are not sponsored by industry or any other group, in fact our research is funded out of our own pockets. We do not seek the destruction of the soy industry or to stop people eating soy. We have no desire to stop you being Vegan or to cause you to switch to dairy products. Rather we seek to expose the deceit of the major soy companies and to uncover the truth about soy products. We do this by providing you with factual material that you can read for yourself, so that in the future you can make an informed choice about what you eat.

      You are probably well acquainted with all the wonderful things soy is purported to do for you. That's because the multi-million dollar soy marketing machine has done its job on you. But are you aware that there is a darker side of soy?

      For instance did you know that soy contains several types of natural toxins? The soy industry has known about them for years. If you were to ask the soy industry about the soy toxins you'd most likely be told that:
      • conventional methods of processing destroys these toxins.

      When pressed with evidence that all soy products still contain these toxins you'll likely be informed that:
      • there is no evidence that these toxins are harmful to animals or humans.

      And when you ask about the scores of research papers that do show evidence of harm the answer will probably be something like:
      • in fact, the soy toxins will prevent and cure all manner of diseases.

      The health claims of the soy industry have one purpose and one purpose alone - to sell more soy! That's why you'll only hear about the benefits of soy from the industry, but we think all consumers deserve the right to make an informed choice about what they are eating and feeding to their children, their household pets and their livestock.

      We have found a wealth of evidence that the soy toxins cause both acute and chronic effects in both animals and humans. The industry refers to the soy toxins as 'anti-nutrients' but, in fact, they are classed with environmental toxins and they are present in every food product that contains soy.

      As often occurs in cases of environmental poisoning, Soy Online Services first became aware of the toxicity of soy because of its effects on animals. The harm that soy causes animals has been known for decades, but this fact currently appears to be ignored by manufacturers of animal feeds who are ever eager to utilise cheap sources of protein in their products.

      The use of new generation bird feeds that contained soy coincided with thousands of bird deaths and disorders. These effects were widespread and were reported by many of New Zealand's leading parrot breeders.

      Among the effects seen by these bird breeders were:
      • beak and bone deformities.
      • goitre.
      • immune system disorders.
      • infertility.
      • premature maturation.

      The most startling was the latter. For example, male Crimson Rosellas (large Australian parrots) are green when juveniles and red when adults (as shown in Figure 1). In the wild the adult plumage develops from about the age of 12 to 18 months. But bird breeders were finding that their birds 'coloured-up' after just a few months, a fact that wasn't missed by one bird food manufacturer who actually used this fact in promotional material (Figure 2).

      Fig 1: Juvenile (green) and adult (red) Crimson Rosellas

      Fig 2: Juvenile Crimson Rosella with adult plumage

      All very nice to have baby birds with adult plumage you might think. The problem was that the growth acceleration experienced by the birds also meant they their lifespan was often drastically shortened.

      Bird breeders noted that a common factor in the diets of affected parrots was soy protein. But could the effects seen in parrots be explained by the presence of the soy toxins?

      Soy is high in phytate, which reduces mineral bioavailability. Upset the delicate mineral balance in a parrot's diets and bone and beak disorders are the result.

      Soybeans contain high levels of phytoestrogens. Although investigators didn't know it at the time, the compounds are powerful immune-suppressants, potent goitrogens (the goitrogenic effects of soy products are even discussed at length in the text 'Diseases of Caged Birds' - TFH Publications, 1988) and as the name suggests, able to elicit estrogenic effects. Strong candidates then as the cause of the infertility and premature maturation.

      Early investigators were familiar with the writings of Rachel Carson who penned 'our fate is connected with the animals'. If the fate of birds fed soy protein was growth disorders, thyroid problems, infertility and tumour growth, they asked 'what about infants fed soy formulas and adults consuming large amounts of soy?'

      And so began our investigation.

      We know the soy industry hasn't enjoyed what we've found, but you deserve to know what we have learnt about the effects of phytoestrogens and other soy toxins.
      Low Carb in a Nutshell ~ Carb Counts ~ Research ~ Measurements/Conversions ~ Glossary

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    • Soy Not So Smart For Lowering Breast Cancer Risk

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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Sherrie: changing old domain ().

    • About Soy Foods

      Another article from this doctor:

      About Soy Foods


      A Cautionary Tale

      by John R. Lee, M.D.

      If my mail is any indication, soy food products are becoming very popular in the US. And why wouldn't they? Soy contains the full complement of amino acids, can be made to fit with a low fat diet, and, as we all know, Japanese women who eat a lot of soy have less breast cancer than women in the U.S. Some proponents stretch the connection to credit soy with the renowned Japanese longevity advantage. Such claims, however, are grossly simplistic and probably misleading.

      What Do We Really Need to Know about Soybeans?

      My experience as a U.S. Navy physician included 14 months in Japan and Okinawa back in the late 1950s. During that time I had extensive exposure to the traditional Japanese diet, which I found to be delicious. A typical meal consisted of wonderful vegetable or fish soup followed by five to six little dishes surrounding a bowl of rice along with green (un-roasted) tea, which is still my favorite tea. The little dishes contained small servings of seaweed, fish or shrimp, perhaps an egg, various vegetables (sometimes pickled), tasty noodles, and fermented soy products such as miso or tempeh, along with protein-rich soy curd, tofu. The alcohol consisted primarily of beer or tiny cups of sake. Vegetables, fish or shrimp were sauteed in a wok, using a small amount of nut oil. This was the traditional Japanese diet whose health benefits are widely extolled.

      I visited Japan a few years ago and found that the traditional diet is a thing of the past. Young Japanese are now eating white bread instead of rice, drinking milk (with supplemental lactase, of course) and soda pop (there are vending machines for colas all over the place), whisky instead of sake, imported beef instead of fish, no seaweed, and a lot of processed food. Youngsters aged 10 are bigger and taller than their teachers, and the middle-aged men are getting prematurely bald, and dying of heart disease, hypertension, and cancer.

      Beyond the Hype: A Close-Up on Soy

      The bran (hulls) of all seeds and legumes contain substances called lignins, but none has the high lignin level found in soybeans. Soy lignins bind to minerals such as zinc and magnesium and prevent the body from absorbing them. This binding is so complete that scientists who wish to study the effects of low zinc concentrations in test animals merely add soy bran to the animals' diet. Zinc deficiency is known to impair the immune system and promote prostate disease. The traditional Japanese diet always included seaweed, which fortunately provides sufficient minerals to overcome the potential deficiency resulting from the effect of soy lignins. Our U.S. diet, on the other hand, lacks this potent source of minerals, so consuming too much soy in an American diet may lead to mineral deficiencies.

      Soybeans also contain potentially healthful compounds called phytoestrogens (also known as isoflavones), such as genestein, diadzein and others that are weak-acting estrogens. Phytoestrogens occupy estrogen receptors and thereby reduce the effect of one's potentially more potent endogenous (made in the body) estrogens. This may well be the reason for the lower incidence of breast and prostate cancer in Japan. However, seen in context with the whole diet, large doses of these phytoestrogens are not as healthy as smaller doses combined with all the other factors found in the traditional Japanese diet.

      Soybeans contain enzyme inhibitors that can block protein absorption as well as uptake of the enzyme trypsin, leading to thyroid deficiency and retarded growth. They also contain hemagglutinin that decreases the ability of red blood cells to properly absorb oxygen and distribute it throughout the body. These can be removed from soy products, but the usual attempts to do so (by pureeing the beans, soaking in an alkaline solution, and then cooking them in a pressure cooker) will, at the same time, make the beans’ proteins difficult to digest.

      All Soy is Not the Same

      In the U.S., the soybean industry is filling our shelves with soy derivatives such as soy flour, textured soy protein, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, and soy protein isolate — none of which were part of the traditional Japanese diet. They are found in soy cheese, milk, margarine, vegetable oils, burgers and hot dogs, baby formula, and flour, to name just a few. These soy derivatives have become a major (often-unrecognized) ingredient in fast foods and prepackaged frozen meals. They should not be confused with the natural and fermented soy components of the traditional Japanese diet.

      Many people with wheat allergies will use soy products as a substitute. Unfortunately, when soy is a major component of the diet, soy allergy can develop.

      I hope that it is obvious at this point that soy milk is not a good staple food for children. The last thing a small but rapidly growing body needs is a hefty dose of phytoestrogens and enzymes that block protein and mineral absorption.

      Eat Soy Foods in Moderation

      The traditional Japanese diet had, through centuries of trial and error, found ways to use soybeans in a healthy manner. They did not eat whole soybeans or soy protein isolate. They mainly ate fermented soy products. The fermentation process deactivates both trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinin, while regular cooking does not. Soy was, in fact, only one component of a diet that included food rich with minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.

      If you plan to use soy, don’t simply add the denatured soy products offered by American food mega-processors to the typically nutrition-deficient U.S. diet. Instead, my advice is to learn to prepare meals the Japanese way, with several components from their traditional diet. Single food items taken out of the context of the whole meal simply don't work. This, by the way, is true of many wonderful ethnic diets around the world.

      Enjoy soy a few times a week but like all things, keep it in perspective. One of the simplest ways to eat soy is to stir fry tofu with fresh vegetables and some edible seaweed, put it on brown rice, and season with sesame seeds and tamari sauce. You can also add some aduki beans or fish for additional protein, and some freshly grated ginger to spice it up. Two recommended books on Japanese cooking are, Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan by John and Jan Bellame (Avery 1994), and The Folk Art of Japanese Country Cooking: A traditional diet for today’s world, by Gaku and Gaki Homma and Emily Busch (North Atlantic Books, 1991).

      This article was originally published in the John R. Lee, M.D. Medical Letter.
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    • Should we worry about soya in our food?

      Should we worry about soya in our food?

      Whether you know it or not, you'll probably be eating soya today. It's in 60% of all processed food, from cheese to ice cream, baby formula to biscuits. But should it carry a health warning? Felicity Lawrence investigates

      Tuesday July 25, 2006
      The Guardian

      For Dr Mike Fitzpatrick, the saga of soya began in Monty Python-style with a dead parrot. His investigations into the ubiquitous bean started in 1991 when Richard James, a multimillionaire American lawyer, turned up at the laboratory in New Zealand where Fitzpatrick was working as a consultant toxicologist. James was sure that soya beans were killing his rare birds.

      "We thought he was mad, but he had a lot of money and wanted us to find out what was going on," Fitzpatrick recalls.

      Over the next months, Fitzpatrick carried out an exhaustive study of soya and its effects. "We discovered quite quickly," he recalls, "that soya contains toxins and plant oestrogens powerful enough to disrupt women's menstrual cycles in experiments. It also appeared damaging to the thyroid." James's lobbying eventually forced governments to investigate. In 2002, the British government's expert committee on the toxicity of food (CoT) published the results of its inquiry into the safety of plant oestrogens, mainly from soya proteins, in modern food. It concluded that in general the health benefits claimed for soya were not supported by clear evidence and judged that there could be risks from high levels of consumption for certain age groups. Yet little has happened to curb soya's growth since.

      More than 60% of all processed food in Britain today contains soya in some form, according to food industry estimates. It is in breakfast cereals, cereal bars and biscuits, cheeses, cakes, dairy desserts, gravies, noodles, pastries, soups, sausage casings, sauces and sandwich spreads. Soya, crushed, separated and refined into its different parts, can appear on food labels as soya flour, hydrolysed vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, protein concentrate, textured vegetable protein, vegetable oil (simple, fully, or partially hydrogenated), plant sterols, or the emulsifier lecithin. Its many guises hint at its value to manufacturers.

      Soya increases the protein content of processed meat products. It replaces them altogether in vegetarian foods. It stops industrial breads shrinking. It makes cakes hold on to their water. It helps manufacturers mix water into oil. Hydrogenated, its oil is used to deep-fry fast food.

      Soya is also in cat food and dog food. But above all it is used in agricultural feeds for intensive chicken, beef, dairy, pig and fish farming. Soya protein - which accounts for 35% of the raw bean - is what has made the global factory farming of livestock for cheap meat a possibility. Soya oil - high in omega 6 fatty acids and 18% of the whole bean - has meanwhile driven the postwar explosion in snack foods around the world. Crisps, confectionery, deep-fried take-aways, ready meals, ice-creams, mayonnaise and margarines all make liberal use of it. Its widespread presence is one of the reasons our balance of omega 3 to omega 6 essential fatty acids is so out of kilter.

      You may think that when you order a skinny soya latte, you are choosing a commodity blessed with an unadulterated aura of health. But soya today is in fact associated with patterns of food consumption that have been linked to diet-related diseases. And 50 years ago it was not eaten in the west in any quantity.

      In 1965, the earliest year for which the Chicago Board of Trade keeps figures, global soya bean production was just 30m tonnes. By 2005, the world was consuming nine times that a year, at 270m tonnes. World soya oil production, meanwhile, has increased sevenfold over the same period, from 5m tonnes to 34m tonnes a year.

      To feed demand, new agricultural frontiers are being opened up in Brazil, where large areas of virgin rainforest have been illegally felled to make room for the crop. US-based transnationals are now exporting soya back to China, the country from which it originated, as newly urbanised Chinese switch to industrialised western diets. Thanks to US agribusiness, we have developed an apparently insatiable global appetite for the bean produced by farmers in the Americas.

      James and Fitzpatrick became convinced early on that this entirely new dependence on soya was, in fact, a dangerous experiment. The dead parrots were no joke - they were the canaries in the coalmine.

      For James and his wife Valerie, breeding the exotic birds down under was a retirement dream. They wanted to feed their young birds the best, so they began giving the chicks a soya feed. Parrots do not eat soya beans in the wild but the high-protein animal feed had been marketed in the US as a new miracle food.

      The result was a catastrophic breeding year. Some of the birds were infertile; many died. Other young male birds aged prematurely or reached puberty years early. "We realised there was some sort of hormonal disruption going on but we'd eliminated other possible hormone disrupting chemicals such as pesticides from the inquiry," Fitzpatrick says.

      So the toxicologist began a systematic review of the scientific literature on soya. After finding out about the plant oestrogens in soya, Fitzpatrick says, "My next thought was: what about children who are fed soya milk?" He calculated that babies fed exclusively on soya formula could receive the oestrogenic equivalent, based on body weight, of five birth control pills a day.

      In fact, it had been known since the early 1980s that plant oestrogens, or phyto-oestrogens, could produce biological effects in humans. The most common of these were a group of compounds in soya protein called isoflavones. Food manufacturers had variously marketed soya foods as an antidote to menopausal hot flushes and osteoporosis, and as a protective ingredient against cardiovascular disease and hormone-related cancers. Large quantities of mainly industry-sponsored scientific research have been produced to back up these claims. The American soya industry spends about $80m every year, raised from a mandatory levy on producers, to research and promote the consumption of soya around the world. The rash of new soya foods can be seen as the latest in a line of innovative ways devised to use soya.

      The hypothesis behind the health claims is that rates of heart disease and certain cancers such as breast and prostate cancer are lower in east Asian populations with soya-rich diets than in western countries, and that the oestrogens in soya might therefore have a protective effect.

      Fitzpatrick, however, looked into historic soya consumption in Japan and China and concluded that Asians did not actually eat that much. What they did eat tended to have been fermented for months. "If you look at people who are into health fads here, they are eating soya steaks and veggie burgers or veggie sausages and drinking soya milk - they are getting over 100g a day. They are eating tonnes of the raw stuff."

      Mass exposure to isoflavones in the west has only occurred in the past 30 years due to the widespread incorporation of soya protein into processed foods, a fact noted by the Royal Society in its expert report on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in 2000. When the independent experts on the scientific committee on toxicity trawled through all the scientific data, they concluded that soya milk should not be recommended for infants even when they had cow's milk allergies, except on medical advice, because of the high levels of oestrogenic isoflavones it contains.

      On breast cancer, they decided that "despite the suggested benefits of phyto-oestrogens in lowering risk of developing breast cancer, there is also evidence that they may stimulate the progression of the disease". The lower risk of certain cancers among Asian populations might be due to other factors - their high consumption of fish, for example. They advised caution. On the effects on menopause symptoms, the evidence was inconclusive, the experts ruled. On bone density, the committee thought there might be some protective effects, but the data was unclear. The evidence on prostate cancer was mixed. Since isoflavones cross the placenta, the implications of pregnant women eating large quantities of soya were unclear. There was some evidence that soya-based products had a beneficial effect on the good HDL cholesterol but they were not sure that was down to the isoflavones. On the other hand - reassuringly - they judged that a study linking soya consumption to decline in cognitive function was not convincing.

      What the committee also pointed out was that the way soya was processed affected the levels of phyto-oestrogens. Traditional fermentation reduces the levels of isoflavones two- to threefold. Modern factory processes do not. Moreover, modern American strains of soya have significantly higher levels of isoflavones than Japanese or Chinese ones because they have been bred to be more resistant to pests. (One way to tackle pests is to stop them breeding by making them infertile. It turns out that unfermented soya did play one role in traditional Asian diets - it was eaten by monks to dampen down their libido.)

      Sue Dibb, now food policy expert at the National Consumer Council, was a member of the CoT working group that compiled the final report. She questions whether infant soya milk should still be on public sale and is troubled by the latest marketing of soya. "We looked in detail at the claimed health benefits for adults for soya consumption and concluded there was not sufficient evidence to support many of them. There may be benefits but there are also risks. The groups of adults of particular concern are those with a thyroid problem and women with oestrogen-dependent breast cancer. It worries me that soya is being pushed as a health food by a big soya and supplements industry. We ought to be taking a more cautious approach."

      The Food Standards Agency advice is that soya's potential to have an adverse effect on babies' hormonal development is still controversial, but that soya formula should only be given to infants under 12 months old in exceptional circumstances.

      Professor Richard Sharpe, head of the Medical Research Council's human reproductive sciences unit at Edinburgh University, was also a member of the committee's working group on phyto-oestrogens in food. He has been studying the decline in male fertility in the past half-century. He recently completed studies on the effects of soya milk on young male monkeys which showed that it interferes with testosterone levels. "In the first three months after birth, baby boys have a neonatal testosterone rise. The testes are very, very active in hormone production at this point and there is a lot of cell activity going on that will determine sperm count in adults and will affect the developing prostate. If you introduce a phyto-oestrogen, which can, in large amounts, alter these changes, you may predispose children to later disease. Soya formula milk is a [recent] western invention. There is not the historical evidence to show it is safe."

      Manufacturers, however, argue that soya infant formula has been widely used without problems. "The industry has said that if the CoT comes up with clear science, we will take note, but the case is not proven," says Roger Clarke, director general of the industry's Infant Dietetics Food Association. "A lot of the work it looked at was based on experimental work with animals. There does not seem to be clear evidence of adverse effects, and there is demand for it. There are some markets, such as vegan usage, where soya is the only alternative."

      While 30-40% of all infants in the US are raised on soya formula - not least because it is given away in welfare programmes - soya milk for babies has always been confined to a small minority in the UK. So does Sharpe think exposure to soya from other sources - vegetarian soya proteins, the soya flour in factory bread, the hydrolysed proteins added as flavourings, for example - has a cumulative effect that might be worrying to other age groups? He says he is not concerned about people who eat soya foods in moderation or in the way they are traditionally used in oriental diets, but when it comes to modern processed foods, which use soya proteins in different ways, he prefers to turn the question round. "If someone said they were adding a hormone to your foods, would you be happy with that? There may be lots of effects, some of them may be beneficial, but would you be happy with that? I am not a fan of processed foods, full stop. And these quick fixes for protecting against ill-health - you know they can't be true," he adds.

      A steaming hiss fills the kitchen of the top London restaurant Nobu, even after the lunchtime rush. Japanese chefs are filleting the evening's fish while stock bubbles and concentrates in its stainless steel vat behind. Executive chef Mark Edwards hands me a teaspoon of one of his soy sauces. Cool from the fridge, it is thick, rich, dark and sweet, yet remarkably clear from its long fermentation. The miso that he uses to marinade his famous black cod for three days is dense and strong from its lengthy brew too. Muslin cloths envelop delicate curds of tofu, made fresh each day and added in small cubes to miso soup.

      Soya is used in traditional oriental diets in these forms, after cultures, moulds or precipitants have achieved a biochemical transformation, because in its raw form the mature bean is known not only for its oestrogenic qualities but for also its antinutrients, according to the clinical nutritionist Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story. Soya was originally grown in China as a green manure, for its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, rather than as a food crop, until the Chinese discovered ways of fermenting it, she says.

      The young green beans, now sold as a fashionable snack, edamame, are lower in oestrogens and antinutrients, though not free of them. But raw mature soya beans contain phytates that prevent mineral absorption and enzyme inhibitors that block the key enzymes we need to digest protein. They are also famous for inducing flatulence.

      Christopher Dawson, who owns the Clearspring brand of organic soy sauces, agrees. He lived in Japan for 18 years and his Japanese wife, Setsuko, is a cookery teacher. "I never saw soy beans on the table in Japan - they're indigestible."

      Dawson describes the traditional craft method of transforming the soya bean through fermentation, so that its valuable amino acids become available but its antinutrients are tamed. The process involves cooking whole soya beans, complete with their oil, for several hours, then adding the spores of a mould to the mix, and leaving it to ferment for three days to begin the long process of breaking down the proteins and starches. This initial brew is then mixed with salt water and left to ferment for a further 18 months, during which time the temperature will vary with the seasons. The end result is an intensely flavoured condiment in which the soya's chemical composition has been radically altered. Traditional miso is similarly made with natural whole ingredients, slowly aged.

      Most soya sauces (and misos) are not made this way any more, however. Instead of using the whole bean, manufacturers short-cut the fermentation by starting with defatted soy protein meal. Soya veggie burgers and sausages generally use the same chemically extracted fraction of the bean.

      This meal is the product of the industrial crushing process the vast majority of the world's soya beans go through. The raw beans are broken down to thin flakes, which are then percolated with a petroleum-based hexane solvent to extract the soya oil. The remains of the flakes are toasted and ground to a protein meal, most of which goes into animal feed. Soya flour is made in a similar way.

      The oil then goes through a process of cleaning, bleaching, degumming and deodorising to remove the solvent and the oil's characteristic "off" smells and flavours. The lecithin that forms a heavy sludge in the oil during storage used to be regarded as a waste product, but now it has been turned into a valuable market in its own right as an emulsifier.

      In so-called "naturally brewed" soya sauces the processed soy protein meal is mixed with the mould spores and given accelerated ageing at high temperatures for three to six months. Non-brewed soya sauce, the cheapest grade, is made in just two days. Defatted soya flour is mixed with hydrochloric acid at high temperatures and under pressure to create hydrolysed vegetable protein. Salt, caramel and chemical preservatives and flavourings are then added to provide colour and taste. This rapid hydrolysis method uses the enzyme glutamase as a reactor and creates large amounts of the unnatural form of glutamate that is found in MSG.

      Most commercial soya milk today is made from soya isolates, although some of the pioneers of soya foods as health products in Europe avoid the chemical extraction process and use whole beans to make their milk. The key selling points for both types of soya milk are that they contain complete proteins and oestrogenic isoflavones.

      Bernard Deryckere, president of the European Natural Soyfood Manufacturers Association, says that his members' products, made using natural processes, are a healthy alternative to diary products. "A lot of people in Europe are lactose-intolerant. Soya milk was invented in China 4,000 years ago and today it's consumed by all types of people as a cholesterol-free source of quality protein."

      Daniel's detailed examination of the history of soya milk, however, suggests that soya milk was made not to drink, except in times of famine, but as the first step in the process of making tofu. After the long, slow boiling of soya beans in water to eliminate toxins, a curdling agent was added to the liquid to separate it. The curds would then be pressed to make tofu and the whey, in which the antinutrients were concentrated, would be thrown away.

      Dibb points out that if you are drinking non-dairy milk because you want calcium without cow's milk, there are plenty of other sources such as green leafy vegetables and nuts. And only those eating extremely limited diets are likely to be short of protein as adults.

      Dawson, a lifelong vegetarian, does not drink soya milk and only eats tofu in moderation. "I will only use a product for my family if there is 200 years of tradition behind it. You are asking for trouble if you take an isolate from soya - yet so much effort seems to go into taking industry's waste and turning it into new food."

      The effort that has gone into creating the global soya market has indeed been enormous. Today it is dominated by a handful of American trading companies. Three of them - Bunge, ADM and Cargill - control 80% of the European soya bean crushing industry. These three, together with allied companies, are also estimated to control up to 80% of European animal feed manufacturing. They dominate the US soya market, and also account for 60% of Brazil's soya exports.

      Before the first world war, only a very few soya beans were crushed. The Americans had begun experimenting with using the protein meal as animal feed, but farmers were reluctant to take it up because it was indigestible to chicken and pigs. The oil produced was considered "a bit of an embarrassment", according to Kurt Burger, a fats and oils technical expert at the Society of Chemical Industry, whose experience in the food industry goes back to 1944. It was mainly used in soaps because it was considered unpalatable. (Henry Ford later funded research projects to turn soya into plastic for car parts.)

      Cottonseed oil, a byproduct of the cotton industry, was the main edible oil used in the US. But then the combination of disease in monocropped cotton and demand from European allies in the first world war for oil both to eat and to make the glycerine needed for nitroglycerine in explosives, stimulated American soy oil production.

      It was not until the 1940s that industry worked out how to deactivate the enzyme inhibitor in the protein meal sufficiently for animals to tolerate it, and it was only technology taken from the Nazis at the end of the second world war that solved the problem of the oil's horrible smell and flavour. That left the way for the US to promote the soya that suited its agricultural conditions as part of the reconstruction of Europe through the 1950s. Soya oil exports to Europe tripled under the Marshall Plan, and heavily subsidised exports of surplus US soya ensured the commodity's dominance in animal feed. The subsidies continue. Between 1998 and 2004, US Department of Agriculture figures show that its soya farming received $13bn in subsidies from the American taxpayer.

      Until 2003, the US was the largest exporter of soya. But through the 1990s, multinationals promoted the expansion of the crop in Latin America, helping finance farmers and building the infrastructure for soya exports. The attraction of Latin America is that land is cheap and labour costs are minimal too. Three years ago, the combined exports from Brazil and Argentina surpassed US exports for the first time. The cost is now being counted there in environmental damage and social upheaval. The cost to western consumers may yet be counted in health.

      Should we worry about soya in our food?
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    • Eat To Live: Soy products not so healthy?

      Eat To Live: Soy products not so healthy?

      LE BUGUE, France, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- From cups of miso soup to handfuls of edamame beans in place of peanuts at the hip cocktail hour, soy beans have had a fast, fashionable and impressive impact upon our eating habits.

      Processed, there is barely a mainstream cookie, candy, ice cream, breakfast cereal, chip, ready-made sauce or gravy, spread, noodle dish, fried take-out or dairy dessert that doesn't contain it in some state of deconstruction.

      Soy refined in one form or another, is in all our processed foods.

      It can appear as the emulsifier lecithin, as soy flour, vegetable oil, protein concentrate, textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein isolate or plant sterols.

      Soy milk is heavily promoted to vegetarians and people with lactose intolerance, as is soy milk baby formula. In the United States, 30 percent to 40 percent of all infants are raised on soy formula, free in welfare programs.

      But it may not be as healthy for any of us as we think, according to The Guardian in a report published this summer.

      New Zealand consultant toxicologist Dr. Mike Fitzpatrick was approached in 1991, the British newspaper writes, by an American rare bird breeder to confirm his suspicion his parrots were dying from their soy bean feed.

      After examining soy every which way, the doctor and his team discovered "that soy contains toxins and plant oestrogens powerful enough to disrupt women's menstrual cycles in experiments. It also appeared damaging to the thyroid."

      For menopausal women soy products have been marketed as a healthy defense from "hot flashes" and osteoporosis. They've even been promoted as a natural safeguard against heart disease, and, because of the low rates among Asian people with soy-rich diets of breast and prostate cancers, as a shield against hormone-related cancers.

      But soy in Asian diets is aged; the bean is transformed through a slow process of fermentation, following cooking, which releases the beneficial amino acids while restricting its anti-nutrients.

      According to the newspaper report, the biological effects that can be produced in humans by plant oestrogens, particularly by the compounds in soy protein, isoflavones, have been known since the early 1980s. Yet we're encouraged by its makers to drink soy milk for its complete proteins and oestrogenic isoflavones.

      At a conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Copenhagen last summer, Professor Lynn Fraser of King's College, London, said that women eating soy-based foods were in danger of damaging their chances of becoming pregnant. Laboratory tests had suggested that genistein, a compound found in soy, destroyed the mechanism that allows male sperm to dock with women's eggs.

      A wander round any supermarket would suggest no food processor has taken the slightest notice at this concern over soy's less benign powers.

      Perhaps it's not surprising. More than 25,000 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest were felled last year, for planting primarily with soy. Amazon soy is popular in Europe as it is about the only soy left that hasn't been genetically modified.

      U.S. agribusiness megalith Cargill, the richest privately owned company in the world at a value of $7 billion, controls, along with Bunge and ADM, 80 percent in Europe alone of the soy-bean-crushing industry, and, along with some other smaller U.S. companies, nearly 80 percent of European animal feed manufacturing.

      According to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, soy farmers received $13 billion in subsidies between 1998 and 2004. Roughly $80 million is spent annually by the American soy industry to research and promote soy consumption globally.

      Investments in the industry like these mean it's unlikely any fear over the safety of soy food products is likely to be listened to.

      It's the products from the processing of the raw mature soy bean you have to watch out for. Its phytates block mineral absorption and its enzyme inhibitors obstruct the key enzymes needed for protein digestion. Edamame, young soy beans, contain oestrogens and anti-nutrients, but in low amounts.

      -- Buy a bag of beans, preferably in their pods.

      -- Dump into a big pot of boiling, salted water and boil according to packet instructions or 3-5 minutes.

      -- Drain and eat instead of fattening peanuts at the cocktail hour, if you must.

      Copyright 2006 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.…c-eat2live-soydangers.xml
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    • Re: The Dangers of Soy :eek:

      I thought Atkins was always against SOy.
      but this new article in their site is a bit of a worry.....:eek: :eek:

      Research Library
      A phytoestrogen in soy is linked to heart health benefits
      Dozens of studies have demonstrated health benefits for a diet that includes soy. In addition to high quality protein, soy contains important plant compounds called isoflavones, which appear to protect against hormone-related disorders such as breast cancer and prostate cancers.

      Two of the most important isoflavones are genistein and daidzein. And now, new research is showing that blood levels of daidzein have been linked to significant improvements in cholesterol levels and could boost heart health.
      The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (Vol. 91, pp. 2209-2213) reports that high blood levels of daidzein were associated with decreasing levels of triglycerides and increasing levels of HDL-cholesterol (the good, protective kind). In fact, women with the highest blood daidzein levels had 17 per cent lower triglyceride levels and 5 per cent higher HDL levels than women with the lowest levels of daidzein. The relationship was most striking in women with low levels of estradiol, one of the three estrogen hormones. Soy is one of the best sources in the diet for daidzein.

      “These and prior studies suggest that cardiovascular risk reduction strategies in women should consider dietary intake of food products, such as soy, which elevate blood daidzein levels, consistent with recent recommendations,” said the lead study author, Noel Bairey Merz from the University of Pittsburg Graduate School of Public Health. An Atkins Advantage bar contains 20 grams of protein made from a blend of soy protein and the equally valuable whey protein.
      Bron Doingit
      Now to maintain.....hard work! :D
    • Re: The Dangers of Soy

      Bron he has never been against soy as far as I know, infact I'm pretty sure his stuff is full of it and most likely why hes (or atkins nutritionals) not against it, heck his stuff (food products) is junk like the rest IMO.
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