Soy protein has been in the food chain for over 5,000 years. Soy is the only plant-based protein considered to be a high-quality protein, containing all of the essential amino acids in the right ratios needed to support growth and development.
Results from more than 50 studies have provided scientific evidence of the cholesterol-lowering benefits of soy protein in the diet.
Twenty-five to 50 grams of isolated soy protein is effective in lowering total cholesterol and LDL the ‘bad’ cholesterol while maintaining HDL the ‘good’ cholesterol.
So effective is soy protein at lowering cholesterol and tri-glycerides and preventing narrowing of the arteries that the U.S. FDA has allowed a health claim that states, “Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease".1
Soy Protein may also
- Prevent Breast Cancer
- Prevent Prostate Cancer
- Aid in natural Hormone Replacement Therapy
- Reduce LDL Cholesterol
- Increase T-Cell activity (Increased immunity)
- Act as powerful anti-oxidant against “trans fatty acids”
- Normal concentration of isoflavones in soy is 2 mg per gm of protein.
- One 14 gm serving contains approximately 30 mg
- Average daily consumption by the Japanese is 28.7 mg (Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world) 2,3
Some critics have attempted to diminish the role of soy in a healthy diet. The following should help to dispel any fears of soy.
“Soy Alert”, a work of fiction
“Soy Alert” is an anti-soy article that is being widely distributed over the Internet. While the accusations and charges about the dangers of soy are disturbing, they are untrue. Based on the article’s lack of documentation and use of out-of-context scientific data, the piece is best described as a work of fiction.
Even if we give the piece the benefit of the doubt as a well-intentioned, it is nonetheless a sterling example of what one of the 20th Century’s greatest thinkers, humanitarians, and Nobel Laureates, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, warned was modern man’s greatest danger — his loss of rational thinking.
Let’s be honest. Were soy the notorious poison that it is claimed to be in “Soy Alert,” it surely would have been banned long ago … we would have observed soy consumers suffering highly disproportionate rates of cancer, dementia, physical deformities, myriad of other diseases, and otherwise dropping dead from consuming soy.
“Soy Alert” tells us about a flock of commercial birds, some of which died as a result of being fed soy, and asks, “If soy does this to birds, what is it doing to us?” The connection is erroneous and illogical.
Birds do not naturally seek out soy for food, and sound science knows that animal data does not automatically translate to humans.
For example, Thalidomide, the drug that caused tragic birth defects in humans, did not cause birth defects in test animals; and as any dog lover knows, chocolate is enjoyed by humans with no ill effects, but it can be lethal to canines.
“Soy Alert” says, “Preliminary studies (they are not referenced or footnoted) indicate that children given soy formula go through puberty much earlier than children who were not fed soy products,” and that “ … the trend toward lower male fertility may be due to environmental estrogens, including soy phytoestrogens" (again, no references).
The medical literature provides no evidence of endocrine effects in humans from infant consumption of modern soy-based formulas. Growth is normal, and no changes in timing of puberty or in fertility rates have been reported in humans who consumed soy formula as infants.
“Soy Alert” cites a Hawaiian study purportedly showing that soy consumption caused accelerated brain aging and was associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The study, headed by Dr. Lon White, was an “observational” study.
While the media (and “Soy Alert”) would have readers believe that soy causes Alzheimer’s and brain aging, this type of study merely suggests a link between a behavior (in this case tofu intake) and an outcome like brain aging. It does not prove that one thing caused the other.
Dr. White, himself, added, "It is never proper to draw definitive conclusions from a single study. It would be premature to advise anyone that they should change their diets based on a single research study.
In addition, there is evidence that consumption of soy foods may have beneficial effects related to improving blood lipid levels, and reducing risks for breast cancer."
Indeed. A recent study of patients with high cholesterol who were given soy protein showed significant reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol, and that soy protein did not increase the risk of hormone-induced cancers. And soybean compounds appear to reduce the incidence of colon, prostate, and breast cancer.
The Internet is a rich source of unsupported, unreliable data and opinions.
We encourage a skeptical approach to such information, and recommend a look at such reputable sites as The American Council for Science and Health, HealthCentral, or for the more technically adept, The National Library of Medicine or PUBMED to name a few.
For more on soy issues from Shaklee’s Health Sciences staff, please visit the Reference Library of Hot Topics in the Member Center at myshaklee.com and Shaklee Health Sciences Bulletins.
What You Need to Know About Soy
by Dr. Richard Brouse
Common Concerns About Soy
Do soybeans cause cancer?
It is true that "overcooked" soy does contain "carcinogenic" compounds. When soy is extruded through high temperature, high-pressure steam nozzles to form what is called "textured vegetable protein - TVP for short", this form of processing renders the soy "meat substitute" carcinogenic or cancer causing.
TVP is what is used in soy dogs and soy burgers, and should be avoided.
What about roasted soybeans?
Whole soybeans are high in plant fat. If soybeans are roasted to eat as soy nuts, the heat alters the fat and makes it a trans-fatty acid, which causes both cancer and heart disease.
As roasted soy nuts sit on the shelf or in the cupboard in storage, the oils are becoming more and more rancid and carcinogenic. AVOID roasted soybeans.
But I've heard that soy protein is hard on the kidneys!
Animal protein is much harder to digest than vegetable protein. Since many people have digestive difficulties, protein that is not thoroughly digested is very challenging to the kidneys.
Powdered protein is in a predigested state, and the BEST protein source to choose!
Protein is not the enemy - it is essential for life. It is true, however, that EXCESSIVE protein is hard on the kidneys, so if a person consumes more than 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily, AND does not consume adequate carbohydrates with it, this could cause kidney damage.
I have breast cancer, and I've been told I cannot have soy!
It is true that soy is a "phyto-estrogen" food, which means it contains substances that have hormone-like components.
However, their estrogen strength is 1/1000th that of the body's own stronger estrogens. Therefore, you want to load your digestive system with quality controlled raw soy powder, because these weaker estrogens will block the estrogen receptor sites from receiving your body's own stronger estrogens and therefore be very protective against estrogen fed cancer.
Essential Seven Checklists for a Quality Soy Product:
- Were the soybeans ORGANICALLY GROWN?
Studies have shown decreased levels of food nutrients and increased levels of nitrates in chemically fertilized crops, when compared with their organic counterparts.
There is a connection between the ingestion of nitrates & CANCER!
Therefore, it is important to know that pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides have not been used during the growing process. In particular, with soybeans, since they are such a hardy plant, a powerful and DEADLY weed spray called Round up is usually used. For your safety, you must know that your soy products are organically grown.
- Were the soybeans GENETICALLY ENGINEERED?
Genetically engineered soybeans are much cheaper to purchase, and most companies producing soy products look for ways to save money.
- Does your soybean powder contain ALL of the nine essential amino acids?
One of the most valuable features of the soybean is that it is a complete protein and provides ALL nine of the essential amino acids.
The body requires these daily to produce hormones, digestive juices, antibodies, and enzymes.
HOWEVER, not all soybeans are created equal. Quality and amino acid content will vary based on soil conditions, and variable growing and harvest conditions.
If one essential amino acid is missing, the immune system can be depressed 30%, and many important body functions are delayed or stopped.
Therefore, it is essential that each batch of soybeans be checked for amino acid content if we want to depend on the soy isolate to provide a GUARANTEED supply of the nine essential amino acids.
- Were the crushed soy flakes washed in alcohol or water?
Alcohol washing destroys isoflavones content up to 88%! It is the isoflavones that reduce the risk of breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancer!
As well, it is the isoflavones that are so beneficial in hormone balancing and increasing bone mass.
- Was the "anti-thyroid", "anti-growth" substance in the raw soy removed?
Orientals, who have consumed large amounts of soy for years, have known that RAW soy contains an "anti-growth", "anti-tyrosine" substance.
Tyrosine deficiency will cause low blood pressure, low body temperature, and restless leg syndrome.
Therefore, Orientals always lightly cook their soy foods to deactivate the "anti-tyrosine/anti-growth" substance.
Shaklee has designed an extracting process that removes this substance, yet keeps the soy in a raw form in order to maintain the HIGHEST LEVEL OF AMINO ACIDS and ISOFLAVONES, which are very sensitive to heat.
- Is your soybean food RAW or heated?
Amino acids are very sensitive to heat. In some studies, cooking protein has been shown to destroy up to 50% of some ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS.
If an individual consistently consumes a diet that is lacking in all of the essential amino acids, inadequate brain development and hormones, or other body tissue development can be the result.
- Has CALCIUM been added to your soy powder?
Some negative reports about soy say that soy powders are VERY ACIDIC and cause bone loss because it causes calcium to be drawn from the bones!!!!
The raw soy bean is a NEUTRAL food--neither acidic or alkaline. However, the removal of the soybean oil (which is essential so the soy powder will not go rancid very quickly), makes the powder very acidic.
Therefore, adequate calcium (which is very alkaline) must be added to cause the powder to be neutral again, or it can cause the above stated problem. Many protein powder manufacturers do not add any or enough calcium.
About the Author
Dr. Brouse is a widely recognized authority in the fields of nutrition and prevention of chronic degenerative diseases.
Dr. Brouse has a Master’s in Biochemistry and is a Doctor of Chiropractic.
He was an Associate Professor of Clinical Nutrition for 14 years and found the renowned Sunnyside Health Center in Clackamas Oregon in 1977.
Since that time many people throughout the world have regained a greater measure of health while following the recommendations of the clinic’s health professionals.
1. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, Volume 2, Revised as of April 1, 2014 CITE: 21CFR101.82 http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=101.82
2. Wikipedia - List of countries by life expectancy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
3. The Associated Press Published Friday, August 1, 2014 9:49AM EDT Japanese women have world's longest life expectancy http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/japanese-women-have-world-s-longest-life-expectancy-1.1942092
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