I dedicate this blog post to my fellow vegans who swear on soy products. It's hard to not notice how in-expensive soy products are. That is because over 99 percent of soy is genetically modified which means it doesn't take long to produce and things that have been genetically modified will spoil over a period of time simply because they are not from Mother Nature. Some soy foods include the famous tofu, tempeh and of course soy milk. Even though these soy products are high in protein and remarkably low in fat, there is something in it that is quite scary.
The Limited Benefits
Go on Google right now and look up the word "phytoestrogens", I'll wait. Well, I'm sure some of you guys just skipped that request and that's fine I'll go ahead and break it down for you. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens that do have benefits, such as fighting certain cancers. According to the University of Berkley, soy is heart healthy and has been shown to lower the bad cholesterol in one's body. There was a study done in 1995 where subjects who replaced 50 grams of animal protein with soy protein reduced there LDL levels by 13 percent. However, an updated study by the American Heart Association proved that the lower levels of LDL are actually close to 3 percent. Which translates to one person needing to consume over half a gallon of soy milk to get that much protein, and that isn't logical!
Negative Side Effects
This is a tricky topic because on one hand we have benefits and on the other hand there are serious side effects. The negative aspects are pretty lengthy. A study showed they can actually promote breast cancer and tumor growth when taken in low concentrations as well as inhibiting certain drugs that treat the disease, according to a Canadian research.
In another research, six women who were pre-menopausal and had normal menstrual cycles were given 45 mg of soy isoflavones a day. This dose is equal to 1-2 cups of soy milk or 1/2 a cup of soy flour. After a period of a month, the women experienced delayed menstruation with the effects similar to tamoxifen which is an anti-estrogen drug given to women with breast cancer. This research was done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1994. The list goes on and on so if you want to read more about the different situations in which soya went wrong, you can click here.
A controversial Side Effect
In another story that is quite controversial but needs to be talked about is how soya affects the male species. According to a study, soy-based infant formula contains high levels of isoflavones. These estrogen-like compounds have been shown to induce changes in sexually dimorphic behaviors in animals exposed in early development.
How Soya Hit Home For Me
I was around the age of 16 when I decided I wanted to start integrating soy milk into my diet. As I stated before in my previous blog post on "WHY I WILL NEVER EAT MEAT AGAIN", 16 was the age I was experimenting with the vegan lifestyle. There was so much buzz about soy that I had to buy some and try it out. When I bought soy milk and drank it for about 2 months, my periods were super late, and when it finally did arrive, the pain was so unbearable nothing seemed to soothe it. So I decided to take a look back into my food diary and that’s when I noted that the irregularity in my menstrual cycle coincided with the time I started taking soy milk. Up until this point, the discomfort level of my menstrual cycle was on the low end of the totem pole. So I made a decision to stop the soy milk for good.
Now my mother, who was around 50, going through menopause at that point already stopped having her period, but once she consumed some soy products she automatically started her period out of nowhere and it was heavy. In a nutshell, you are putting your fertility at risk, you are messing up your hormones in my case, you are potentially stimulating cancer growth, and you are putting yourself at risk for cognitive decline and dementia.
To Sum it up….
In conclusion, I strongly, do not support soy formula or soy anything being given to young infants because, for one, it is not natural. Yes, it may be considered a weak estrogen, but it is still something to be considered when looking at one's diet in general. When you research a product it is wise to go at it with an unbiased mind. When there are soo many negative aspects to a single product, why put yourself at risk even if the chances aren't that high? Go with your body, listen to it, and conduct your research accordingly. Remember, you are what you eat.