A Word about Soy
In recent years soy has
emerged as a ‘near perfect’ food, with supporters claiming it can
provide an ideal source of protein, lower cholesterol, protect
against cancer and heart disease, reduce menopause symptoms, and
prevent osteoporosis, among other things.
isoflavones found in soy, genistein and daidzen, the same two
promoted by the industry for everything from menopause relief to
cancer protection, were said to ‘demonstrate toxicity in estrogen
sensitive tissues and in the thyroid’.That last sentence is
rather important for women with endometriosis.
two ‘camps’ for the use of soy in food. There is the traditional,
oriental use of soy in fermented soy products. These products are
produced naturally and do not contain the same chemicals and toxins
of the modern highly processed use of soy.
approach to the use of soy has come by default, by finding a use of
the soy bean by-products after the extraction of oil from the bean.
There was so much soy bean residue that extensive multi- million
dollar campaigning and advertising was used to promote this new
The soybean did not serve as a food in
China until the discovery of fermentation techniques, some time
during the Chou Dynasty. The first soy foods were fermented products
like tempeh, natto, miso and soy sauce.
At a later date,
possibly in the 2nd century BC, Chinese scientists discovered that a
purée of cooked soybeans could be precipitated with calcium sulphate
or magnesium sulphate (plaster of Paris or Epsom salts) to make a
smooth, pale curd - tofu or bean curd. The use of fermented and
precipitated soy products soon spread to other parts of the Orient,
notably Japan and Indonesia.
The Chinese did not eat
unfermented soybeans as they did other legumes such as lentils
because the soy bean contains large quantities of natural toxins or
Production of modern soy protein
products takes place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy
beans is first mixed with an alkaline solution to remove fibre, then
precipitated and separated using an acid wash and, finally,
neutralised in an alkaline solution.
Acid washing in
aluminium tanks leaches high levels of aluminium into the final
product. The resulting curds are spray-dried at high temperatures to
produce a high-protein powder. A final negative process to the
soybean is high-temperature, high-pressure extrusion processing of
soy protein isolate to produce textured vegetable protein (TVP).
But high-temperature processing has the unfortunate
side-effect of so denaturing the other proteins in soy that they are
rendered largely ineffective. Nitrites, which are potent
carcinogens, are formed during spray- drying, and a toxin called
lysinoalanine is formed during alkaline processing. Numerous
artificial flavourings, particularly MSG, are added to soy protein
isolate and textured vegetable protein products to mask their strong
"beany" taste and to impart the flavour of meat.
found in dozens and dozens of items: granola, vegetarian chilli, a
vast sundry of imitation animal foods, pasta, most protein powders
and “power” bars, soy milk, soy yoghurts, soy based cheeses, to name
just a few.
After multi-million dollar figures spent on
advertising and intense lobbying to the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), about 74 percent of U.S. consumers now believe soy products
Here is a quote about soy from the book "What
Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause" by Dr. John Lee,
one of the pioneers in the use of Natural Progesterone Cream.
"Please be wary of all the hype around soy. Although
it does contain compounds that can help balance your hormones, it is
far from a magic hormone balance solution. Soy contains compounds
that block the absorption of needed nutrients like zinc and will
disable enzymes your body needs to access other nutrients. It
directly blocks thyroid function and protein absorption. Many people
are allergic to soy products, and women who are extremely sensitive
to estrogens of any kind may react negatively to them.
The traditional Asian processing methods used to make
fermented soy products--tofu, tempeh, and miso—get rid of most of
the toxins and make the beneficial phytochemicals more available in
the body. Tofu and tempeh are a nearly complete protein and as such
are an excellent alternative to meat in a balanced meal. Miso
stirred into hot water with a strip of kombu or nori (seaweeds)
makes a satisfying soup base or beverage. To offset the negative
side of soy, Dr. David Zava recommends eating fermented soy products
and tofu as the Asians do, with a protein such as fish and a rich
mineral source such as the sea-weeds.
Soy milks and soy
protein powders aren't in the same league as the fermented soy
products, so use them sparingly. There's a good chance that the
soybean toxins are more concentrated in these products, and they may
do you more harm than good over the long haul.
don't eat soy three times a day or even every day. That undermines
your goal of balance. Aim for two or three times a week and get the
rest of your phytochemicals from a variety of fresh fruits and
Health Hazards of
This is a list of health hazards
of soy as reported by health and diet specialists:
levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium,
magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not
neutralised by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking,
sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused
growth problems in children.
2. Trypsin inhibitors in soy
interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders.
In test animals soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted
3. Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have
the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in
4. 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
5. Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and
actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.
6. Soy foods
increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
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.
glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food
processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
10. Soy foods contain high levels of aluminium which is toxic to
the nervous system and the kidneys
11. The various negative
effects of soy weaken the immune system.
Phytic Acid and
Phytic acid is a part of the soy
bean’s makeup which is found in the husk of the bean – and also
totally destroys the credibility of the manufacturers’ claims that
soy products are a good source of calcium and help prevent
osteoporosis. Because soy contains more phytic acid than any other
grain or pulse, and because phytic acid impairs absorption of most
minerals, especially calcium, soy actually strips your body of
Although not a household word, phytic acid has
been extensively studied; there are literally hundreds of articles
on the effects of phytic acid in the current scientific literature.
Scientists are in general agreement that grain - and legume-based
diets high in phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies
in third world countries.
The soybean has one of the
highest phytate levels of any grain or legume that has been studied,
and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal
phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking. Only a long
period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content
Phytic acid has been highlighted by Dian
Mills in her book ‘Endometriosis - Healing through Diet and
Nutrition’, as being a particular compound that is found in wheat.
She speculates that it is the phytic acid in wheat which aggravates
the symptoms of endometriosis. Phytic acid is found at higher levels
in soy than it is in wheat, but many women who use a diet for
endometriosis are substituting their dairy and protein intake with
soy products. This will obviously negate the benefits of a targeted
diet for endometriosis.
Most soybeans are grown on farms
that use toxic pesticides and herbicides, and many are from
genetically engineered plants. When you consider that two-thirds of
all manufactured food products contain some form of soy, it becomes
clear just how many Americans are consuming GM products, whose
long-term effects are completely unknown
The public relations machine
extolling the virtues of soy has been global and relentless. It has
to be - there are at least 100 million acres of soy under
cultivation in the United States alone, much of it genetically
The Monsanto Corporation has 45 million
acres of genetically modified soybeans growing in the United States.
American law permits these crops to be mixed with a small amount of
organic soybeans, and the resultant combination may then be
It is not only the media who bear
responsibility for helping the soy industry carry out this mass-
manipulation and brainwashing of the public. Many health
professionals are so busy, and probably totally unaware of the truth
about Soy, that they are unable to counsel and advise their patients
correctly regarding diet.
Consider the words of Dr
Raymond Peat, the noted endocrine physiologist at the University of
Oregon who was one of the first to blow the whistle on the dangers
of HRT, years before it finally made headlines:
"There is a distinct herd instinct among people who
‘work in science’ which makes it easy to believe whatever sounds
plausible, if a lot of other people are saying it is true. Sometimes
powerful economic interests help people to change their beliefs. For
example, two of the biggest industries in the world, the estrogen
industry and the soy bean industry, spend vast amounts of money
helping people to believe certain plausible-sounding things that
help them sell their products."
You are going to
come across many sources of advice and information about soy, which
will extol the wonderful virtues of this protein substitute. This
advice will, without exception come from the PR machine of the soy
growers. Research this subject further for yourself.
This statement comes from the home page of a web site
that provides informed advice about soy:
‘Uncovering The Truth About Soy’
‘Have you ever wondered about soy? It’s promoted as the
miracle food that will feed the world while at the same time prevent
and cure all manner of diseases. But what if all you’ve read about
soy is nothing but a multi-million dollar marketing strategy, based
on scanty facts, half-truths and lies.
How could anyone
get away with that? The soy industry is one of the world’s most
wealthy and powerful and one that will steam-roll anybody that dares
suggest there may be problems with the darling soy. When we first
questioned the safety of soy, representatives of Protein
Technologies told us that they had:
“Teams of lawyers to
crush dissenters, could buy scientists to give evidence, owned
television channels and newspapers, could divert medical schools and
could even influence governments”.’
on their web site is very revealing and is well worth checking out.
You can find them at:
Soy and the Endometriosis
Many women who change their old diet for a diet to
control endometriosis will be replacing the dairy and protein foods
and substituting them with soy products. These will include soy
milk, soy spreads, soy cheeses, soy based burgers and substitute
meats, and many other alternative soy products.
to avoid all modern soy based foods and food substitutes. The only
safe soy foods are those that come from eastern traditions of
fermented foods like miso, tempeh and tamari. These foods are safe
enough for the healthy person, but for women with endometriosis
their consumption needs to be minimal because of the high levels of
There are thousands of recipe books
loaded with so-called healthy meat alternatives, and 9 times out of
10 this includes alternative soy based products. People will be of
the belief that their meat free, dairy free diet is safe and
healthy, when in fact the opposite is true. This is why I had to
trawl far and wide to find recipes for ‘Recipes for the
Endometriosis Diet’ which were suitable, or adapting the recipe by
removing the soy based ingredient or finding an alternative.
This information is extracted from my book Recipes
for the Endometriosis Diet, so that more women could be made
aware of the issues surrounding soy in their diet.
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