Who Shouldn’t Eat Soy?

Who Shouldn’t Eat Soy?
4.82 (96.36%) 11 votes

How can soy foods have it both ways—pro-estrogenic effects in some organs (protecting bones and reducing hot flash symptoms), but anti-estrogenic effects in others (protecting against breast and endometrial cancer)?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

When the Women’s Health Initiative study found that menopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy suffered “higher rates of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and overall harm,” a call was made for safer alternatives. Yes, estrogen has positive effects, the Women’s Health Initiative found—such as reducing menopausal symptoms and improving bone health, reducing hip fracture risk; but also negative effects—increasing risk of blood clots in the heart, brain, and lungs, as well as breast cancer.

So, ideally, to get the best of both worlds, we’d need what’s called a selective estrogen receptor modulator, something that has pro-estrogenic effects in some tissues (like bone), but anti-estrogenic effects in other tissues (like the breast). Drug companies are trying to make them, but phytoestrogens—natural compounds in plants, like genistein in soybeans, that are structurally similar to estrogen—appear to function as natural selective estrogen receptor modulators. How could something that looks like estrogen act as an anti-estrogen?

The original theory for how soy phytoestrogens control breast cancer growth is that they compete with our own estrogens for binding to the estrogen receptor. As you drip more and more soy compounds on breast cancer cells in a petri dish, less and less actual estrogen is able to bind to them. So, the estrogen-blocking ability of phytoestrogens can help explain their anti-estrogenic effects. But, how do we then explain their pro-estrogenic effects on other tissues, like bone? How can soy have it both ways?

The mystery was solved when we discovered there are two types of estrogen receptors in the body. And, so, how a target cell responds depends on which type of estrogen receptors they have. This may be “the key to understanding the health-protective potential of soy phytoestrogens”—the existence of this newly discovered estrogen receptor, named estrogen receptor beta, to distinguish it from the classic estrogen receptor alpha. And, unlike our body’s own estrogen, soy phytoestrogens preferentially bind to the beta receptors.

If you have people eat about a cup of cooked whole soybeans, within about eight hours, genistein levels in the blood reach about 20 to 50 nanomoles—that’s how much is circulating throughout our body, bathing our cells. About half is bound up to proteins in the blood; so, the effective concentration is about half that. So, let’s see what that means for estrogen receptor activation.

This is the graph that explains the mysterious health benefits of soy foods. Down around the effective levels you’d get eating a cup of soybeans, there’s very little alpha activation—but, lots of beta activation. So, now let’s look at where each of these receptors are located in the human body.

The way estrogen pills increase the risk of fatal blood clots is by causing the liver to dump out all these extra clotting factors. But, guess what? The human liver only contains alpha estrogen receptors, not beta receptors. And so, maybe, if we ate like 30 cups of soybeans a day, that could be a problem. But, at the kinds of concentrations one would get with just normal soy consumption, no wonder this is a problem with drug estrogens—but not soy phytoestrogens.

The effects on the uterus appear also to be mediated solely by alpha receptors—which is, presumably, why no negative impact has been seen with soy. So, while estrogen-containing drugs may increase the risk of endometrial cancer up to ten-fold, phytoestrogen-containing foods are associated with significantly less endometrial cancer—in fact, protective effects for these types of gynecological cancers, in general. Women who ate the most soy had 30% less endometrial cancer, and appeared to cut their ovarian cancer risk nearly in half. 

Soy phytoestrogens don’t appear to have any effect on the lining of the uterus, but still can dramatically improve menopausal symptoms. The Kupperman index is like a compilation of all 11 of the most common menopausal symptoms.

In terms of bone health, human bone cells carry beta estrogen receptors. So, we might expect soy phytoestrogens to be protective. And, indeed, they do seem to significantly increase bone mineral density—consistent with population data suggesting “High consumption of soy products is associated with increased bone mass.” But, can they prevent bone loss over time?

Soy milk was compared to a transdermal progesterone cream. The control group lost significant bone mineral density in their spine over the two-year study period. But, the progesterone group lost significantly less, and the two glasses of soy milk a day group ended up actually better than when they started. This is probably the most robust study to date, comparing the soy phytoestrogen genistein to a more traditional hormone replacement drug regimen. In the spine, over a year, the placebo group lost bone density, but gained in the phytoestrogen and estrogen groups, and the same with the hip bones.

The study clearly shows that the soy phytoestrogen prevents bone loss, and enhances new bone formation, in turn producing a net gain of bone mass. But, the only reason we care about bone mass is that we want to prevent fractures. Is soy food consumption associated with lower fracture risk? Yes. A significantly lower risk of bone fracture associated with just a single serving of soy a day—the equivalent of 5 to 7 grams of soy protein, or 20 to 30 milligrams of phytoestrogens. So, that’s just like one cup of soy milk—or, even better, a serving of a whole soy food, like tempeh or edamame, or the beans themselves. 

We don’t have fracture data on soy supplements, though. So, if we seek the types of health benefits we presume Asian populations get from eating whole and traditional soy foods, maybe we should look to eating those, rather than taking unproven protein powders or pills.

Is there anyone who should avoid soy? Well, some people have soy allergies. A national survey found that only about 1 in 2,000 people report a soy allergy. That’s 40 times less than the most common allergen—dairy milk—and about ten times less than all the other common allergens—like fish, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat, or peanuts.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

When the Women’s Health Initiative study found that menopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy suffered “higher rates of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and overall harm,” a call was made for safer alternatives. Yes, estrogen has positive effects, the Women’s Health Initiative found—such as reducing menopausal symptoms and improving bone health, reducing hip fracture risk; but also negative effects—increasing risk of blood clots in the heart, brain, and lungs, as well as breast cancer.

So, ideally, to get the best of both worlds, we’d need what’s called a selective estrogen receptor modulator, something that has pro-estrogenic effects in some tissues (like bone), but anti-estrogenic effects in other tissues (like the breast). Drug companies are trying to make them, but phytoestrogens—natural compounds in plants, like genistein in soybeans, that are structurally similar to estrogen—appear to function as natural selective estrogen receptor modulators. How could something that looks like estrogen act as an anti-estrogen?

The original theory for how soy phytoestrogens control breast cancer growth is that they compete with our own estrogens for binding to the estrogen receptor. As you drip more and more soy compounds on breast cancer cells in a petri dish, less and less actual estrogen is able to bind to them. So, the estrogen-blocking ability of phytoestrogens can help explain their anti-estrogenic effects. But, how do we then explain their pro-estrogenic effects on other tissues, like bone? How can soy have it both ways?

The mystery was solved when we discovered there are two types of estrogen receptors in the body. And, so, how a target cell responds depends on which type of estrogen receptors they have. This may be “the key to understanding the health-protective potential of soy phytoestrogens”—the existence of this newly discovered estrogen receptor, named estrogen receptor beta, to distinguish it from the classic estrogen receptor alpha. And, unlike our body’s own estrogen, soy phytoestrogens preferentially bind to the beta receptors.

If you have people eat about a cup of cooked whole soybeans, within about eight hours, genistein levels in the blood reach about 20 to 50 nanomoles—that’s how much is circulating throughout our body, bathing our cells. About half is bound up to proteins in the blood; so, the effective concentration is about half that. So, let’s see what that means for estrogen receptor activation.

This is the graph that explains the mysterious health benefits of soy foods. Down around the effective levels you’d get eating a cup of soybeans, there’s very little alpha activation—but, lots of beta activation. So, now let’s look at where each of these receptors are located in the human body.

The way estrogen pills increase the risk of fatal blood clots is by causing the liver to dump out all these extra clotting factors. But, guess what? The human liver only contains alpha estrogen receptors, not beta receptors. And so, maybe, if we ate like 30 cups of soybeans a day, that could be a problem. But, at the kinds of concentrations one would get with just normal soy consumption, no wonder this is a problem with drug estrogens—but not soy phytoestrogens.

The effects on the uterus appear also to be mediated solely by alpha receptors—which is, presumably, why no negative impact has been seen with soy. So, while estrogen-containing drugs may increase the risk of endometrial cancer up to ten-fold, phytoestrogen-containing foods are associated with significantly less endometrial cancer—in fact, protective effects for these types of gynecological cancers, in general. Women who ate the most soy had 30% less endometrial cancer, and appeared to cut their ovarian cancer risk nearly in half. 

Soy phytoestrogens don’t appear to have any effect on the lining of the uterus, but still can dramatically improve menopausal symptoms. The Kupperman index is like a compilation of all 11 of the most common menopausal symptoms.

In terms of bone health, human bone cells carry beta estrogen receptors. So, we might expect soy phytoestrogens to be protective. And, indeed, they do seem to significantly increase bone mineral density—consistent with population data suggesting “High consumption of soy products is associated with increased bone mass.” But, can they prevent bone loss over time?

Soy milk was compared to a transdermal progesterone cream. The control group lost significant bone mineral density in their spine over the two-year study period. But, the progesterone group lost significantly less, and the two glasses of soy milk a day group ended up actually better than when they started. This is probably the most robust study to date, comparing the soy phytoestrogen genistein to a more traditional hormone replacement drug regimen. In the spine, over a year, the placebo group lost bone density, but gained in the phytoestrogen and estrogen groups, and the same with the hip bones.

The study clearly shows that the soy phytoestrogen prevents bone loss, and enhances new bone formation, in turn producing a net gain of bone mass. But, the only reason we care about bone mass is that we want to prevent fractures. Is soy food consumption associated with lower fracture risk? Yes. A significantly lower risk of bone fracture associated with just a single serving of soy a day—the equivalent of 5 to 7 grams of soy protein, or 20 to 30 milligrams of phytoestrogens. So, that’s just like one cup of soy milk—or, even better, a serving of a whole soy food, like tempeh or edamame, or the beans themselves. 

We don’t have fracture data on soy supplements, though. So, if we seek the types of health benefits we presume Asian populations get from eating whole and traditional soy foods, maybe we should look to eating those, rather than taking unproven protein powders or pills.

Is there anyone who should avoid soy? Well, some people have soy allergies. A national survey found that only about 1 in 2,000 people report a soy allergy. That’s 40 times less than the most common allergen—dairy milk—and about ten times less than all the other common allergens—like fish, eggs, shellfish, nuts, wheat, or peanuts.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

But what if you’re at high risk for breast cancer? See BRCA Breast Cancer Genes & Soy.

But what if you have breast cancer already? See Breast Cancer Survival & Soy.

What about genetically modified soy? See GMO Soy & Breast Cancer.

Not all phytoestrogens are beneficial, though. See What are the Effects of the Hops Phytoestrogen in Beer?

How deleterious is hormone replacement therapy? See How Did Doctors Not Know About the Risks of Hormone Therapy?

Synthetic estrogens used in livestock are also a concern. Check out Zeranol Use in Meat & Breast Cancer.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

307 responses to “Who Shouldn’t Eat Soy?

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  1. It’s always reassuring to read “good” reports about soy. I’ll continue to put 1/2 cup WestSoy milk (which contains only whole organic soybeans and filtered water) in my breakfast of steel-cut oats and/or other whole grains like kasha, brown rice, millet, or quinoa. The commercial almond milks are pretty much worthless, IMO. True, they have calcium, etc. added but I figure I can (and do) eat the raw almonds by themselves.




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    1. Besides the fact that the “enhancements” that are added to foods are usually of dubious quality and quantity, and are of questionable benefit. Like you said, get your nutrients from real food where they are appropriate.




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    2. I’m glad you’re eating organic, because a lot of soy is GMO, with glyphosate, gut microbiome disrupters, etc. I stick to the traditional fermented soy: Miso, soy sauce, tempeh, natto. It serves me well.
      John S




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      1. Honestly I have never seen it. Every store I go to only has non-GMO and organic soy. GMO soy is used for livestock. Maybe in Asia they might sell GMO soy to consumers.




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        1. They never tell you that it has GMO. The government protects Monsanto, not us.

          GM plants are widespread in the world’s leading soybean producing countries.

          The United States (85%) and Argentina (98%) produce almost exclusively GM soybeans. In these countries, GM soybeans are approved without restrictions and are treated just like conventional soybeans. Producers and government officials in the US and Argentina do not see a reason to keep GM and conventionally bred cultivars separate – whether during harvest, shipment, storage or processing. Soybean imports from these countries generally contain a high amount of GM content.

          http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/grocery_shopping/crops/19.genetically_modified_soybean.html




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          1. So in other words, you have nothing but a conspiracy theory that the organic soy I am buying is probably GMO because there’s just so much of it. GMO is used primarily for livestock. Period.




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              1. John, a farmer I knew (organic, Rex Spray of Ohio) once explained to me that varieties of soy used for tofu, tempeh, etc. were not GMOed, since the clientele didn’t want them, and it was just easier for Monsatan to tinker with vars for livestock– part of the rotation of corn, soy and Florida.




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                1. Hi Peseta11,
                  I agree that most of the GMO’s go into livestock feed. I don’t want to eat any GMO’s. I don’t want to eat any of that meat either. From what I’ve read, almost all soy in the US is GMO, and if it’s not labeled organic or non-GMO, it probably is, but you make a good point. I would love to know for sure.
                  John S




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                  1. John – my family has grown soybeans for the last 70 years in Ohio. It is ALL grown for animal feed – even before GMO’s hit the market. Non-GMO soybeans are separately shipped to companies who make soy products for human consumption. GMO soybeans are shipped directly to CAFO farms for feed. Only.
                    If you don’t want to eat GMO soy products just look at the packaging. You will see “Made from Non-GMO soy”. If you don’t see that designation – “Made from Non-GMO Soy” – then don’t buy it. But it is clearly delineated and clearly marked.
                    I hope this calms your fears.




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          2. Right on, John!! The government protects evil Monsanto, who makes sure that the lion’s share of corn and soy produced in this country is definitely GM. That’s why I never, never eat any soy products unless it says “organic” and “non-GMO!!”




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      2. I too eat tempeh once in a while. And for many years I’ve been putting a finger-tip’s worth of Miso (from health food store) in my hot gruel. It IS high in sodium, but it gives it a nice flavor; it’s also said to be good for us. Other stuff added: blueberries (thawed from freezer), banana (also a little bit thawed from freezer), chia seeds, flaxmeal, and raw honey or molasses. It’s almost like scarfing down a huge dessert! :-) (Never tried natto.)




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        1. I meant to say that I also add to this massive morning mess a couple shakes of both cinnamon and ginger powders. Oh, and three raw almonds. On the side, Ezekiel toast and organic black coffee (nothing added). *burp* Needless to say, my breakfasts are not chugalog smoothies that can be gulped down in seconds; they require a certain amount of savoring. :-)




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      3. John the GMO glyphosphate-sprayed soy grown in this country is fed to CAFO farm for animal feed. It does not make its way into the human food system. If you are concerned about it, just read the label on your packaging. Every package I have looked at tells us whether it is GMO free or not. And if you want further safety, eat organic soy, which, by definition is not sprayed and is not GMO.




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      4. Dear John – you may not be aware , but the only soy that is say to eat is whole soy beans, and tophu . All fermented products release high amounts of free glutamates. tempeh doesn’t have as much as soy sauce. Soy sauce and all other products with hydrolysed vegetable proteins have concentrated glutamates – which are very similar to msg. They are called excito-toxins and excite the cells all throughout the body. Do a research on Free Glutamates , and Excito-toxins – you will be shocked and will definately stop eating all soy sauces, vegemites, marmites , gravy packet food, all processed foods with flavourings, malted foods have concentrated glutamates as well as all foods that are tasty. e.g. cheese and barbecue flavoured biscuits , chips, or anything in a packet. Be very care ful of Carreagean. – or 407 – its processed sea weed that has had its structure changed so it flavours food. It is extremely toxic to the nervous system, brain, and causes inflamation in the body. Regards from a cancer survivor , sharing her research. All soy is good if it is in its whole form with fibre etc and if its non gmo. of course organic is always better.




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        1. Good-it looks like you’re giving me a lot to work with. I can figure this out over time. I knew about processed stuff like extremely processed soy hydrolyzed protein, etc, and I knew about carageenan. Free Glutamates. I am going to look this up. Thanks Trish, I will check it out.




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          1. Don’t forget John, soy is not good for men due to the high content of estrogen in it. Too much estrogen in the male body overpowers testosterone, and can even cause the loss of testosterone. Estrogen is a female hormone that can cause men’s bodies to become feminine, including causing ED problems.
            Do your research first on what soy can do for men before you indulge.




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            1. I have used organic soymilk daily for 37 years. My male libido is not diminishing and I am now 60 years old. I’m a lab rat experiment for lifelong soy benefits. I never eat fermented soy; I once read that it has a carcinogen (benzopyrenes I’m thinking but not sure) that cause Japanese to have a higher cancer of the colon rate, though they have less overall cancer.




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            2. It seems on one of the recent Soy related videos on this site, the result of a male using soy products lowered estrogen but did not lower serum testosterone…




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    3. And soybeans are an excellent source of spermidine, often called a “longevity elixir” because it promotes autophagy, a cellular housekeeping process in which the body gets rid of bad cells. (You may recall that autophagy took a Nobel Prize this year.) Sperm is also rich in spermidine, but I prefer the taste of soybeans. (Hope that made you laugh!) Here’s one list of spermidine sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022763/table/T0002/




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  2. Should soy be avoided by individuals with hypothyroidism? There seems to be a lot of controversy about soy and potential thyroid issues. What does the latest evidence-based nutrition research show about this?




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        1. Definitely. Eating plants has far greater benefits and with only minimal (if any) negative side effects than eating animal products does. People will believe anything so long as they can keep consuming the stuff that’s truly complicit in their health and physical challenges.




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    1. I would also appreciate some insight on this other than what I’m already researching. I have hypothyroidism and since switching to a plant based diet, I often ate soy as a means to increase protein. I started feeling bad again and therefore had my levels rechecked. They were low, and since consuming soy was the only dietary change I had made (other than eliminating almost all meat), I was told to now elimate soy…




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      1. Yes, I’d really love to hear what Dr. Greger thinks about soy and thyroid. I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, on a low dose of Synthroid to keep my thyroid normal. When my husband and I went completely vegan a year ago (and thus increased our soy consumption greatly), my husband lost 40 lbs, and I gained 6! I also noticed that my thyroid began to slightly swell again. Please Dr. Greger, what do you think? I’d love to be able to eat edemame, and occasionally have some soy meat substitute a few times a week. Thank you.




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        1. Shannon, on a side note that I hope you can find helpful…there’s a book that’s very helpful for people like us :) It’s called “Overcoming Thyroid Disorders” by Dr. David Brownstein. Great book with a lot of good info and help. One other thing I might suggest you look into, or ask your doctor, is switching from a synthetic med (such as Synthroid or Levathroid) to a natural supp. such as Nature Throid, West Throid, or Armour. These are much more effective at converting T4 to T3. I’ve heard of dramatic changes just from changing the prescription. I hope we both get some good answers!




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          1. Thank you Chelsea. I will find that book and also talk to my Dr. She never mentioned the possibility of there being anything other than Synthroid, so I’ll look into it for sure. Thanks again!




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        2. Hello Shannon, Chelsea, ElizabethC, angelica, and Frank,
          (I’m a volunteer website moderator, and family physician). I just did a quick literature search on PubMed, and found this 2015 study in post-menopausal women, this 2014 study in surgically post-menopausal macaques, and this 2006 literature review, ALL of which showed no adverse impact of soy on thyroid function; in fact, the macaque study showed that soy probably preserves thyroid function.

          However, on the other side of the argument, I found this 2011 study : which looked at patients with “subclinical hypothyroidism” — i.e. had normal thyroid levels but elevated TSH levels — and are at increased risk of developing hypothyroidism. It was a very small study, but they found that women who ate a diet high in phytoestrogens were more likely to progress to full hypothyroidism.

          It looks to me like the preponderance of evidence indicates no adverse effect on thyroid function.




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        3. I also have hypothyroidism and noticed a few years ago that after eating soy products I would become sluggish and bloated. Spoke with my nutritionist who said people with Thyroid disorders need to avoid or eat infrequently and in small quantities.




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        1. Thank you so much Christine for your reply! I do occasionally eat seaweed (probably 2-4 times a month) for that purpose, but I just recently began taking an iodine/selenium/zinc supplement after my recent blood work showed low levels of T3. The amount I’m taking is 12.5 mg twice a day (iodine 5mg/iodide 7.5mg), so is it safe to say that this is an adequate amount in my diet and this allow for the occasional soy consumption?




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          1. It should be more than adequate depending on your bromide, flouride exposures but can take a long time to become iodine sufficient after having been deficient.




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        2. Hi Christine. Thank you for this reply. However there is still some confusion because the reply from Dr. Greger that you referred to speaks only to low levels in a normal thyroid. Hashimotos is an auto-immune disease different from a low thyroid, and there are some studies like this one (http://jeffreydachmd.com/2014/02/iodine-hashimotos-autoimmune-thyroid-disease/) that say patients with Hashimotos should NOT consume iodine because if the nature of the auto-immune disease. I know he is super busy, but It would be awesome if Dr. Greger had time to review this particular study from Korea in relation to Hashimotos in specific, and iodine consumption.

          Thank you again!




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    2. Hi Frank, this is an area of hot debate and not a lot of information. There have been studies that showed that infants given soy had some development of goiter but recent studies in adults have shown there is little to nothing to worry about. Here is a link to an abstract published in 2011 that indicates it should not be something to worry about https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21745527




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    3. Oops! Will try to post this reply again! This question has been a hot topic for awhile with a fair amount of debate. There were some reports that indicated infants fed only soy formula had developed goiters but more recent studies showed that adults did not have to worry about soy intake even if they had to take medication for their thyroid. Here’s a link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21745527




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  3. Soya has its benefits for health, but we should remember not to consume too much. Consuming too much soya may raise IGF-1 levels. In my experience, it’s not hard to drink 2-4 litres or more of soya milk in a day, which may be a little too much.




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    1. Water is the beverage of choice, any other liquid should be used as an ingredient. Kind of a difficult concept for a society that was brainwashed to guzzle milk and soda at every opportunity!




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          1. And teas are made up of water. I love using teas as my source of fluids. I use rooibos, hibiscus, burdock root, chamomile, white tea, green tea. I mix 3 or 4 different teas up sometimes for the synergy.




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            1. Agreed, one of the rituals of my day here in FL is to go foraging to gather ingredients for my daily pitcher of “tea”. Today’s concoction included a prodigious tasty wild plant that is a local relative of the pricey Asian herbal supplement, gotu kola, wild mint, fennel sprigs, hibiscus calyxes, a few citrus leaves and a green tea bag for good measure! I change it up daily so there is always something new to try.




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              1. That sounds great! I find teas more hydrating then plain water. I also use them for my intermittent fasting as a way to stay hydrated and curb hunger.




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    2. And keep in mind that soy protein powder (the amino acids only) should be avoided, as Dr. G has pointed out. I think it’s criminal that Sloan-Kettering researchers tested a soy protein powder on women with breast cancer. And they were surprised that the protein powder promoted the expression of genes that regulate breast cancer growth? Don’t they know that soy protein powder stimulates IGF-1 and is rich in glutamine, an amino acid that some breast cancer cells thrive on? See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4817128/




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      1. This citation should definitely be read by everyone participating in this discussion:

        Phytoestrogen content of various foods:
        http://tinyurl.com/z3kpvsw

        It shows, for example, that there are more than 100 times more total phytoestrogens in whole soybeans than in sprouted ones. PE content of soy milk turns out to be quite low.




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    1. My neighbor, who is vegetarian, says she would never eat soy or feed it to children. She saw on a TV talk show that it causes a decrease in the size of male genitals! That’s funny. I wonder where this rumor got started?




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        1. Shorter people have less cancer and fewer broken bones. The longest lived people in the world tend to be short,so it’s not always a negative effect.
          John S




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        2. Men who are “short of stature” when they are compared to other cultures (an inadequate comparison) are not necessarily “less than”. Think of the Samurai. The Japanase and other asians have been – historically – very fierce fighters, strong, healthy people with a whole lot of stamina. Your “short of stature” issue has nothing to do with health and stamina of a culture. That is something that is worrisome in your own internal sense of self.
          Perhaps you are worried about the size of your own (short of stature) extremities?




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          1. I’ve not written anything either positive or negative about being short, if you want to get offended then keep it to yourself rather than exposing yourself.




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        3. All men have a certain level of estrogens in their systems just as all women all have testosterone in their systems as well.

          Men are always worried about their testicles and how big they are on all levels, aren’t they?




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    1. Alan: re: “Seems to me Asians eat fermented soy, not soybeans.” This is not my understanding. Asians eat plenty of tofu, soy milk and edamame, none of which is fermented.




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      1. I think that traditionally, many Asian people ate mostly fermented soy. That’s where that is coming from. Now Asian people eat gnocchi, tacos, and hummus, as well as everything else.
        John S




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        1. John: People certainly talk about “traditionally Asian people ate mostly fermented soy.” I know it gets said a lot. The point I was making that is that it is my understanding that this is not true. Certainly soy milk, tofu and edamame are as traditional as tempeh or miso. I heard this from someone who studied those cultures, but I don’t have a link handy, so at the moment, it’s just my say-so. However, I don’t find it credible that they would only or even mainly have eaten soy fermented. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.




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            1. John: “Antinutrient” is a term that is largely misunderstood. Gatherer found us a great article discussing the concept: http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/johannah-sakimura-nutrition-sleuth/antinutrients-are-nothing-to-fear/ You might also look up ‘phytates’ on this website to learn about their likely benefits even though phytates count as an antinutrient. http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=phytates&fwp_content_type=video
              .
              Bottom line for me is that unfermented traditional soy foods like soy milk, tofu and edamame are associated with health benefits as shown on this site. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/soy There’s no reason in any of this to believe that people abstained from or limited non fermented soy products or that antinutrients are an issue when it comes to soy.




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                1. John, would you please provide your scientific research regarding “anti-nutrients”. I would like to see a better conversation on this topic with you.
                  Anti-nutrient sounds like such a vague term to me that I don’t understand what you are talking about. So would you please enlighten us all what, scientifically, anti-nutrients refers to. Thank you so much.




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              1. Enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid mainly. Yes there is some value in phytic acid, but the plants put in too much. That’s one reason many of these foods are cooked. Other examples are like cyanide in apple seeds and red elderberry so that you don’t eat them.




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                1. Do you have a source to back up your vaguely worded assertion that “there is some value in phytic acid, but the plants put in too much”? Which plants in particular? How many grams is too much?




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    2. I live in East Asia and have see what foods the elderly population cooks at home, i.e. the traditional diet. Tofu and soy milk are eaten on a daily basis to no ill effect.




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    1. Doesn’t trigger it for me. If anything it helps clear it up since it replaces dairy. Dairy is a big acne trigger for me. My second biggest trigger is doing weight training (which I still do since the benefits are more important).




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    1. Angelica, that seemed to be what Dr. Greger said in this video. I was pleased that this is so. I think he also goes over this subject in his book. I’d have to check. I wish he’d mentioned soy beans versus fermented soybeans like tofu.




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        1. Fermented tofu does exist, known in China as “stinky tofu”. It has a smell reminiscent of rotting garbage, but is actually quite tasty, although most Westerners wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.




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      1. Tofu isn’t fermented, it’s a coagulation process like making cheese, though it can be fermented afterwards it isn’t common. Tempeh, miso, natto and others are fermented.




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    2. I can share with you my experience re: osteopenia. Before switching to a WFPB SOS (no/low salt, oil, sugar) diet I ate the SAD diet and tested at beginning osteopenia via a bone density test. Osteopenia is the precursor to osteoporosis. It is marked by 5 levels of increasing bone thinning. I tested at 2/5 with 0 being no osteopenia and 5 being bad osteopenia. After switching and adding tofu to my diet my osteopenia markers reversed to the zero level.
      Now I cannot say that it was the tofu or the whole diet change that did it. But I can tell you that my osteopenia is gone. I am in my 60’s and all my other women friends who still eat the SAD diet talk about their bone thinning. I do not think it is a mistake that i have none.




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    3. Yes, that is what the video said. If you click on the “sources cited” tab at the right of the video you can see all of the references that he shows during the video. About 2/3 of the way down are the three or four references that cite soy and osteoporosis.




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  4. I shouldn’t, and don’t, eat soy. A couple (thousand?) years ago the Chinese symbol for soy was similar to a legume, a crop for enriching the soil, and not a food symbol. Eventually the Chinese & Japanese fermented soy as in miso, tofu, … which significantly reduces the hormone effects. The U.S. goody goody people inferred if soy was good in tofu it would be good as soy beans unfermented. . Not the same thing. Not proven by the oriental use of soy fermented products. In particular as an 81 year old male, my “free testosterone” is at the bottom of range and my estriol at the top. I should avoid more estrogens. So why don’t we eat tofu? Check it out, loaded with salt. Salt raises blood pressure, mine in particular.
    Tons of good vegetables out there, I don’t purposefully eat soy, note in the U.S. most soy is GMO.




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    1. Perhaps if you used low sodium organic soy products they would block your estrogen receptors, preventing other forms of estrogen from affecting your levels and even bringing them down. Does this sound reasonable to any of you moderators and doctors?




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    2. What’s your source on the amount of salt in tofu? I just read in Google: 9mg in a half cup of tofu. That doesn’t seem like much when AHA recommends mas of 1500mg a day. Also it doesnt look like tofu is fermented – just ground, boiled soybeans; filter out skins,etc.; stir in a coagulant which can be something like vinegar or epsom salt-magnesium sulfate and contains no sodium; press until firm (less than an hour) and you have tofu.




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    3. Your claims hold little validity. Asians have traditionally eaten edamame, soy milk, and other products of cooked soy, they aren’t US “inventions”. Though I agree fermentation does confer it’s benefits to many types of food, tofu is NOT fermented, it is just boiled to make soy milk, and coagulated with either nigari or calcium sulfate, and is not high in sodium. This video explained about the different kinds of estrogen receptors and why soy does not raise levels, did you even watch it? Nobody needs to eat any particular food they don’t enjoy whatever the reason, but warning off others using flawed information is totally unnecessary.




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        1. Tasty, but more vegetarian than vegan since I had to allow myself to sample the ample bounty besides the vegan fare I brought! :) How about yours?




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    4. You are correct – the majority of soy raised in this country IS GMO. And if you really knew your stuff you would also know that this GMO soy is what is raised as feed to CAFO farms. At 60-plus years old I can tell you that the soy raised on our family farm became GMO in later years as we raised soybeans for, what is termed in the business, “farm-feed”. Cows at CAFO farms. One can look at the packaging on just about any package of tofu in the grocery store and see that soy for human consumption is, in general, non-GMO and states such. This is also a separate distinction from organic.

      From the package of non-fermented, non-organic, non-GMO tofu in my refrigerator, it reads that there is 25mgs of sodium in one serving. I’d have to eat the entire package to get to 125 mgs of sodium. That leaves me an additioinal 1,000 mgs of sodium to consume the rest of the day if I wanted to stay at the best recommended sodium level of 1250mgs/day.

      As for soy being a legume – that’s correct. Legumes enrich soils by pulling nitrogen from the air and transporting it to the roots of the plant and out into the soil. In agriculture, this is called “nitrogen fixing”. It’s very beneficial to the soil. Other beneficial (to both soil and human beings as well as farm animals) legumes are alfalfa (which is fed to cows and horses as hay), sweet and sugar snap peas, green peas, beans, peanuts and vetches.

      And just because a thousand years ago the Chinese symbol for soy was not a food items does not make the insinuation you make accurate. It used to be thought that tomatoes were poisonous. Now we know that the lycopene in tomato products is beneficial to your prostate among other bodily organs. And, did you know this? . . the longer one simmers tomato products, the more the lycopene increases.

      I am so very glad that we have this site with modern well researched information to continue our march toward better education and knowledge through fact, rather than relying on thousand year old myth. It doesn’t mean information and our knowledge won’t change. But it’s better than the old wives tales we’ve used in the not too distant past.




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  5. Common sense dictates that a common food that has been eaten for ages in Asia by millions of all ages and sexes and in many different forms would have vanished long ago if it had the many negative effects attributed to it by the propaganda that circulates as fact! If anything, it helped promote good health, look at their numbers and statistics…UNTIL they started eating like us! And a bit more common sense would inform you that you should never rely on too much of any single item in your diet… even too much water can be harmful. It’s nice to see the science verify the above, but people will still believe what they read by some self proclaimed “expert” who is just echoing what they read by some other self proclaimed expert. Boggling!




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  6. Would fat free soy milk be as beneficial in terms of ovarian cancer protection? I’ve never seen any other traditional product like tempa or tofu to be fat free.
    I am following Dr Esselstyn’s heart disease reversal and he doesn’t like fat but I have ovarian cancer in the family & am concerned about protection and finding a way to diminish the effects of things like bpa that cannot be avoided.
    However I understand that messing whit the natural composition of food can diminish it’s effectiveness and am concerned about processing the fat out of soy.




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    1. Dr Esselstyn’s protocol is very low fat not fat free. I didn’t look very extensively in his web site info. But here is a little.

      As nuts are a rich source of saturated fats, my preference is no nuts for heart disease patients. That also eliminates peanuts and peanut butter even though peanuts are officially a legume. For those with established heart disease to add more saturated fat that is in nuts is inappropriate. For people with no heart disease who want to eat nuts and avocado and are able to achieve a cholesterol of 150 and LDL of 80 or under without cholesterol lowering drugs, some nuts and avocado are acceptable. Chestnuts are the one nut, very low in fat, it is ok to eat.

      1 -2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds or chia seeds daily for omega 3 are appropriate for everyone to eat including heart patients, if they wish. Some seeds baked in bread or crackers is acceptable. Just don’t eat handfuls.

      Check out his recipes. They include tofu.




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  7. What about people that are on Coumadin? I have read that tofu and soy in general interferes with the absorption and metabolism of Coumadin and have had my INR dip really low when I have tofu. Any comments??




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    1. Let me suggest that if you are concerned about this subject, that you go to the PubMed site (where all research is published) and dig out some research. Do some background work of your own and find out. Here is the link:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

      Go find out for yourself what the situation is. We all have to be in charge of our own health no matter what.




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    2. Interestingly, doing a quick search for interactions between soy and coumadin each article referred to one case report from 2002 wherein a patient on coumadin started drinking soy milk and it greatly interfered with his INRs. No other studies or case reports corroborated and none postulated a mechanism. It makes me wonder if the soy effects the health of the bacteria in the gut that actually makes the Vitamin K that is inhibited by Coumadin. If the bacteria are healthier due to the ingestion of soy they would make more Vit K and one would need more Coumadin to inhibit the Vit K. This is just my speculation on this. Most of the literature that I reviewed recommended taking it slow and see what the effect is on you. Like most things regarding diet and coumadin, be as consistent as possible if you decide to add this to your diet. Either have some most days or just avoid it altogether.




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  8. Non-related to the current video : Have you seen that nutrionfacts.org has been referenced through a story by the Washington Post as being among 200+ internet sites that were “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season” https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html

    You can see nutritionfacts.org being listed by the PropOrNot organization mentioned in the WaPo article at http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html

    Talk about fake news! Thank’s for all you do and keep up the excellent work!




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    1. So, Russian propaganda wants the citizens of this world to pay more attention to how and what they eat…
      I just wrote those idiots from propornot.com an email. I was pretty explicit.




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      1. I frequent several of the sites on their “hit list” including yours and what they have in common is that they are very influential and none of them are promoting the Big Business, corporate view of the world. Most are genuinely trying to get to the truth of the matter and report on what has been filtered out by the main-stream media.




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      2. Really amazing that they have the face of talking of “fake” news and propaganda, when they were caught in the act as we could see in wikileaks, one time after another and another and ….. They no longer have any credibility.

        As always let’s follow the money, bet you another org that we could trace to Soros.




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    2. Could it be that the Mainstream Media has concocted this concept of “Fake News” in an attempt to convince the populace that they are the only ones allowed to hold the title of “Ministry of Truth”? ;-)




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  9. This is great information about eating soy; however, I am wondering about organic soy vs. GMO-soy. I’m wondering if there is such a thing as organic, and if one should pay attention to that fact while selecting the soy products to




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    1. hi Anne, if you quickly scan the comments above you will see a few mentions of organic soy products(non-GMO, as are all organic products), as well as nonGMO non-organic products. Not sure where you are located but these products are widely available , and inexpensive. The only tempeh I see for sale here is organic. Guest ‘ posted an excellent explanation of the GMO question above.




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    2. From what I understand, the reason that soy is genetically modified by Monsanto, is to make it ‘Round-up’ resistent. In other words, when soy fields are sprayed with ‘Round-up’ — a weed killer chemical, the soy plants don’t die.




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      1. Let me help to clarify this issue.
        GMO soy is genetically modified by companies like Monsanto. It is generally treated with lots of Glyphosphate.
        Non-GMO soy is not genetically modified. It may or may not be treated with Glyphosphate or other chemicals.
        Organic Soy is never GMO and is treated, when growing, by organically-accepted means.

        In general, you can purchase non-GMO soy products for consumption without the expense of organic.
        If you are very worried about chemicals and glyphosphate, then purchase organic soy products.

        All soy products will state on the label if they are organic or non-GMO.

        Virtually ALL OF THE GMO-MODIFIED SOY PRODUCTS GROWN IN THIS COUNTRY ARE GROWN FOR ANIMAL FEED. It is almost impossible to find GMO soy products in your grocery store. It may not be organic, but it will not be (in general) GMO. The best thing to do is to buy from a company that you have researched and you trust. Email them and ask them how they grow their soy products.

        The problem with GMO soy is that these fields are heavily sprayed with Glyphosphate, a heavily-suspected carcinogen. So although the Glyphosphate kills the weeds, it – the chemical – settles in the soil and on the plants and shows up in our food. No one wants to eat this stuff.
        However, this stuff is fed to our feed animals: cows, pigs, poultry, fish, etc. and continues its climb in the food chain. So the higher on the food chain we eat, the more we get these concentrated chemicals in our bodies. Glyphosphate is not the only worrisome chemical.

        So if you are really worried, then choose organic soy in your grocery store. If you aren’t so worried, choose non-organic non-GMO soy products in your grocery store. They ARE labeled as such.

        The only poor souls who have to eat GMO Soy are our poor farm animals.. . . . and the people that, then, eat them on up the food chain.

        I hope this helps to clarify.




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  10. While I paused this video to look up genistein (the major soy phytoestrogen), I came across an article that questioned its role in vasodilation/vasoconstriction in postmenapausal women. https://www.sciencenews.org/node/4938 Would you please address this? The author, herself, stated that she would not stop eating soy, because of its other health benefits. Tnx!!




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    1. Thanks for sharing this interesting series of articles. It is interesting that they found the opposite of what they expected regarding the vasodilitation of women’s arteries when they ate soy. It may be that since they already had heart disease their endothelium was damaged to the point of not responding as well. Just speculating. I will forward this article to our article retrieval team for Dr. Greger’s input. Stay tuned!




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      1. Thanks so much!! Am always hopeful that a study, such as this one will be refuted. In the meantime, much like the author of the article, i will continue to eat tofu, miso & edamame.




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  11. I am one of those with the rare allergy to soy, specifically soy milk, but not other forms. It turns out that the beans in the brand of soy milk I drank were raw, according to the provider’s consumer phone service, and I could drink it if I cooked it first. Drinking it as supplied in the carton caused swelling around my eyes so they swelled shut. Heating it nearly to a boil did make it safe.




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    1. thanks for your post Ken Z. I have not heard of the connection to raw soy beans and allergic type of reaction. Cooking it seems an easy enough solution, (i never would have guessed it would work in a hundred years!) and I will mention it to friends who react to soy. thank you very much




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  12. How does one explain that tamoxifen is protective for receptor positive breast cancer but increases the risk of uterine cancer, whereas soy phyto-estrogens appear to be protective for both types of cancers?




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    1. I think it’s phytoestrogens causing negative feedback on estrogen production. So lower endogenous estrogen for soy consumers.

      I have no evidence to support that, but I have read it somewhere.




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  13. Should heart patients eat soy? It is evidently problematic due to the higher fat content. Dr. McDougall calls for “non-fat soy milk” and Esselstyn also. However, there doesn’t appear to be any such product. All fat free or reduced fat soy milks have lots of dubious ingredients. Is soy milk high fat? Is this not desirable for those trying to reverse heart disease?




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    1. hi Tobias, it would seem you have answered your own question with the recommendations of drs mcdougall and esselstyn there. Nonfat and ‘light ‘soy milk products are available though they are not sold in my area. A quick google search produced https://silk.com/products/organic-original-soymilk and http://www.westsoymilk.com/products/non-fat/nonfat-plain/.
      Weighing in with another view on heart disease treatment is dr fuhrman http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-fuhrman-md/heart-health-prevent-and-reverse_b_783565.html
      I myself include 1 tbsp flax, one walnut (only!), and 1 to 1.5 cups soy milk perday in what I eat. I avoid or rarely eat potatoes, pasta, and most bread products




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    2. I buy two different brands of soymilk. One is 3.5% fat while the other is 2.5% fat. The lower fat brand. Pacific Select Soy Original, has Organic Soy Base (Water, Whole Organic Soybeans) Dried Cane Syrup, Natural Flavor, Sea Salt, Carrageenan.
      I have found soymilk from 0% to 5% fat but as you have mentioned the very low fat have too many additives. I don’t know your particulars but you would have to decide how low fat you need to be. My sister who follows Dr. Esselstyn is more concerned with it being unsweetened with no additives and uses Trader Joe’s which is 4.5% fat but just filtered water, organic whole soybeans. Hope this helps a little.




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      1. Personally, I have a Soyabella machine and would make my own from plain beans all the time if it were okay. Wish there was a basic way to remove the fat.

        Maybe removing the fat at the industrial level turns soymilk into a “processed food.”

        My solution has been to use “banana milk” or to pour frozen banana on cereal, which is quite good but it’s easy to run out of frozen ripe bananas. Frozen mango can work fair as well but not as good as bananas.




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        1. I would never suggest limiting soy milk to her. She communicates with Dr. Esselstyn and he is pleased with what and how she is doing. He has told her to eliminate the peanut butter because she can not always control herself with eating just a little bit (addictive comfort food). The soy milk she uses does not have carrageenan in it. Thanks for your reply. She does refer to the nutritionfacts.org site for information.




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  14. I consume Non-GMO tofu, soymilk and soybeans. I am 70 years old and my bone density test was 3 times higher to the good then the average person my age. My doctor is still scratching his head!




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    1. Nancy – I’ve had the same result – at 63. Reversal of osteopenia. But also do not eat diet-acidifiying meat diet. But ALSO do not sit around on my tush – I still work physically in my garden service business as well as my own home. I don’t sit on the stupid couch!!!
      One of the parts that women have with bone loss is that they do not stress the bone (which tells it to strengthen up by muscle-pulling on the bone) by using their bodies in physical ways.

      Women: get off your arses!!!




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  15. Hi all,
    I didn’t notice vaginal atrophy as one of the effects monitored in the estrogen effects of soy. Anyone here have experience with soy or other food helping that kind of problem. I’m not concerned with effects on hot flashes. Did I miss that in the video?




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    1. hi Birt, I was able to pull up one study dealing directly with your question, but I do not have access to the full text . From the abstract though we see that the diet intervention group eating soy products did have a positive outcome, as did the group receiving HRT. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12927310
      I can not tell you how much or what form of soy they consumed, but from the above video and other comments of dr greger’s, 2 to 3 servings of soy per day would be a safe level of consumption.




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      1. Thanks for the link. It looks encouraging. Strangely, I heard someone online (JJ Virgin (?)) saying soy was terrible for humans. I guess I have to buy her book to find out why she thinks so.




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  16. so apparently nutritionfacts.org is Russian Propoganda?

    http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html?m=1

    Washington Post did a weird article on this random website purporting to be exposing Russian propoganda.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/report-russian-propaganda-effort-spread-fake-news/2016/11/25/72eb461c-b33a-11e6-bc2d-19b3d759cfe7_story.html%3F0p19G%3De?client=safari

    Apparently Greger is a pinko commie. Lol




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    1. Is he taking kickbacks from the Ruskies or just doing it out of political ideology? That’s our trusted free press, the Washington Post. That is funny.




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      1. Yeah, this red scare stuff is unnerving though.

        My guess is that “list” is just websites popular with people who criticized the dem party over social media during the election. (Libertarian websites, independent news outlets, far right pundits are also on the list).

        It seems a lot of health websites showed up on the list.. Nutritionfacts.org obviously not political, but Maybe vegans happen to be more likely to seek out non-mainstream news??




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  17. ” a single serving of soy a day – the equivalent of 5-7 grams of soy protein…”
    Now I know how much a serving size is :)
    Thank you Dr Greger and Nutritionfacts team!




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    1. Hey lemonhead – I am curious. Did you get this info from Greger? Five to seven grams is the amount in about a teaspoon as one ounce has 28grams in it. So this is one fifth of one ounce? Is this correct? I just can’t imagine that they are stating that one serving is one fifth of one ounce. Can you clarify for us? Thx!




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      1. hi Guest, Thea wrote about how things can be confusing when servings sizes are described in terms of soy protein vs soy food product in the post anove . My brand of soy milk has 7 gm protein per cup , so 1 cup is one serving. If tofu has for example 2gm protein per oz, then 1 serving would be about 3 oz. Just check the nutrition labels for the products you use.




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      2. That’s 5-7 grams of soy protein. So the 25 grams of natto I ate for breakfast this morning had 4.9 grams of soy protein in it – that’s at the lower range of a serving. Usually I have 30 grams of natto, but I ran out; according to the FDA, a ‘serving’ of natto is 90 g (!), which contains 15.9 g of protein. I also has 3 oz of soy milk today, which contained 2.4 grams of protein. So my total for soy protein today was 7.3, which is just over one serving equivalent of soy.

        This is my preferred way of keeping track of my soy intake, that’s why I posted the thank-you to Dr Greger et al.




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  18. The practical problem here in England is that the only organic soy beans I ever see always come from China and, therefore, liable to be heavily contaminated and produced using forced/child labour; and I expect this is what goes into ready-prepared soy products too.




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      1. Very sure. International trade is mysterious. I see that ALL the varieties of organic dried beans are Chinese; they have an absolute monopoly; peanuts too. Chickpeas and lentils are from Turkey, which is even worse. The only safe & ethical choice left in dried legumes is green split peas. Currently, flaxseeds are all Chinese too; as is most of the stuff in our shops. Very frustrating ☹️




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        1. I’m pretty sure you can find all sorts of beans in UK that are grown right here in Ontario Canada . A farmer owned co-op near here ship boatloads of beans to UK . Mostly the white navy bean but they have others that are not as popular and the last time I checked they were GMO free . Not normally organic grown though. They run the beans past a electric eye, so that each individual bean is inspected , any cracks or discolouration of a bean is then rejected .




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          1. I have just found Canadian lentils and English fava beans, both organic, so feeling like I’ve found gold. I am reasured by your confidence in non-organic Canadian produce, so I won’t have any worries about buying that next time I can’t find organic. I really appreciate the advice.




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  19. There has been a lot of confusion over a) how much soy traditional Asian cultures ate and b) how much of that soy was fermented vs unfermented.
    .
    Dr. Greger covers safe amounts of soy in the following video: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/ 3 servings a day looks to be perfectly safe. This information is derived from a study in Japan showing that 3 servings cleared the IGF1 promotion issue.
    .
    I did a little research outside of NutritionFacts. Not a lot and not definitive, but I think the following information is helpful. The following quote comes from the page: http://www.theveganrd.com/2011/03/soyfoods-in-asia-how-much-do-people-really-eat.html
    .
    “The confusion about how much soy Asians consume is based partly on a simple mathematical misunderstanding. In studies of intake, findings are sometimes expressed as the amount of soy protein that people consume—which is different from the total amount of soy food in their diets. For example, according to surveys in Japan, older adults consume around 10 grams of soy protein per day, which is the amount of protein in about 1 to 1 ½ servings of traditional soyfoods. Because a number of authors have misunderstood the relationship between soy protein and soyfood, they’ve greatly underestimated the amount of soy in Japanese diets.
    .
    Information about soy intake in Asia comes from a number of different resources including studies designed to examine the effects of diet on health, Japan’s National Nutrition Survey, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The most important of these are the studies designed to look at diet and disease relationships because many of them evaluated soy intake comprehensively. That is, they recorded frequency, and amounts of all types of soy products consumed using validated dietary intake instruments.
    .
    The results show a fairly wide range of intake among different countries and even within populations. While average Japanese intake is 1 to 1 ½ servings, the surveys reveal that the upper range among older Japanese—who would be expected to eat a more traditional diet—is about 3 servings of soyfoods per day.

    And contrary to popular opinion, the soy products regularly consumed in these countries are not all—or even mostly—fermented. In Japan, about half of soy consumption comes from the fermented food miso and natto and half comes from tofu and dried soybeans. In Shanghai, most of the soyfoods consumed are unfermented, with tofu and soymilk making the biggest contributions. In fact, even in Indonesia, where tempeh is a revered national food, unfermented soy products like tofu account for around half of soy intake.”
    .
    Soyfoods have been consumed in China for at least 1,500 years and in Japan for 1,000 years. The evidence shows that soyfoods—both unfermented and fermented—continue to be a significant part of traditional Asian diets.”
    .
    The article is worth a full read as it covers information about soy intakes varying by region.
    .
    Jack Norris is a well respected RD who does a lot of research into various nutrition issues. He has a detailed article covering soy, complete with 136 references. http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soy_wth#asia Here are some important points:
    .
    “In Japan and Shanghai, China, average intakes are about 1.5 servings per day, but many people consume an average of two or more servings per day. About half the soy eaten in Asia is not fermented. … In both Japan and China, non-fermented foods provide approximately half of the total soy intake. In Shanghai, nearly all soy is non-fermented.” Jack Norris’s article has a lot more details about soy, including soy consumption, for anyone interested.
    .
    The bottom line is that claims of “Asians don’t eat much soy.” or “Asians mainly eat fermented soy.” are not backed by the evidence.




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  20. I agree some soy in the natural way that it is used in Asia is good. Between 25 and 50 mg of phytoestrogens a day.
    But in the days where people went on soy binges: soy milk, tofu, edemame, soy nuts so burgers, we saw endometrial thickening and uterine bleeding in women and gynecomastia in men. Remember people do not eat tofu steaks and stir fries and soups contain mostly vegetables with some soy. Her I see eating tofu teriyaki with a plate full of tofu , the equivalent of a whole block of tofu or more! That is 125 mg phytoestrogens !




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  21. Dear Dr Greger,
    First, I like to mention that I truly respect your work and appreciate what you are doing with all your presentations. In fact, I tell almost every patient of mine about your website and advice them to login and learn from your educational videos and publications.
    However, I disagree with your acceptance of the conclusions of the WHI study by it’s face value. As you approach many publications with a critical viewpoint, it seems unusual how you seem to accept the conclusions of this particular study based on it’s stated conclusion without further analysis, truly surprises me. Please specify what exactly WHI has used as far as Estrogens are concerned. This is an important point. All estrogens are not the same and their effects are not equal. Specifically, Estradiol is also estrogen, but it’s not harmful to women in the same manner as the Estrogens gained from the urine of horses. Obviously, it is illogical to give women Premarin and expect anything good from it! Therefore, this study was flaud in its design. Nevertheless, it’s conclusions have caused more harm to the care of postmenopausal women than protecting them from many comorbidities, of which, many of them are deadly.
    Sincerely,
    Erol Lale




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    1. This was a presentation about soy products for consumption for food. Not estrogen replacement by Premarin for menopausal issues.
      Completely different topics.




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  22. Why doesn’t this article lead its readers to nonGMO sources if soy is being touted? Over 90% of soy is the US is now GMO. Check French Researcher Seralini’s long-term study on GMO corn. Rats developed massive cancerous tumors within months. GMO’s should not be eaten until more studies are done. Maybe we should put Monsanto execs in a room for 6 months and feed them only GMO foods. I wonder if they’d go for it….




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    1. Claudia: I recommend reading the thread as this issue has come up several times. The general answer is that GMO soy is fed to farm animals. The vast majority of soy in the American human food chain (I don’t know about other countries) is non-GMO. If you want to avoid GMO and synthetic pesticides, then just get organic soy.
      .
      NutritionFacts has covered GMO in a series of videos. If you are curious, you might look that up.




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      1. I would love to see an article that shows the “vast majority of soy” in the US is non-GMO. How is that possible when over 90% grown here is GMO? Further, we eat what our animals eat. We should not be eating animals that eat GMO either.




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        1. Claudia: The point is that the majority of soy grown in the US goes to feeding animals, not to feeding humans. I don’t have an article handy, but for an unscientific study, look around at the actual soy products in your grocery store. When looking at traditional soy foods (tofu, tempeh, etc), I wasn’t able to find a single one that was GMO. They were all labeled as organic (which means non-GMO) or specifically labeled as non-GMO.
          .
          No one has to eat soy to be healthy. But given the health benefits that Dr. Greger highlights for us, seems to me that the concern over GMO (which is a general concern in the big picture which I share with you) soy for human consumption is much ado about nothing.
          .
          As for: “We should not be eating animals that eat GMO either.” Well, I agree with you 100% there! If the concern over GMOs is one more reason we can get people to stop eating animals, that’s great!




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          1. and a large % of the animals themselves are artificially inseminated and genetically modified too. For example a diary cow produces (I think 3 to 5 but not sure about exact figure) times more milk than a regular cow. And the same for chicken (they lay a lot more & bigger eggs) than they used to 40 years ago.




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            1. Ray Arjoma: The ability to produce more milk can be achieved through normal selection processes without the processes known as GMO. I think it is important to keep the GMO label/discussions accurate so that we can properly address it a as a society. To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a commercial GMO cow at this point. If you have a source that shows differently, I would be very interested. Here’s one website which talks about GMOs. Notice that only plants are in the list of GMO foods: http://livingnongmo.org/learn/gmo-faq/ I have heard that some fish might be GMO now, but again, I don’t think any cows or chickens are.
              .
              Having said that, I do think it is concerning from the animal’s health perspective that their reproductive systems have been changed in the ways you discuss. I wish we were a wiser species.




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              1. I have seen pictures of abnormally muscular cows, hairless chicken & chicken that grow so big that they cannot stand up. These pictures I saw were from many decades ago on PETA web site and other places. A lot of this information is “TOP SECRET”. The industry does not like consumers to know or see (they like blind dumb consumers).




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                1. Ray Arjoma: I agree that those types of living being situations perpetrated by humans is a crime. (It’s just not GMO. It’s done through normal, perverted selection processes.)




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                  1. Yes I agree, but the pictures I saw were all titled “Genetically Modified animals”. It may be 0.001% or it may be 90% of all commercial animal commodities. I am not 100% certain about the exact % because like I said it’s “Trade Secret”.




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                    1. Ray Arjoma: I believe you that the picture was labeled that way. Based on the research I have done, there is no GMO cow or chicken in the human food supply. It’s not a matter of trade secrets. It’s a matter of basic law. The FDA has to approve it first from what I have read.




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                    2. Ray Arjoma, I think your idea of trade secrets and over 90%of livestock being gmo is a wild imagining. These things (and any reports of ongoing research ) are reported in the monthly /quarterly trade journals. For example, I suscribed to this one among others
                      http://www.cattlemen.bc.ca/ .. here where i live now, we also get http://hoards.com/flex-288-About-Hoards-Dairyman.html
                      Keep in mind Ray that selective breeding programs for particular desirable traits has been going on since animals were first domesticated. The various dog breeds is one example, and no, the black labrador is not a gmo product




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                    3. Yes, a lot of industry propaganda. I suggest you search benefits of eggs, or milk on google or youtube and you will get 100s if not 1000s of web sites with Ph.D. Scientists that writes 1000s of pages of how good meat, dairy and eggs are for human health. You won’t find good things written about “Terrorism” , “Child Porn” or “Crack-Heroin” because those are illegal. There are celebrity chefs that advertise “Foi-Graus” on Youtube.




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                    4. sorry Ray, I think you missed my point or else I was not clear . I simply meant thar discussions about GMO has been going on for decades in full public view. I am not a spporter of gmo products, and am a supporter of clear labelling so the public can choose. The industry journals I mention only because they are one forum these news, research reports, discussions have taken place about gmo in public view.. anyone can suscribe. Dr Greger has talked about weird food research often,and we hear about the “franken-foods” that may be coming to our supermarkets soon. I pray not, but I dont keep up with the latest news in the food industry, unless I hear it here first.
                      I am an enthusiastic supporter of vegan wfpb eating style Ray, and try to do my best to vote with my dollars in demanding non-gmo foods and organically grown food choices. I support my local farmers, and grow my own as well. Its good we keep the discussions about gmo foods, pesticide use, land use, all on the table in clear view …. I dont know what else we can do ?




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        1. baggman744: Take me up on my challenge. Go to your favorite grocery store. See if you can find a single container of tofu, edamame, or tempeh that is not labeled organic or non-GMO. Note: Trader Joes doesn’t always label individual products, but they have categorically stated that any product sold under their brand name is non-GMO.




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        1. alphaa10: All good points. As I said, I don’t think a concern about GMOs is a reason to avoid tofu or tempeh, but I share with you a concern about GMOs in general.
          .
          To state it slightly differently: I’m 100% for labeling laws. I just haven’t seen any evidence that GMO soy is an issue for traditional soy foods. But if GMO is a concern for someone, that could be one more reason to stay away from the more processed foods with say soy protein isolate in them. That would be a good thing. It’s just important to make the distinction between types of soy rather than scare people away from all soy. I say that both for accuracy and because of the health benefits people can get from eating traditional soy products.
          .
          Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out as soon as I have bigger free moment.




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    2. Claudia,

      I agree with you regarding leading folks to non-gmo soy products. It would be ungainly and become a promo for us to do anything less than a deep dive into the multiple soy products available. Read the labels and purchase accordingly. With reference to your 90% statement please read below. Interesting why we are seeing a drop in organic American soy.

      May I suggest looking at the USDA’s info on GMO and non-gmo soy production: https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/DataFiles/Adoption_of_Genetically_Engineered_Crops_in_the_US__17963//alltables2016.xls for a telling 94 varieties and then go tohttp://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/default.asp for an overview of the world’s production of GMO’s. When it came to organic production the numbers from the USDA only include to 2011 with 0.17% of soybeans in US acreage. https://www.ers.usda.gov/Data-products/organic-production.aspx You then can find out why by going to the website: http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/feb07/organic_corn_soybeans.php

      “Perhaps the biggest reason US organic farmers are growing fewer organic soybeans is that major soymilk manufacturers, such as WhiteWave Foods, are importing organic soybeans from China.

      “The availability of foreign sourced soybeans certified organic under the NOP has held back price increases on organic soybeans contributing to the loss of financial allure to organic farmers,” says Lynn Clarkson, president, Clarkson Grain.

      Another organic grain supplier says, “Cheap imports from China are having a net impact on US organic soybean production.”

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




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      1. I am new so don’t be hard on me. I’m wfpb person who has LYME disease that is driving me (and family) crazy with the many symptoms that come and go that include nausea, brain fog, joint pain, weight loss. Refuse antibiotics. What else can I do nutrition wise to help with relief. Yes, I’ve been tested and confirmed. I haven’t seen this under Dr. G topics and thought I would enter it here. Thank you Dr Alan.




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        1. Claudia, The treatment of lyme disease is far more than antibiotics. In some new findings the treatment with antibiotics, after 6 months of exposure, may not be helpful at all.

          With that said I would encourage you to maximize your anti-inflammation foods and supplements, consider HBOT, see a doc who is knowledgeable in the treatment of lyme, without antibiotics and hang in there as it will be a bit of a long ride to fully resolve your symptoms.

          Dr. Alan Kadish Moderator for Dr. Greger




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    3. Claudia, the implication is we seek out the 10 percent (estimated) to come from organically-sourced soy. Unfortunately, that will become increasingly difficult as crops are contaminated through “gene drive” techniques, now at only the prelude to full industrial exploitation.

      By the way, dysfunctional Monsanto executives already demonstrate the full range of negative effects in a GMO diet.




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    1. My initial thoughts are:
      * It is not surprising that the sugar industry would try to manipulate public opinion by fudging the science especially if it didn’t break prevailing law. It also goes to show how big money controls our political and legal systems and how some people are ethically challenged.
      * Even if blame for cardiovascular disease was successfully shifted from sugar to fat it doesn’t exonerate fat.
      * Although consumers were encouraged to reduce fat intake, on a population scale they never did. Further, among people who did reduce their fat consumption the majority increased their sugar consumption. One unhealthy diet was replaced by another unhealthy diet.
      * The diet recommended by NutritionFacts.org is based on whole plant food and excludes or minimizes sugar and fat (saturated/trans/oil) so the news article doesn’t change anything here.
      * Low carb/high fat diet enthusiasts may think the news article somehow justifies their diet, but it doesn’t.




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  23. it may be that vegans on a plant based diet do NOT need to take B12 to reduce the homocysteine (as b12 deficiency is thought to act through elevated homocysteine and other oxidation damage).
    A) vegan homocysteine is beneficial “IF” enough plant antioxidants are present in the diet. https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/28864/PDF
    B) vegan homocysteine levels are decreased by plant antioxidants “IF” enough plant antioxidants are present in the diet. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12413206




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    1. What benefits are realized through even moderated homocysteine levels? Although I could read only the PubMed.gov abstract, it stated a negative correlation between homocysteine level and B12, folic acid and vitamin C, but no specifics about a “benign” or safe homocysteine serum level.




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      1. here is the other paper on homocysteine https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/28864/PDF
        i am just suggesting that maybe there is a reason for elevated homocysteine levels in vegans, that is, not having enough fresh whole foods full of antioxidants. so one can lower homocysteine levels with vitamin b12 or vitamin-c. but this never seems to get mentioned; this third vit-C option.




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  24. I would love to know if there’s any contraindications for soy and men and how the same signs that was discussed works with the man’s prostate etc.




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    1. Ever since the Washington Post was sold to the highest bidder, its editorial integrity has been for sale, as well. The newspaper has been caught in the unsavory practice of selling access to news and opinion writers on the Post staff, which is exactly the same as allowing access to congressmen for only those lobbyists who pay for their access with “campaign” donations.

      In more or less brazen fashion, the Washington Post also published as many as ten (10) anti-Sanders campaign articles in a single day of the Democratic primary campaign. Clearly, there were forces not aligned with the DNC which also wanted Clinton to be the Democratic candidate, and rejected, if not also feared, the growing success of populist Sanders.

      Post-election, expect a blizzard of deceptive spin from both Trump, himself, as well as from his “kept” media outlets, which now includes the Jeff Bezos/Amazon/Washington Post, Les Moonves/Viacom/CBS and CNN “Axis of Drivel”. More than ever before, news consumers must look carefully at the label. Unfortunately, there is no industry requirement for full disclosure, nor editorial integrity. In fact, across the corporate news industry, editors with integrity already have been fired, or await punitive sanctions.

      Which calls to mind, once again, a primary-source, research-oriented website like NutritionFacts.org– with critical moderation through Dr. Greger’s research expertise and medical background– is simply priceless for resolving difficult but life-and-death dietary and disease issues for most Americans.




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  25. Like Fred, I “read between the lines” of the presentation for what cross-gender benefit soy might offer. Studies of those at risk for prostate cancer suggest soy directly benefits the male prostate cancer risk profile.

    Even more interesting, however, both men and women suffer loss of bone mass, particularly after a menopause or andropause. Therefore, Dr. Greger brings a message for men and women, alike– soy or soy milk appears to up-regulate bone mass building with osteoblasts and down-regulate bone mass harvesting with osteoclast cells.

    My particular concern is no study found so far demonstrates that specific effect on bone-builder and bone-harvester cells, but addresses aggregate bone mass, only. Even the drug Fosamax increases bone mass, but only by putting osteoclasts on “stand-by” status, leaving a growing mass of dead and structurally weak, unharvested bone.

    If low-dose soy phytoestrogen in the whole food, plant-based diet (the Asian traditional diet) can be demonstrated specifically to maintain proper balance of building-building and bone-harvesting, yet allow a gradual, net increase of healthy bone cell mass, soy stocks and futures will skyrocket.

    Here is one study which reflects Dr. Greger’s own judgment that a natural soybean intake– opposed to soy isolate or concentrated soy protein– is probably the most beneficial– https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981009/




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  26. How many servings of soy a day can I consume? I eat Tofu most days but enjoy soymilk with my morning oatmeal. I also like edamame. Thank you!




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  27. Is Dr Greger aware that Nutritionfacts.org appears on the quite ridiculous list of “propaganda” websites that was released by the shadowy anonymous body “PropOrNot”

    “Prop Or Not” have released a list of websites which purportedly spread “Russian Propaganda”. You couldn’t make this up.

    Clearly Prop Or not is a sinister attempt to smear (by the CFR, CIA, Pentagon are behind it of course) and practically every website on the list is MORE trustworthy than the lame stream media.

    10 mins 30 sec of this video (James Corbett doesn’t give the best description of your website to be fair but he is generally excellent)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D9W3EHKrTE




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  28. I showed this to a friend who works in a related field at a research university and she pointed out that apparently the findings of the WHI study were called into question in few studies that re-examined their data. NF might want to check out some of those follow-up papers.




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  29. Soy caused my Arthritis. Regarding “is there anyone who should avoid soy” statement. Why doesn’t the report cross reference an earlier report where Dr Gregor confirms soy increases uric acid levels in the blood causing gout and arthritis whereas cows milk reduces uric acid. I have just stopped drinking soy milk and returned to cows milk and all my diagnosed arthritis pain in my joints has disappeared.




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    1. Chris N: re: ” Why doesn’t the report cross reference an earlier report where Dr Gregor confirms soy increases uric acid levels in the blood causing gout and arthritis whereas cows milk reduces uric acid. ”

      I don’t remember that video. Can you give us a link? Thanks.




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    1. David: In some sense, Dr. Greger discusses ketogenic diets whenever he covers high fat diets. But ketogentic diets go above just high fat, and I agree that it would be great if Dr. Greger covered it in a video or three. I’ve passed this request on before and have been told that it is on Dr. Greger’s list. I imagine that list is pretty long, so I don’t know when he will cover it. But hopefully soon!




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    1. The debate on soy has tended to focus more on women than men, so I understand your question. As long as soy is consumed in moderation (and ideally is minimally processed, nonGMO, organic) is should be safe for male vegans of any age. You may want to check out the other soy videos from this site for more information: Soy




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    1. If you read closely into the study, the researchers found soybean OIL to be associated with dementia, and lay down untested (likely untrue) hypotheses as to why components in whole soy may be harmful. Why do I say likely untrue? For example, they state the “toxic” effects of phytates, yet this is merely a hypothesis. It has been demonstrated that phytates are actually beneficial to health.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/phytates-for-the-prevention-of-cancer/

      It is an important observation that they looked specifically into soybean oil and other processed soy foods as well, as this is not representative of soy beans. They definitely stretch the truth to conclude that soy is a likely cause for dementia, and I do not find their conclusion plausible based on the data they presented nor the studies they cited. Note too that this study was published in the “Medical Hypothesis” journal, and does not establish a likely truth, but rather a direction of future research, as is clear from reading the paper.

      Note: To see the full text, visit sci-hub.bz and enter the DOI of the study: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.11.033




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      1. Rami – Thanks for the response and I really appreciate the work you do. Yes, I agree that the authors implicated soy in part because of the impacts of processing of omega-3 and omega-6 – certainly not a soy-specific fatty acid.

        Here is the problem. Soy is a main staple for many vegans and therefore an attack on soy is a major attack on plant-based nutrition. It only takes one research paper to fuel a panic and to change behavior. I run into this all the time – people, even vegans, are avoiding soy milk because of something they heard. Because of this, these claims have to be addressed directly and forcefully – not just in a response to a blog comment. Dementia is scary and many people naturally take a precautionary approach and unfortunately the burden is on those promoting soy to prove soy is safe with regards to dementia.

        Because of this, I hope Dr. Greger will tackle this in a specific article like he did for the soy feminizing myth. If he has to contact the authors directly to help make the case, so much the better. They are a simple email away. This is a big issue that is setting back decisions by many to go plant-based.




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        1. I disagree with your assertions. Dementia is primarily a vascular disease. A hypothesis must be proven with experimentation, it cannot be accepted without a plausible and tested reason, especially when the mechanisms implicated are unrelated to soy as a whole food. This is especially true considering Japanese culture have experienced multi-fold increases in Alzheimers disease only in recent decades. This has coincided with a 300% increase in animal fat.
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24037034

          Furthermore, research does exist for soy and cognition, although it appears appears mixed as this review points out. 50% of the articles they found showed positive outcomes, while the other half showed no differences or negative outcomes. All of the randomized controlled trials (gold standard for studies) classified as null/negative findings showed no effect with soy supplementation, not negative outcomes. There were marginally positive outcomes in these studies. Mind you, these were not all with whole soy, many were with soy supplements or isolated soy components. The state of evidence does not appear to show a negative trend for soy and cognition. I recommend viewing the full text with the DOI and entering it into sci-hub.bz
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24486046

          Just an aside, I do not believe that soy should be the mainstay of a plant-based diet, but rather a condiment. A vegan, soy heavy diet can be unhealthy for other reasons unrelated to cognition.
          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/




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          1. Thanks for the helpful response. I must not have made my point clear which is that misinformation needs to be addressed promptly and forcefully if one wants to prevent it from becoming ingrained in the subconscious of the public – a fly in the ointment. The soy/estrogen and soy/alzheimers canards have already spread like a virus.
            To play devil’s advocate, from Dr. Greger’s video it almost seems that soy should not be considered a “food” but more a potent phytonutrient carrier since he is talking about the possibility of ‘overdosing’ with even moderate levels of intake. In addition, the moving bars of safety he shows give the impression that there may be future evidence that even the threshold level of 2 or 3 servings may diminish as new research evolves.
            Again, thanks for references – just hope Dr. Greger will take on the dementia issue in the future.




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            1. P_a_u_l: I will forward your request onto NutritionFacts staff, however, I’m not sure I agree with you that it is an appropriate topic for NutritionFacts. There is SOOOO much misinformation out there. There is no way that NutritionFacts could cover all those articles and “studies” and stay true to the main scope, which is explaining to people what the body of scientific evidence *does* say (as opposed to countering all the silly notions people get about what it does not say). As you saw, Rami gave nice answers about why this “study” is not representative of the body of evidence regarding soy. (Plus, people can leave soy out of their diet if they want. It’s not an essential part of eating a healthy diet. They can eat other beans if they want to give up the benefits of soy.)
              .
              NutritionFacts does have several general videos discussing the types of flaws used in various studies. So, Dr. Greger addresses this type of topic in an overview way. But you are suggesting that he promptly address arguments/studies like this in videos or articles, and I think there are too many for NutritionFacts to do that. Dr. Greger can’t do it all. So, he focuses on a fairly well defined scope. What’s more, that scope has included many videos and articles on what really do know about soy.
              .
              Having just said that, I do agree that it would be incredibly helpful for us to have a resource to forcefully and authoritatively address each study like this. Every time there is a new anti-soy study or new say pro-dairy study, some people give it a lot of weight because it is “new”. For a couple reasons (thanks media and poor education), people don’t understand how science works. People tend to think that a) every study is equally valid and b) a new study wipes out all studies before it. So, if we could have a resource that clearly addresses studies like the one you found, giving us the type of analysis Rami gave, it could be a great help in getting people educated.
              .
              This is not the first time this has come up. My personal idea is to have a sister site to NutritionFacts which is dedicated to reviewing papers like the one you found. It would be such a helpful resource. What do you think? Or do you still think there is something special about this particular study that you think NutritionFacts should address it?




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              1. Thanks Thea – I don’t want to take up more of the staff’s time and effort and I understand the need to be selective. A couple of points.
                When promoting plant-based, tofu and soy milk are almost always at the top of the list as protein sources – may be unfortunate but that’s what I hear over and over. Soy is a big deal in the eyes of the public.
                There is not just one paper but several that have raised the possible connection of soy and dementia. Most lay people and sensationalist media writers see a published study and assume it is definitive – again, unfortunate.
                Nutritionfacts.org is the go-to site whenever I want to point people to the best and most honest resource out there. I do appreciate Rami’s reference, but the beauty of NF is that one doesn’t have to have a library of references to provide for people who on the fence regarding plant-based.
                Thanks again for the response – your efforts are changing lives.




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                  1. Wow – I did not see that despite my search on NF.org. Didn’t show up under “soy+Alzheimers” but does under “soy+dementia” So I owe an apology. (It would be good to also address the 2013 studies.)




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                1. P_a_u_l: One more thought for you. You say that you like to point people to NutritionFacts to educate them on various subjects. You might point them to say the Daily Dozen or the page on Optimum Nutrition Recommendations for an overview of what a healthy diet does look like. You can point out that soy is not a primary ingredient in the recipe for healthy eating. Just a thought until Dr. Greger can address the topic you want addressed.




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                2. Paul,

                  You raise a great point about the perception vs the whole story.

                  One of the largest considerations when talking to people “on the fence” is to address the issue of “truth or bias” in studies. All conclusions, especially in medicine are to some extent skewed by the experimenter’s bias. It’s difficult at best to address a subject especially one as subjective and complex as nutrition.

                  I always ask patients to consider their sources of news. Most of us tend toward our own balancing point and although we claim the input is balanced, it’s not. When people point to the so-called “gold standards” of journals, such as the JAMA or BMJ I refer them to the studies http://www.policymed.com/2016/06/jama-internal-medicine-bias-now-you-see-me.html (6-2016) or http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.d7762 showing how it’s unequivocally unbalanced and not objective information.

                  Often times the funding and or the methodology or both is so obviously biased that it’s ludicrous to use the info . Will an average consumer recognize this truth….possibly with some references and being taught to at least read the abstract and not the headlines.

                  With the potential to use pea, rice, hemp and sprouted grain proteins there is no lack of options. Perhaps some additional focus on these products is in order.

                  Thanks for your input and keep educating !

                  Dr. Alan Kadish Moderator for Dr. Greger




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      2. I’ve been eating variations of plant-based diets for almost forty years. But I drastically reduced my soy intake when I saw an article on a correlation between cognitive decline and soy food intake in Japanese men living in Hawaii. That study followed on a number of rat studies, and may have been followed by at least one additional study with similar findings. I’ve suspected all along that these studies are financed by the beef industry, but I have no way of knowing that for sure. I’d like to get back to including some soy in my diet. Is there any evidence contradicting these studies correlating soy and cognitive decline in the elderly?




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        1. I do not believe that there is good evidence to suggest the relationship with soy and declining cognition. As of now, the randomized trials show either positive benefit or no benefit. None in the review showed negative benefit. I recommend that you read the review in full for the details on the specific studies that the researchers examined.




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  30. This is poison to some people. No research has been done on Soy since the 1930’s and that was on fermented soy. I have to avoid the stuff ,it triggers migraines in me ( I have done lots of testing with this and soy is the problem). It is in everything and has been targeted as a possible cause of insulin resistant diabetes. If you can take, and like soy that is your choice. I would like to see it banned from all products, so people have a choice as to whether to ingest it or not. There are many people out there who have problems with this product.




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    1. momof3: Welcome to healthy eating! I have some NutritionFacts-consistent resources for healthy approaches to feeding vegan kids. Let me know if you are interested in that information.
      .
      As for Mercola’s article, I’ll let someone else address the content. I’ve looked up enough of Mercola’s articles over the years to know it’s not worth my time to do again. I thought I would share with you that Mercola is not a source of nutrition information that you can rely on. Here’s a quote from our own Tom Goff:
      .
      “Dr Mercola advocates homeopathy and appears to be against all vaccines. I also seem to remember that some years ago, he also sold “tachyon energy” products.This demonstrates to me that he is not committed to evidence-based medicine. He may be correct on a number of issues but how can anyone be confident that he is? His views do not seem to consistently stem from a serious consideration of all the available evidence.”
      .
      Joss Levy wrote, ” the list of fanciful ideas that Dr Mercola comes up with, such as the need to: “structure” your drinking water by chilling it and stirring it clockwise; earth yourself electrically at all times; move out of an apartment higher than ground level so the Earth’s electric field won’t make you ill; eat bone broth, grass-fed cow and whey protein; replace your LED lamps with incandescent bulbs to avoid “digital light”. Then there’s his “emotional freedom technique”, and there may be more examples, but this is just what I have come up with off the top of my head.”
      .
      My point is: If these do not sound like evidence based positions to you, then Mercola may not be a source of information you want to pay attention to.
      .
      I’ll also point out that Mercola sells beef on his website, a known probable carcinogen.
      .
      This website has lots of well researched (with studies that actually support the claims) information on soy. For an overview of the topic, check out the following page: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/soy




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      1. Thank you so much for this information, I’m so grateful. TBH, I had reservations about Mercola because I’ve read similar, very unfavourable things about him, his credibility, etc. It’s difficult because the person who posted the article I shared is a colleague of mine, a physician, albeit a psychiatrist, but still an MD, nonetheless. I’m a Reg. nurse, and was always taught soy was “bad”, but since becoming vegan and doing my own research, including finding this wonderful site, found that to be inaccurate. It’s quite challenging to wade through all the (mis)information out there. So grateful to have credible sites such as this one to refer to, and support from like-minded people. Thank you, again, Thea.




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        1. momof3: So glad I could help. I think the main part of this battle is figuring out where we can get reliable information from.
          .
          As for the common doctor being able to supply reliable nutrition information: Following is a NutritionFacts video about a study where doctors were given a test of their knowledge about nutrition. Do you think they even passed the test? http://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-doctors-make-the-grade/ Here’s some information about how much nutrition education doctors get: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/medical-school-nutrition-education/
          .
          NutritionFacts has several more videos along these lines. My point is that you have every reason to question your colleague as he was probably given the same or less training than you were on this topic. As you have discovered, what little is taught in medical schools is often wrong. There are a great group of medical professionals who participate on this site (along with lay people such as myself). People who are educating themselves and learning how to help others. Welcome!




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    2. HI momof3. I completely agree with moderator Thea, I would not use Mercola as a good source for information. The long list of supposed detrimental effects of soy have not been supported by ‘good’ evidence and in fact contrary to what he says, people living in it Asian countries do consume a fair amount of soy daily and the majority of it is actually from non-fermented sources (ie) soy beans, tofu etc. As you are aware, Dr. G. has many videos on the health benefits of soy well backed up by good quality research. I do however, support buying Organic soy as a way to try to reduce exposure to pesticides. Most soy crops are grown from GMO seeds which have higher pesticide residues whereas organic soy is grown from conventional seeds, reducing exposure to pesticide residues. Hope this helps!




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      1. Yes, it really does help, thank you so much. I appreciate having a credible site like this, and this community of like-minded people, to help me navigate through all the information out there.




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  31. Given that soy consumption seems to confer a protective effect on the endometrium and breast tissue, any ideas on whether the same might be true for ectopic endometrial tissue (as in endometriosis)? I have had conflicting advice from doctors and nutritionists on this very topic (told not to consume any soy products because of a presumed ‘stimulant’/pro-estrogenic effect on endometriosis), and it seems none of them are as up-to-date with the research as this website (and its dear readers)! Given this latest research seems to suggest soy in fact has a SERM effect, I tend to think it might just be OK or in fact protective in the setting of endometriosis. Interested in people’s thoughts on this :-)




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    1. Very interesting question! I had to do some digging to find some information on this but since the endometrial tissue in most cases of endometriosis – meaning not due to trauma – probably is not acting like normal endometrial tissue one might wonder if it had hormone receptors that acted differently than those active in the uterus. I did find a couple of articles that showed that endometrial tissue has BOTH alpha and beta receptors unlike its normal precursor in the uterus. So you would probably need to ingest a huge amount of soy to get the levels of alpha and beta that Dr. Greger refers to the research does show that the endometriosis tissue does not contain the same constellation of receptors that the normal endometrium does. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11384649




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  32. Hello,

    I´ve been diagnosed with “Adrenal Fatigue” and all doctors I´ve seen, and the info I´ve searched trough the web, recommend to eat “animal flesh” to get well. I´m a firm vegan and 100% plant based person, so I cant accept that to get well I need to eat animal dead bodies ? They even recommend me fish, but thats the same, fish are animals too.

    Pleas some advice !

    Thanks !!!!




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    1. Because all the doctors you’re speaking to are conventional, archaic and uneducated idiots… sorry but it’s true! (Not calling them idiots for not understanding something, but for giving advice despite not knowing what they’re talking about.) And as for the internet… sometimes it is quite simply a sea of crap, so beware. Dr. Greger shares true and proven science. What will make you better is a whole foods plant based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (I personally avoid anything with gluten though). I recommend the bible of the best available nutritional science (which also explains the ignorance of a lot of these doctors) “How Not To Die.” I’m only half way through it but it’s incredible. I got it for some family (wish I could get it for everyone!) and I’m pretty sure it’s going to save their lives. It’s a thorough education on real nutritional science and how our bodies work.

      Also as a person who was previously on thyroid meds and got off of them because I learned how harmful they actually are, I highly recommend not only a healthy whole foods plant diet loaded with tons of healthy food, but lowering major stressors you have in your life. Stress has a HUGE impact on the adrenals and was a big part of my thyroid issues in the past (that and years of abuse through poor diet, I actually had malnutrition). Stress is truly damaging to our bodies. For me it was the stress of OCD. Anxiety disorders can be really hard on the body.




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      1. Shaylen thank you for the information. How did you treat OCD/Anxiety? Love to know as I suffer from it to but kind of accepted it. But I do suffer from fatique and if OCD has a part in that I would like to deal with it. Thanks.




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    2. I replied to this a few days ago and my comment is gone. This is the second time this has happened. Do people’s comments just get deleted on this site from moderators for no reason? Because that is really rude when people spend their time thoughtfully writing something to try and possibly help.

      I can’t remember everything I wrote in exact, sucks I have to write this again.. but basically what I said was not to listen to such archaic doctors who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about and no training or education in nutrition. Eating animals in no way will help your adrenals, but rather instead drastically harm your entire body. If there is some isolated nutrient they think you’re lacking and instead of explaining that, telling you to eat harmful and cruel products we’re not meant to eat, then that is very irresponsible and lazy of them, however all too typical.
      Perhaps they’re concerned about your iodine or selenium which both help to support a thyroid which works closely with the adrenals.

      I had a problem with my thyroid in the past and was on thyroid meds for it, which are actually very harmful to the body. I decided to get off of them and turn to healthy eating instead, as well as lifestyle changes. First, for the thyroid and adrenals, it is so important to reduce any serious and constant stress you have in your life. I had a ton of stress from severe OCD and I had to deal with that because it was attacking my whole system. Excess stress can be more harmful to the body than most people realize. Finding healthier ways to deal with stress can be a huge help! And an essential step.

      After doing some research to take the natural route, here’s a few things I learned and decided to do that have worked really well for me (and very shortly after, after getting tested again, my doctor agreed I no longer needed thyroid medication)…

      I started eating a brazil nut a day to ensure I got enough selenium.

      I made sure I got enough iodine and learned about the sources and how much iodine was in them. What I actually did and still do, is supplement with a bit of sea kelp or dulse (you don’t need much) each day. At first I was taking about a tablespoon of dulse flakes, then I started taking 1/4 or a 1/2 tsp of kelp granules as they’re easier and quicker to swallow (though some people like sprinkling sea veggies on food). You don’t want to overdo kelp because there’s SO much iodine, but I’m not talking about eating a kelp salad, just supplementing with very small amounts. This is what I did anyway. I like Main Coast Sea vegetables because they’re well tested for contaminants so I trust them, and they’re sustainably harvested. Cranberries are also a great source of iodine and such an incredibly healthy food!

      I learned about adaptogen herbs which help regulate your hormones and support thyroid and adrenal health and help your body deal with stress. Ashwaghanda is great for this, tulsi/holy basil is good too. I started supplementing with ashwaghanda and occasionally drank tulsi tea (naturally caffeine free). I like the companies Organic India and Gaia for these herbs because they thoroughly test for heavy metal contamination. Adaptogen herbs are very effective. I would stay away from triphala though (thought I’d mention it since you may come across this when browsing through all the natural herbal remedies) as Dr. Greger warns against it on this website due to heavy metal contamination… I’m not sure if it’s safe from the companies I mentioned considering they thoroughly test their products, but I still stay away from it to be safe.

      I also made sure I exercised regularly and was getting enough nutrition. And I did this through a whole foods vegan diet first for ethical reasons, but even if that were not the case, I would have chosen that for optimal health. I eat lots of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans/legumes, etc. I just stay away from gluten as I do not do well on it and personally think it’s best to avoid in general. I also eat flaxseeds everyday (make sure you grind them up first if you buy the whole seed).

      It’s so deplorable that doctors are recommending the most harmful and contaminated substances for you to put in your body… not even sure what any of that has to do with adrenal health either. Sounds like you’re just dealing with some pretty archaic doctors who hear you’re a vegan and their sudden antidote to anything you have to complain about is “eat animals.” All too typical and absolutely horrible.
      For MUCH better (and real) advice, check out Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die” which will give you a thorough education on ACTUAL nutritional science and how our bodies work in relation to what we put in them. You won’t need to listen to people tell you how to eat anymore after you read this book, doctorate or not.

      Best of luck!




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      1. Shaylen: I just looked through 4 days of deleted comments. Only one comment from you was in the delete section and it said that you deleted that post yourself. In other words, no moderators have deleted any of your comments–at least not recently.
        .
        Sometimes it can be hard to find a post on the site. You might try seeing if you can find your disqus profile page. That page will contain all your posts so you can feel confident that your post was not deleted.




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        1. Thanks, that is odd then. I’m wondering if there is an issue with Disqus as I’ve had an issue with it before and heard others have as well. Thanks for the response!




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        2. I just checked the profile and I can see the comments there and it says they aren’t deleted but they don’t always show up here for me for some reason.




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          1. Shaylen: I think that is a bug with disqus. At the moment, there is nothing we can do about it. I think it helps to know what we aren’t deleting your comments. Other than that, I got nothing. :0(




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            1. I just responded to this and now I don’t see my comment. Not to take anymore of your time, but is my previous comment there? It would help to know. I’m assuming it is and I’m just not seeing it. I have the typo but where I mean to type *bug.




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                1. Lol it was, I went back to correct it but the comment disappeared for me. Thanks! At least I can for sure know that the comments are there now and won’t accidentally be posting repetitively (how annoying I must seem by now lol).




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          2. Shaylen: I see three posts from you that all start with “The thing about the supplement industry…” If you see your post on the profile page, there is no reason to repost the same thing. Thanks!




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            1. Hi Thea, sorry and thanks!! If they haven’t been deleted yet I’ll try to find them and delete them. I didn’t see it show up so I must have posted it 3 times. I seem to have a glitch on my end so I’ll just assume it’s showing up from now on. Thanks again.




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    3. Have you gone to a naturopath for your adrenal fatigue? I also had that problem develop from years of stress. I made up an herbal adrenal support formula under my naturopaths supervision and totally turned things around. You can absolutely stay true to your convictions as a vegan and take care of the problem. I can send you info on the herbs I used if you want to check with your doctor about trying it.




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    1. I can’t answer you specifically but only vaguely. The idea that soy and soy products have an effect on testosterone or imbalancing our hormones in general is clearly, based on the actual science, a myth. You can learn about the real science about soy from other videos on this website as well as in Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die.” Reading/watching his work is actually how I finally learned the truth after years of hearing all the rampant misinformation out there about soy. I can’t remember the details right now and I’m also half asleep so that doesn’t help, but check out some of the other videos when you search “soy,” here, and I highly recommend the book! It’s amazing.




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  33. If soy milk blocks the phytonutrients in tea, does soy milk block the phytonutrients if added into my oatmeal? I add a lot of other items like flax seeds, blueberries, walnuts, etc. I was wondering if also adding soy milk then is counter productive. And if I add other soy products like tofu or shelled Edamame to my salads, does that also suppress the absorption of phytonutrients and become counter productive?




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    1. I am wondering this too! At one point, I thought that the soy formula I fed my daughter – till age 3, due to milk intolerance – was the cause of her Hashimoto’s. I’d like to see improvements for her via dietary changes, but I have a lingering fear of soy!




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  34. Awesome info. So grateful to have such a reliable place to come for the best and latest proven science. The misinformation out there is truly insane…




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  35. Awesome info. So grateful to have such a reliable place to come for the best and latest proven science thanks to Dr. Greger’s amazing work!




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  36. How about LECTINS? Not only in soy, but in plants in general – they have such a bad reputation… Is there a video/article about them I have missed?




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    1. dorange: I found one blog post on NutritionFacts which talks about lectins. Here is a quote:
      .
      “Modern paleo advocates claim that these foods weren’t part of Paleolithic-era diets, but new research challenges that assumption.5 They also argue that lectins naturally present in these starchy foods are harmful to human health. Consuming too many lectins can cause significant gastrointestinal distress. However, because legumes and grains are almost always consumed in a cooked form—and lectins are destroyed during cooking—eating beans and grains doesn’t result in lectin overload. Sprouting also reduces lectin levels in plants, although not as effectively as cooking. Generally, pea sprouts, lentil sprouts, and mung bean sprouts are safe to consume, as are sprouted grains, which are naturally low in lectins. Most larger legumes contain higher amounts and should be cooked.” from: http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/09/23/will-the-real-paleo-diet-please-stand-up/
      .
      Since I eat my grains and legumes cooked, I consider the lectin brouhaha to be much ado about nothing.
      .
      In the past, Tom Goff has posted some additional helpful takes on the subject. Here are some quotes from Tom Goff’s previous posts.
      .
      “…problem with such claims is that people in the past ate huge amounts of (whole) grains (compared to modern-day Americans). Some people still do. There is no record of such people suffering abnormally high rates of toxicity or inflammation-related diseases. If anything, the exact opposite is the case eg
      .
      “This meta-analysis provides further evidence that whole grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and total cancer, and mortality from all causes, respiratory diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes, and all non-cardiovascular, non-cancer causes. These findings support dietary guidelines that recommend increased intake of whole grain to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and premature mortality.”
      http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2716
      .
      Further, reviews of the health effects of grain lectins do not support the wild claims found on the internet or sensational mass market “health ” books
      .
      “We conclude that there are many unsubstantiated assumptions made. Current data about health effects of dietary lectins, as consumed in cooked, baked, or extruded foods do not support negative health effects in humans. In contrast, consumption of WGA containing foods, such as cereals and whole grain products, has been shown to be associated with significantly reduced risks of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, as well as a more favourable long-term weight management.”
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0733521014000228
      .
      Sure, it is possible to find toxic effects from grain lectins in the laboratory or in rat studies. You can find toxic effects from virtually anything if you design the study appropriately. Even water is toxic in high doses and specific circumstances. And you can turn such findings into sensational claims that garner a lot of publicity (and sales) – if you leave out all the evidence that does not suit your argument or book sales.”
      .
      And from another post:
      “The Paleo community attitude is certainly strange because there is evidence to show that humans in the Paleolithic period actually did eat legumes – and significant amounts at that – at least in certain locations and in the relevant season eg
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440304001694
      .
      However, it seems that once an idea becomes established in the Paleo canon it becomes sacrosanct and no mere inconvenient fact is powerfu l enough to overturn it.
      .
      On lectins and health specifically, blogger has summarised the (Paleo) argument like this:
      “There is evidence that legumes provide health benefits. There is speculation that lectins cause diseases. Unfortunately, the autoimmune diseases some speculate are caused by legume lectins appear to occur more frequently in nations like the U.S., where legume consumption is rather low, than in Asian nations, where legume consumption is higher.”
      http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/08/legumes-neolithic-or-not.html




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      1. Thank you, Thea, I surely agree with you!! I just thought Dr Greger could make a video on this, in order to elucidate the subject, as he did with phytates.




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  37. I am so glad Dr Greger is doing videos on the health benefits of soy. I am a walking lab experiment. I have been vegan for 37 years and I used soymilk daily. I feel great and have all my masculinity intact at age 60.




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  38. I prefer to eat the bean itself versus tofu or tempeh. Should I buy frozen cooked, dried, or fresh (do people sell this?) soybeans? Non-GMO or GMO? Organic or not? Based on previous videos I’ve seen, fresh non-GMO organic soybeans sounds like the best option. However, I’m having trouble finding these in store. Has anyone found these in any stores? I live in Northern California near Sacramento and local stores include Safeway, SaveMart, TraderJoes, Nugget, etc. I’ll keep looking but if anyone has spotted them then I would appreciate your input!




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  39. I would love to know more about the soy – thyroid issues I hear about. I have hypothyroidism and need to know if soy is impacting my t3 or t4 levels, or impacting my thyroid in other ways – Margaret




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  40. I understand the benefits to women in later stages of life but can I be reassured that soy products are safe for teenage girls, that they won’t cause hormone imbalances?




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    1. anne: I don’t have the video at my fingertips at the moment, but there is at least one video on NutritionFacts which talks about the best benefits regarding soy and breast cancer is when it is eaten the girl’s whole life. Starting as a teenager may not be as helpful as starting earlier, but it should still be a good thing I would think. I would recommend checking out the other videos on soy on this website. Hopefully you could find the video I’m thinking of.




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  41. Can eating soy cause a woman to stop menstruating? It happened to me a few years ago, and when I quit eating soy, I started my period again. And recently I’ve been eating soy for the last 6 to 8 months, and again have stopped my period. I am 49 years old so it could be menopause, but I thought it was odd that it stopped once I started eating soy again. I love not having my period but heard it’s best to delay menopause if possible. Thoughts?




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  42. I have been looking at a herb called Puerarin that some say is good for endometrosis, hormone blocker and hormone replacement as if it just balances hormones?

    What does Dr. think of this? Does it then act like soy?
    Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) are both anti-estrogenic and estrogenic depending on the dosage and the length of exposure of the cells to the chemicals. One study showed that plant estrogens are anti-estrogenic at low doses and estrogenic at high doses. (The dose-response curve on a graph is U-shaped.)
    If one did have to take a pill… Tamoxifen or Arimidex hormone blockers….. wouldn’t one prefer the herb without the side effects of weakening bones or uterine cancer?
    Does eating soy counteract the bad side effects of hormone blockers even if one already started with bad bone density?




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  43. Hi, 19 year old student from Sweden here! I am starting to improve my diet and eat less meat. What I found really hard though is that almost all the recipes include something with soy, nuts, beans etc. which I am severely allergic to. What can I use instead of these ingredients in the recipes that also have the nutrients I need?




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    1. I’d suggest other seeds: buckwheat (affordable), quinoa (not so affordable) instead of beans; and flaxseed (affordable) finely milled and chia seeds (not so affordable) instead of nuts, raw sesame (in moderation).
      Plus vegetables with high-quality protein and high protein to energy ratio such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, collards, cabbage, green cauliflower (with leaves), other green leafy vegetables such as chard, spinach, arugula (Eruca sativa), “corn salad”/”lamb’s lettuce” (Valerianella locusta), etc.




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  44. Yes, it would be most helpful to get more information on the impact that very high soy intake might have on male estrogen levels. I stopped using a soy based protein powder (replaced now with pea protein powder) when my breasts became noticeably larger (ala Seinfeld episode about George Constanza’ father and ‘brozere”!). My high estrogen level was verified by a blood test. About half of a year after excluding soy and high phylo-estrogenic seeds, the breasts had returned to previous male proportions.




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  45. Excellent video, congratulations Dr. Greger. I would llike to ask you: It is safe to eat tofu during pregnancy? I used to eat tofu every day (aprox 150 gr), know I´m pregnant, could I continue with this? Thanks a lot!




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  46. I am wondering if there is any reason that my daughter (19) should avoid soy? She has been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and it was recommended that she avoid soy. Any basis to this?




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    1. Hi, Amy. The reason people with thyroid disorders are often told to avoid soy, is that it is one of a group of foods considered to be “goitrogenic.” The reason for this, is that these foods may reduce the absorption of iodine. As long as iodine intake is adequate, this should not be an issue. You might be interested in this video, for more information on this topic.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-iodine-deficiency-2/
      I hope that helps!




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  47. Dr. Greger, I am happy to hear that soy is safe and healthy because I have become a Vegan and I love the textural options of soy, as well as the taste of miso. However, I just ran into an infomercial by Dr. Stephen Gundry who is a famous heart surgeon turned diet-guru, and he lists soy as one of the 3 things you should never eat. He claims that it is detrimental to the thyroid and adrenals. However when I did a quick search of soy and thyroid, the pub med studies indicated that soy is not harmful as long as you keep your iodine level at replete. So why is Dr. Gundry bashing soy in this way? He also has it in for wheat grass and gogi berries. His other advice, about increasing phytonutrients through eating dark berries is in accordance with what you say in your book (we grow our own aronia bushes. They’re mouthpuckering by themselves, but mixed with blueberries in oatmeal or in smoothies, quite palatable)., so why is he demonizing these 3 things?




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  48. Hi Ramona,

    I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thanks so much for your question. There is so much misinformation thrown out by people looking to make money off of a product or program.

    As you have noted, the research suggests that soy consumption is associated with improved health. If Dr. Gundry would share specific research studies to defend his claims, we could maybe begin to understand what he is talking about. Unfortunately, until then, his views seem very questionable. I also have not seen any evidence against the use of wheatgrass or gogi berries, and their antioxidant and nutrient contents suggest they are very healthy as well.

    In conclusion, Dr. Gundry seems to have discredited himself and his infomercial by not providing sound evidence. My recommendation would be to continue to consume soy, wheatgrass, and gogi berries as normal.




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