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Benefits of soy

There is no denying that soy has many health benefits, which are coming form the quality of the soy proteins and from health promoting phytochemicals, such as isoflavones, phytates, saponins and polyphenols. Below you can find the main health benefits of soy.

Bone health

Although soy products, such as soy milk and tempeh, are not a rich source of calcium, they can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Several studies have suggested that soy isoflavones may be a factor in helping to prevent bone loss. The soy isoflavone genistein seems to inhibit bone breakdown and may have similar effects than estrogens in maintaining bone tissue. A recent meta-study carried out by Pan Wei showed that soy isoflavones supplements significantly increase bone mineral density in women [1].
Replacing animal protein with soy protein may also help preventing calcium loss from your bones. Diets high in animal protein cause more calcium loss through the urine. In addition, commercial soy milk is often supplemented with calcium and tofu may contain a lot of calcium from the added coagulant calcium sulphate.

Menopausal symptoms

Epidemiological data show that Asian women suffer less from hot flashes and night sweats than Western women. Most symptoms of menopause are caused by low estrogen levels. Estrogens play a role in the body temperature control. Soy isoflavones can through their estrogen-like effect control these menopausal symptoms, especially hot flushes.

Heart health

In countries with high soy intake the rates of cardiovascular diseases is relatively low. Research suggests that soy may help to prevent heart disease by reducing total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and preventing plaque buildup in the arteries, which could lead to stroke or heart attack. These health benefits are also mainly attributes to the soy isoflavones and saponins. The soy isoflavone genistein may increase the flexibility of blood vessels, whereas saponins may have potential to reduce blood cholesterol.

Cancer prevention

Several studies have indicated that a regular intake of soy foods may help to prevent hormone related cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. A Chinese study found that high dietary intake of soy isoflavones was associated with lower risk of recurrence among postmenopausal women with estrogen and progesterone positive breast cancer and those receiving the anti-cancer drug anastrozole. The scientists suggest that the beneficial effects of soy isoflavones is exerted through their interaction with estrogen and progesterone receptors. Isoflavones have antiangiogenic activity, which means that they interfere with blood vessel growth, an important anticancer property.

High protein content

Soy products such as tofu, tempeh and soy milk are very rich in protein, which is of very high biological quality as it contains all essential amino acids. In addition, the amino acids of soy combine very well with those of cereals, such as wheat, rice and corn. The soy protein is especially important for vegans.

References

[1] Systematic review of soy isoflavone supplements on osteoporosis in women. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2012 Mar;5(3):243-8.

Comments

soy is bad

I have been only taking soy milk in the last few 5 months as I am a vegan and allergic to cow milk.
Latley I have started feeling very tiered, i ve got chronic constipation, my periods which have always been regular,became irregular. i was thinking why is all this happening to me. then a thought came to my head to do a research on soy milk, as otherwise my diet is very healhty.
i found out that it slows down metobalisam and tyroid. it makes periods irregular as it has this subsance that mimicas oestrogen a female hormone.

ive stopped taking it, and i am trying to clean our my body and alreday notcing improvments. I DONT RECOMEND SOY MILK to anyone as its really bad, rather make urself almond milk or oat milk, or you can buy it, but i prefer to make my own bkz ready onces have added vegetable oils.
mia - 10/08/2009

Soy milk, is it really good for you?

I have been drinking soy milk for the past eight months. Recently a friend tells me its not as good as what I think it may be. I would really like to know if there is strength to this suggestion. Could someone be so kind to give a new soy drinker reliable information on the pros and cons of soy milk? Thanks
Joy - 20/08/2010

Soy milk, is it really good for you?

Unless you are allergic to it, soymilk is very healthy. Maybe your friend got one of those spam emails, which only purpose is to create panic. Soymilk will give you following advantages: less risks for heart diseases, plant proteins instead of animal protein are better for your bones, isoflavones have a lot of health promoting benefits and does not contain lactose. If you make it yourself it's very cheap.
Erik - 20/10/2010

Soya products are good for you

Soya products have been very good for me in the past but I have had difficulty in getting them as I live in a village. Since I have stopped using them I seem to have had everything going including a bad bout of arthritis in my feet. I never had flu badly since using the products and feel that I will go back on them as I don't like milk anyway. Tofu and quorn products are wonderful.
So don't take any notice of the critics, if you feel healthier and happier carry on using Soya. I am going back to it for good.
Lucyleighton - 04/11/2010

Soy milk, is it really good for you?

Soy products are actually not so great, they have a lot of side effects that toxic in the long run. They actually interfere with protein digestion and calcium absorption and leave a lot in the digestive tract. A lot of people use soy products because they think dairy is bad. It's generally not an allery to dairy but an inability to digest it properly because of accumulated debri in the colon. Soy actually complicates this. It interferes with protein digestion and has numerous other dangerous side effecsts if used over a long term. Better to clean out, incorporate enzymes and find sources of raw dairy.
JK - 12/11/2010

Is it safe to eat soy beans?

I am a soy milk consumer and I have been reading all I can about this subject. Thanks to all the messages here, I realized that even being very literate about it is not enough! I read the articles suggested in some of the answers like the one at www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53327 . I know people will say that there is no scientific foundation for the article but when you read V. Messina, MPH, RD & M. Messina, PhD's - Is It Safe to Eat Soy? www.veganoutreach.org/health/soysafe.html you realize how soy is controversial and how it has been a subject to different researches worldwide, although the authors conclude that you should continue to eat soy. Why in Europe consumers are very strict in which type of soy are you consuming? I don't even hear people talking about transgenic food and what it means to eat foreign DNA soy beans. Personally I am always intriged why so many women are with breast cancer, why girls are getting their first menstruation at the age of 9, why so much homosexuality? Definitely there is much more hormone-rich food today than ever before! Soy could be very well one of them, along with other circumstances. Soy is absolutely everywhere! Empirical evidences impulse men to think and therefore to do scientific researches, so please let us think without being accused of radicalism!

worldisavillage - 24/10/2013

Is it safe to eat soy beans?

I think it is safe no any harm to eat it.
smith2287 - 24/10/2013

Soy and bodybuilding

On the contary, there are more studies that show that soy and soy isoflavones may prevent cancer. There is also no evidence that soy can cause infertility. Asians, who consume a lot of soy, have no problems with their fertility. Soy protein is often used as protein source for commercial supplements for body builders. All stories about soy and infertility and pure anecdotal.
Hildegard - 25/10/2013

about soy

hello all things in moderation should be ok

ever thought of smoking drinking alchohol or plain and simple over eating and obesity and over drinking plain fruit juices or pop

what r the effects of those things on us?

thank you rao
rao - 11/11/2013

soy and alcohol

I have read that soy can help detoxify after (before?) the consumption of alcohol. Can someone elaborate on that for me?
thanks
Petey - 22/04/2014

soy and alcohol

It is not advisable to counteract the adverse effect of alcohol by eating some type of food. Instead, you should drink alcohol in moderation. That said, there are indeed a few scientific studies on rodents (not humans!) that demonstrate the protective effects of soy on alcohol-induced liver damage. I don't know why, but all these studies were conducted in the Far East. A Chinese study (1) found that mice supplemented with soy extract rich in saponins prevented alcohol-induced abnormal retention of lipids, inflammation and swelling of the liver. Korean researchers concluded that soy protein may positively mediate the effects of alcohol on liver cells and general liver functions in rats (2). In addition, total cholesterol and total lipid levels were significantly reduced. Finally, an Indian study found that soy protein increased glutathione content and catalase activity in the liver of rats fed with alcohol (3).

(1) Effect of soyasaponins-rich extract from soybean on acute alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 23;59(4):1138-44.
(2) Ameliorative effects of soy 11S protein on liver damage and hyperlipidemia in alcohol-fed rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2004 Oct;27(10):1636-41.
(3) Antiatherogenic and antiperoxidative effects of garlic and soy proteins in alcohol fed rats.
Indian J Exp Biol. 2009 Mar;47(3):169-75.
Erik - 22/04/2014

Gastritis

Can soya help in gastritis?
jostina ngima nderi - 23/05/2014

Prevents heart diseases?

I have read a lot of soy beans and what i have known is that it has no guarantee that it leads to decrease in heart diseases.From Mwakitawa Secondary School.
Grace Mitunge Mulwa - 31/01/2015

soya formula for infants (0-6 months)

I have recently discovered that there's infant formula made from soya bean. How good is it on child development. Plis help as I want to change to it, the current formula is not good on my kid (made from cows milk). Please help, am desperate.
Oreeditse Keletsositse - 18/09/2015

Soy not dangerous, Think again!!

For heaps of answers, buy the book "Take Control of Your Health" ...and Escape the Sickness Industry... by Elaine Hollingsworth...Page 132: "The Abominable Bean"..the book has a lot of very interesting breakthrough information about other foods and products.
Tina - 02/10/2015

soya

my mum says soy is not good even soya drink.it contains too much proteins.it can give u side effect.
sweety - 13/02/2016

soy

soy being pushed as "good for you" now being pushed as "bad for you." It seems that the powers that be could really give two hoots if the population is healthy or not. Thus we have steriod infested milk and meat, flouride in our water and anything "natural" or "herbal" or healthy being under attack. How about we all just realize that it is not the bean that grows that is hurting us; but MANKIND that processes foods that are killing us. Milk is an interesting topic to choose to WAKE PEOPLE UP with. For example, we are the ONLY SPECIES ON PLANET earth that drinks the milk of another species and we do it throughout our entire adolesence and adulthood. IT IS NOT NORMAL or Natural to drink cows milk for humans. Soy milk on the other hand is GREAT for us.. but NOT AFTER FOOD PROCESSORS GET A HOLD OF IT. Aspartame, another example of where our Government is pushing a product (Rumsfeld) KNOWING that it is killing us. If it is not FDA approved (as in the Stevia plant- natural sweetener) then our government climbs in bed with the money and makes products that KILL US.. and holds campaigns on bad mouthing the products that are good for us (ie. SOY) and they have even our own family doctors pushing the "it's bad for you" lie. And we all sit here on forum's and message boards with our thumbs up our butt believing every lie thrown at us. FACT is: if it is FOOD and it grows in dirt; chances are it is approved of by heaven. If it tastes good and our government and pharmecuticals and those who control us through food see fit to lie to us.. they will. I don't trust doctors, or politicians, or any food company that charges over 500 % profit on items. I also am sick that it is on the floor of Congress right now to VOTE .. on making it illegal to grow our own food. How about we all get our thumbs outta that nasty spot and start fighting for our rights again. Soy is soy.. and it is FAR BETTER for you then drinking the milk of an animal that is expected to go from 50 lbs to 500 lbs in less then a year. Wake up people. We are being played on every turn. IT is time to THINK FOR OURSELVES because we aren't getting the truth about Soy.. or anything.
marymieres - 17/12/2016

Soya milk gives dry mouth

I prefer soya milk in coffee, rather than dairy milk, but have noticed it can make my mouth feel extremely dry. Does wholebean soya milk have this effect too or is it due to some additive in soya milk?
Dawn Mitchell - 05/01/2017

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