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Soy and isoflavones

Soybeans are the richest dietary source of isoflavones. Isoflavones belong to the group of phytochemicals and are being studied intensively because they extent physiological effects which may help reduce the risk for certain diseases. Epidemiological studies have indicated that populations which regularly consume soyfoods have lower incidences of breast, colon and prostate cancers. The incidence is particularly low for hormone-dependent cancers. In Asian countries, where the prevalence of disorders such as breast cancer and invasive prostate cancer is relatively low, people consume soy foods in amounts that provide on average 50-100 mg of soy isoflavones a day.

Studies show that isoflavones account for approximately three-fourths of soy's protection, while its protein is responsible for about one-fourth.
Soy products have different isoflavone contents. Whole soy products like soymilk, tempeh or soy flour have high concentrations of isoflavones. Products isolated from soybeans have varying amounts of isoflavones, depending on how they were processed. Soybeans contain three types of isoflavones in four chemical structures. Chemical analysis of a wide variety of soyfoods have shown a great difference in amounts of the isoflavones as well as their chemical forms. The variety of soybean grown, growing conditions, location and crop year, can all make a difference in the amount of isoflavones in soybeans.

The best way to consume isoflavones is in food form, so that you can benefit from all of soy's nutrients and beneficial compounds. If you decide to take supplements, choose products that supply a mixture of isoflavones including genistein and daidzein. Try to ingest a total of 100 mg isoflavones a day from supplements, foods, or a combination of the two.

Isoflavones are fairly stable, so under normal home or institutional cooking methods isoflavones are not destroyed.

Another important plant source of isoflavones is red clover.


What effect do the isoflavones have on men?

What effect do the isoflavones have on men? Does it result in decreased sex drive or growth of breast tissue?
Guest - 02/04/2012

What effect do the isoflavones have on men?

Isoflavones do not decrease sex drive nor do they cause the growth of breast tissue. These are rumours created and spread by some soy bashers. Actually they are healthy, even for men.
Rob - 02/04/2012

What effect do the isoflavones have on men?

High estrogen levels in men are associated with breast cancer. Unfortunately the studies looking for something bad when consuming soy are not being done or given any media attention as soy has become touted by even the FDA as a wonder food. It is not and shouldn't be consumed by anyone until it is thoroughly studied with human feeding trials (not just the random uncontrolled consumption that is currently going on with the public). Soy should never be consumed by males until it is known what action occurs when they ingest this hormone-like substance.The fact that soy flavinoids are used in the menopausal pill Estroven should be a clear warning for males and children to NOT eat any soy product. Michael Polidori
michael0156 - 04/04/2012

Soy products and HRT medication

Is it advisable to take soy products whilst taking HRT medication? Thank you Pamela.
Pamela - 11/11/2013

Soy products and HRT medication

You should first consult with your own doctor about you specific situtation. Studies indicate that you can take soy products while taking HRT. It is unlikely that you can overdose on estrogen by adding natural soy products, such as soy milk, tofu and tempeh, to your diet. But I would not recommend taking supplements with high isoflavones content, unless recommended by your doctor. Soy is a good source of phytoestrogens, estrogen-like compounds from plants. Phytoestrogens are not estrogen; in some ways and in some tissues of the body, they act like estrogen (decreasing hot flashes and lowering total cholesterol, for example), but in other areas, they act the opposite way (in the breast, perhaps, which may lower risk of breast cancer). Some women healthcare leaders are calling soy the perfect alternative to HRT.
Hildegard - 11/11/2013

Unfermented soy

Hi I was just reading a few articles that said if the soy nuts are made of unfermented soy this is actually detrimental to your health. Apparently the isoflavones become harder to process and they contain phytic acid which is an anti nutrient that binds to iron and other nutrients and prevents absorption. You may be aware of this already but if not I highly recommend reading up on the difference between unfermented and fermented soy products.. Also unless you have a weight problem the fats in nuts are quite good for you like with avocado which actually help the absorption of things like beta carotene. Hope that may be useful.
Paul - 24/10/2014


soyaproducten bevatten plantaardige oestrogenen. Daardoor zijn ze tegenaangewezen voor kankerpatiënten die op oestrogenenafbouwmedicatie staan. U MOET dit melden op al uw producten !!!
De Wit - 16/11/2017

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