Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Local Farmers Market and Raw Kale Salad recipe

A couple of weeks ago I was  at our local farmers market in Lebanon Ohio.  There is  one vendor whose product I really like.  That Guy's Family Farm  Organic Produce.   Their booth is so inviting, from the friendly smiles to the beautiful bouquets of  flowers and  the  best looking organic produce.

That Guys Family Farm
At Our Farm

Daily - Self-Serve Egg House and
Certiļ¬ed Organic Produce          
Guy & Sandy Ashmore & Family            
394 ST RT 380 Clarksville, OH  45113

 I had never had Raw Kale before!  When I was growing up the only greens we had was out of can, the smell of that was a turnoff.  But I have reading about the benefits of Kale and saw this gorgeous leafy vegetable and thought I would try it.  I made a Tuscan Raw Kale Salad. I was amazed how much the Raw Kale tasted  like Broccoli.

Fresh Kale

Tuscan Raw Kale Salad 


Tuscan Raw Kale salad

4-6 cups kale, loosely packed, sliced leaves  and midribs removed
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1.2 cup toasted walnuts
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper to taste
Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well.
Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again.
Let kale sit for at least 5 minutes. Toss again, and top with remaining cheese and toasted walnuts
Will keep well in fridge for 3-4 days.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Could Visalus, Herbalife, Shaklee & Other Soy Shakes Actually Be Harming Your Health?                                                                                                    Another quick-fix dietary

 supplement comes on the scene. Before you know it, it’s popping up everywhere, even in the Church. While my nutrition counseling has always maintained the principle that health cannot come from diets or dietary supplements, I was not aware of the health problems that the new Visalus products were causing until a nutritional counseling friend of mine alerted me to them just recently. He said:

This past week, I had an issue brought to me by a friend that in the past I have helped to clear up some significant health problems. Unbeknownst to me, this individual decided to go on a diet without telling me what they were doing. I get this panicked message stating that they went to the doctor and that the doctor was recommending they go on thyroid medication as it had nearly shut down. This person said they had been on this diet for several months and that they lost weight to start with and all of a sudden the weight loss stopped. I finally asked what the diet was and it was the evermore popular, MLM driven (I have nothing against MLM’s, however they are usually overenthusiastically sold) VISALUS soy-based protein shake.
Of course, this information does not just apply to this brand of shakes. Most of the other nutrition shakes out there contain similar ingredients and pose similar risks. Shaklee, Herbalife, and Ensure are some additional shakes that contain soy protein. (Other shakes may not contain soy protein but often contain soybean oil.)
In the past, I have discussed the dangers of unfermented soy on my health page. Contrary to popular belief, soy is NOT a health food. How it ever got promoted as such is beyond me. But I’ll be honest with you; I believed this lie for a while too.
Ten years ago, I gave my second son soy formula from 6 months until his first birthday. Of course, I did so by the doctor’s recommendations. Fast forward about 7 or 8 years and we decide to incorporate a little soy into our diets via tofu and textured vegetable protein (aka TVP, a dehydrated soy product that rehydrates with the texture of ground meat). Shortly thereafter, we had to take the first visit in a long time to the pediatrician’s office. Our son was experiencing heart palpitations and night sweats. When we realized all of the symptoms were related to thyroid problems, I discovered that thyroid problems were often related to soy consumption.
We immediately eliminated those products from our diet and have not seen any recurrence in our son’s hyperthyroid symptoms. I am thankful that God lead me to this information so early on in the problem! If this wisdom had not been revealed to us, here is a brief list of some of the additional symptoms and health problems related to soy consumption that are common:
There are some very good reasons why men shouldn’t be consuming these products, or other soy protein products like protein bars and powders. Did you know that celibate monks living in monasteries and leading a vegetarian lifestyle find soy foods quite helpful for dampening libido?
According to Dr. Mercola:
Soy has also been linked to erectile dysfunction. The two natural drugs found in soy, genistein and daidzein, mimic estrogen so well that they have been known to cause a variety of alarming side effects in men:
  • Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
  • Decreased facial and body hair growth
  • Decreased libido
  • Mood swings and frequent crying jags
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lowered sperm count
For example, one recent study documented a case of gynecomastia in a 60-year-old man as a result of his soy consumption.
Some personal reports of problems with soy. Maybe you can relate?!
“I have used soy milk for 12 years with no problems. About 9 months ago, I started to have heart palpitations. I thought maybe that I was in menopause, but I wasn’t. I added more potassium to my diet and magnesium and vitamin E. No change. I am already decaffeinated but I also took all sugar out of my diet. I lost 25 pounds and felt great except for the palpitations. I tried hawthorn and garlic but nothing was helping. Recently I came down with acute bronchitis and could only drink water because even the soy milk made me have horrendous bouts of coughing. I realized that after a few days my heart palpitations had stopped. I didn’t think anything of it because it never occurred to me that soy was the culprit. As soon as I started drinking it again, my heart went crazy. I went off it for a week and then changed brands. Within 30 minutes of drinking only 4 ounces [of soy milk], my heart was all over the place. I’ve noticed that it takes about 24 to 36 hours for my heart to settle down. I wondered if your research turned up anything like this in regard to soy. I know it is not within the definition of an allergy, but something is definitely going on. I called the manufacturer of the soy milk, but they were of no help. I am very upset because I only drink soy milk and water. I also use the soy milk to make protein shakes (with what else…but soy protein).” (

“A pregnant lady who looked very ill and was terribly deficient! She also described her son, age five, who had many allergies and infections – both were using a good deal of soy in their diet. I recommended that they discontinue the use of all soy products. At the time, I had only just run across this situation. However, a year later, I was in the same area for a lecture, and the lady invited me to dinner. She had cut out all soy products: her skin was now rosy, her face filled out, her sunken eyes normal, her black circles gone and her little boy, now six, was in greatly improved health.” (

Unless soy is fermented, there are many different problems with it, no matter how “special” it is. Dr. Mercola reviews the main problems:
“Here is a summary of soy’s most glaring problems.
91 percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM). The genetic modification is done to impart resistance to the toxic herbicide Roundup. While this is meant to increase farming efficiency and provide you with less expensive soy, the downside is that your soy is loaded with this toxic pesticide. The plants also contain genes from bacteria that produce a protein that has never been part of the human food supply.
GM soy has been linked to an increase in allergies. Disturbingly, the only published human feeding study on GM foods ever conducted verified that the gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of our gut bacteria and continues to function. This means that years after you stop eating GM soy, you may still have a potentially allergenic protein continuously being produced in your intestines.
Even more frightening is the potential for GM soy to cause infertility in future generations, which has been evidenced by recent Russian research.
Soy contains natural toxins known as “anti-nutrients.”
Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, goitrogens and estrogens. Some of these factors interfere with the enzymes you need to digest protein. While a small amount of anti-nutrients would not likely cause a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating is extremely high.
Soy contains hemagglutinin.
Hemagglutinin is a clot-promoting substance that causes your red blood cells to clump together. These clumped cells are unable to properly absorb and distribute oxygen to your tissues.
Soy contains goitrogens
Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function.
Soy contains phytates.
Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc — all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body. This is particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates (so it is helpful—if you do eat soy—to also eat meat).
Soy is loaded with the isoflavones genistein and daidzein
Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues. Soy phytoestrogens are known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility, and may promote breast cancer in women.
Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy.
Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese
Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product.Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.
Soy infant formula puts your baby’s health at risk.
Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are now fed soy formula, but the estrogens in soy can irreversibly harm your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. Infants fed soy formula take in an estimated five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day.
Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed other formulas!
There is also the issue of pesticides and genetic modification.
Soy foods are both heavily sprayed with pesticides and genetically modified (GM). More than 80 percent of the soy grown in the United States is GM. And more than 90 percent of American soy crops are GM.
Since the introduction of GM foods in 1996, we’ve had an upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems in the U.S. population, and animal studies thus far have shown devastating effects from consuming GM soy.”

Even if Visalus and other soy-based products are not from genetically-modified soybeans, they still qualify as dangerous foods based on criteria numbers 2-6 above. Even organic soymilk, for instance, can cause permanent thyroid problems. As my nutritional counseling friend adds:

Most of the shakes benefits seem to be from the vitamins and minerals found in the shake and little to do with the shake itself, other than the high protein content which is also a factor. If any product description or marketing starts talking about how many apples, pears, broccoli, etc. you have to eat to compare to what it offers and it is a supposed food replacement-type product, most likely you are being scammed. What sounds so wonderful and a no-brainer is bad for your pocketbook and bad for your health.

But the soy in some of these drinks, especially Visalus, is different, right?! I mean, they go through extra processing to ensure the soy protein does not contain these anti-nutrients. Why, then, are we hearing so many reports of people experiencing the same health problems from these problems that are associated with other soy products?!
For example, one person reported the following from Visalus shakes:
“I signed up with Visalus in Sept. 11, as I’ve been out of work, and loved the taste of the shake. Yet when I received the product, I was sent along with the big distributor kit, huge horse pills to swallow too, which in the little picture of ordering I didn’t see. Called the company, talked to a young gentleman, and complained, since I don’t like swallowing pills. Of which he said he couldn’t do anything about.
I introduced this to one girlfriend, who was on thyroid medication, and after taking a couple bags of product, she started to feel like her medication wasn’t working. So she called me to inquire if I knew if this Visalus was ok to take with her medication. So I Googled about it, and was so alarmed about all the sites I found, which spoke of the the dangers of soy, especially with thyroid problems. I then called the company back and wanted my money back. (Which is about $900 on plastic) As I knew in my heart I couldn’t honestly sell it anymore, was refused credit, because it had been over 60 days.
Without a job, I am stuck with this burden now. Wish I had realized the dangers of soy.”
Don’t wait until you begin to have these problems yourself or hear of others who do.  People like myself and my friend who constantly get emails from people describing health problems and symptoms see this more than the average person would. As he also said:

I did receive many reports from others on Facebook who experienced very similar symptoms when they tried using it and from some who had just used soy as a major part of their vegetarian diet. This is the message I want to send is that unfermented soy and especially in the amounts recommended to be consumed by it promoters, Monsanto, vegan gurus, and protein shake MLM’s, is not only not good for you, but potentially harmful and dangerous.

Even if the soy was different, just the sheer amount of soy protein being consumed by those using soy protein shakes is unnaturally high and exposes dieters to problems. Anything when consumed in excess is dangerous, even water! Contrary to popular belief:
“The total caloric intake from soy in the Chinese diet is only 1.5%. The amount of soy consumed in Asia averages only 2 teaspoons a day and up to 1/4 cup in some parts of Japan. This is certainly not the large amount that we were led to believe.” (
I know this information may not be well-received, but I pray that it is.  I am not denying that it has helped many people lose weight.  But as Christians, we are not to idolize our physical appearance.  My goal as a nutritional counselor is to help people get healthy.  Sometimes that means losing weight and sometimes it doesn’t.  But when getting thin becomes our ultimate goal, we begin to see things superficially. We miss the underlying spiritual issues that caused us to get overweight and unhealthy int he first place. 

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

(Check out my post on diets here: 

No matter how much conclusive evidence comes out discussing the amazing benefits of natural foods like leafy greens with all their vitamin K, fresh fruits with all their flavanoids, and raw vegetables with all their antioxidants, it seems most people still want a quick fix. They want to be able to open a premade meal and have it be healthy.

Unfortunately, this has never worked, nor will it ever. God has designed food exactly the way it needs to be in order for it to sustain health. It takes time, effort, and major lifestyle changes in order to incorporate these foods into our lives and get rid of the foods that make up the Standard American Diet. There is no quick fix, nor will there ever be. If there was, God would already have revealed it to us. Man cannot improve on God’s creation. We would be wise to remember the story of the Tower of Babel and how God is God and we are not!

As Andrew Saul, PhD and author of Doctor Yourself says,

Change your life. If you want to get better, that is what you have to do. There is no such thing as a free lunch, a quick fix, or a magic wand to cure illness. I wish there were easy answers to people’s health questions. There aren’t. There are answers, all right, but they are not easy.

For more information on the dangers of soy, why unfermented soy (like miso, tempeh, etc.) are safe, and more, here are some pages to check out:

Soy: Too Good To Be True by Charlotte Gerson

This “Miracle Food” Has Been Linked to Brain Damage and Breast Cancer

Fermented Soy Is Only Soy Food Fit For Human Consumption

**Update–Further investigation revealed even more problems with Visalus shakes.  Read the update here:
If you’ve had adverse reactions as a result of using any of these products, please take a minute to comment and share your experiences. It just may help prevent others from experiencing the same problems, or receiving an incorrect diagnosis. And if you want to become healthy, you can do it without the side effects of products like these! Email me and/or check out my Nutrition Counseling page!
Blessings of go

Friday, April 27, 2012

Does Soy Have a Dark Side?

Does Soy Have a Dark Side?

Soy products Does Soy Have a Dark Side?
Over the past two decades, soy has been widely promoted as a ‘miracle’ food that can prevent heart disease, fight cancer, fan away hot flashes and build strong bones and bodies in far more than 12 ways.
Sales of soy foods topped $4 billion in the USA for the first time in 2004, with most segments of the industry reporting double-digit growth.  Although such growth has mostly slowed, sales aren’t reducing and the soy industry has been stepping up its marketing of products all over the world.
The marketing of soy as a ‘health food’ has been so successful that few people realize that respected scientists have warned that possible benefits should be weighed against proven risks. Even researchers working for the soy industry have admitted to each other at soy symposia that the ‘marketing is way ahead of the science’.
Fortunately, the ‘whole soy story’ is starting to emerge. In July, 2005, the first major warning came from the Israeli Health Ministry, which warned that babies should not receive soy formula, that children under 18 years of age should eat soy foods no more than once per day to a maximum of three times a week and that adults should exercise caution because of adverse effects on fertility and increased breast cancer risk.  The Ministry took its advice from a 13-member committee of nutritionists, oncologists, pediatricians and other experts who spent a year examining the evidence. The committee was most concerned by the possibility of hormonal disruption caused by the estrogen-like plant hormones in soy.
Also in July, 2005, researchers at Cornell University’s Program of Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors warned that excessive soy food consumption can increase breast cell multiplication, putting women at greater risk for breast cancer.
In September, 2005, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released a report in which it concluded that much of the research carried out on soy is ‘inconclusive’.5  The review prepared by a team of researchers at Tufts in Boston, concluded that soy products appear to exert ‘a small benefit on LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, but the effects may be of small clinical effect in individuals’. Furthermore, the researchers couldn’t determine from the many studies how much soy protein might be needed for lipid reduction. The authors found that studies show that soy products may reduce menopausal symptoms but noted they were of poor quality or their duration was too short to lead to definite conclusions.
The researchers failed to find clear evidence that soy causes thyroid damage – but that’s not surprising in that they excluded foreign studies from consideration. Most of the key studies showing thyroid damage from soy have been carried out at leading thyroid clinics in Japan.
Then the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported that the studies on soy and cancer are inconsistent and that high intake of soy may increase breast cancer risk. The journal indicated this lack of ‘clear, consistent message’ confuses many women and that ‘health professionals should take an active role in communicating and clarifying such information’.
The French Government also takes the soy risk seriously and is implementing new regulations that will require manufacturers to remove soy isoflavones from infant formula and soy foods targeted to children under 3 years old.
In 2007 the German Institute of Risk Assessment warned parents and pediatricians that babies should not be given soy infant formula without clear, concrete medical reasons and then only under strict medical supervision.  Soon after, the Germans issued a second warning to adult consumers, saying that soy isoflavones offer no proven health benefits and may pose health risks.
These and other warnings follow a lengthy report issued in 2002 by the British Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, which found no merit to most of the health claims made for soy.  The Committee identified infants on soy formula, vegetarians who use soy as a primary source of protein and adults trying to prevent disease with soy foods and soy supplements as being at risk for thyroid damage.

Confusing consumers

For consumers, such news can be confusing. After all, ‘everyone knows’ that Asians eat large quantities of soy and consequently remain free of most western diseases. In fact, the people of China, Japan and other countries in Asia eat small quantities of soy and as condiments, not as staple foods. 11  While it is true that Asians show lower rates of breast, prostate and colon cancers, they suffer higher rates of thyroid, pancreatic, liver, stomach and esophageal cancers. Thyroid disease is also prevalent in Asia, with an epidemic of cretinism in some parts of China, and with ‘Hashimoto’s thyroiditis’ and other thyroid problems common in Japan.
Asians also eat different soy foods from the ones now appearing on the western table. Think small amounts of traditional, whole soy foods such as miso, natto, tempeh, tofu, tamari and shoyu, not veggie burgers, ‘energy bars’, shakes, TVP chili, soy milk or other meat or dairy substitutes. Contrary to popular belief, soy milk was rarely drunk in Asia prior to the 20th century and soy formula was first invented by a Baltimore pediatrician in 1909.
Ingredients such as soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, textured soy protein and hydrolyzed plant protein were unheard of until after World War II.  These quintessentially western products are manufactured using high-tech, industrialized processes that compromise protein quality, reduce vitamin levels and leave toxic residues and carcinogens. Although the latest refining techniques yield blander, purer soy proteins than the ‘beany’, hard-to-disguise flavours of the past, the main reason the new soy foods taste and look better is the lavish use of sugar and other sweeteners, salt, artificial flavorings, colors and MSG.

GM soybean linked to allergy rise

Soy is now an ingredient in more than 60 percent of the foods sold in supermarkets and natural food stores, with much of it ‘hidden’ in products where it wouldn’t ordinarily be expected, such as in fast-food burgers, breads and canned tuna. This is a becoming a nightmare for the growing number of people who are allergic to, or sensitive, to soy – which is a lot of people given that soy is now one of the top eight allergens, with many experts predicting it will soon be in the top four.
The likeliest reason for this rise in soy allergies is the genetically modified (GM) soybean. The York Nutritional Laboratories in England – one of Europe’s leading laboratories specializing in food sensitivity – found a 50 percent increase in soy allergies in 1998, the same year in which GM beans were introduced to the world market. York’s researchers noted that one of the 16 proteins in soybeans most likely to cause allergic reactions was found in concentrations higher by 30 percent or more in Monsanto’s GM soybeans.
GM beans carry higher levels of anti-nutrients, which decrease digestion and absorption and increase vitamin and mineral needs, as well as more toxins than regular soybeans, jeopardizing human and animal health. They have also caused vast damage to the environment. Indeed, more of the Amazon Rainforest has been lost to GM soybean farming than to beef grown for fast-food franchises.

Other health problems

Unfortunately, the health problems caused by soy are not completely solved by eating whole bean products and buying organic. All soybeans naturally contain anti-nutrients, toxins and plant hormones. The best-known of these are:
* protease inhibitors (which interfere with protein digestion and have caused malnutrition, poor growth, digestive distress and pancreatitis);
* phytates (which block mineral absorption, causing zinc, iron and calcium deficiencies);
* lectins and saponins (linked to ‘leaky gut’ and other gastrointestinal and immune problems);
* oxalates (which can promote kidney stones and vulvodynia); and,
* oligosaccharides (which cause gas, giving soy its reputation as the ‘King of Musical Fruits’).
Apologists for soy dismiss such claims, saying that food processing and home cooking remove most of these anti-nutrients. In fact, modern processing removes some of them, sometimes a lot of them, but never all. The levels of heat and pressure needed to remove all protease inhibitors, for example, severely damage soy protein and make it harder to digest. The trick is to eliminate the most anti-nutrients while doing the least damage to the soy protein. Success varies widely from batch to batch.
For years, the US Department of Agriculture and the soy industry tried to improve the quality of animal feeds by researching ways to get rid of these undesirable anti-nutrients. Although they succeeded to a certain extent, producers routinely supplement animal feeds heavily with vitamins, minerals and methionine, a sulfur-containing amino acid that is low in soy. Even so, makers of animal chows are still limited in the amount of soy they can add without causing growth and fertility problems.
Food processors making soy-protein products for people may add these supplements, but in most cases do not. Generally, calcium and vitamin D are added to soy milk so it can compete with dairy products. B12 often goes in because vegans are well-known to be at high risk for this deficiency, but that’s about it.
In the past two decades, the soy industry has switched tactics – from trying to remove unwanted anti-nutrients to trying to convince people that they are good for them. Protease inhibitors, saponins and lectins are being touted as curers of cancer or lowerers of cholesterol, while phytates are being recommended for their ability to remove potentially toxic minerals such as calcium and excess iron from the body.
Although some of these uses look promising, it is important to note that researchers are not achieving these successes using regular soy foods. Most take carefully extracted components and administer them in carefully measured and monitored doses. News headlines to the contrary, there’s no reason to think that willy-nilly eating of a lot of soy foods will do the trick.
Riskiest of all are the high levels of phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) in soybeans. Although these are said to be ‘weak estrogens’ and are promoted as ‘safe and natural’ hormone replacement therapy, they are strong enough in numbers to cause significant endocrine disruption, leading most often to hypothyroidism with its symptoms of weight gain, fatigue, brain fog and depression.
More than 70 years of human, animal and laboratory studies show that soybeans put the thyroid at risk.    Although individuals who are deficient in iodine are especially prone to soy-induced thyroid damage, this can also occur even when iodine levels are replete.
Soy phytoestrogens also have a ‘contraceptive effect’. Fertility problems in cows, sheep, rabbits, cheetahs, guinea pigs, birds and mice have been regularly reported since the 1940s.
In women, soy can impair the ovarian development of babies and alter menstrual cycles and cause hormonal changes indicative of infertility for adults.   In men it lowers testosterone levels, the quantity and quality of sperm and the libido.   Although scientists discovered only recently that soy lowers testosterone levels, tofu has traditionally been used in Buddhist monasteries to help the monks maintain their vows of celibacy. Thus couples who desire to become pregnant are wise to cut out soy.
Humans and animals appear to be the most vulnerable to the effects of soy estrogens pre-natally, during infancy and puberty, during pregnancy and lactation, and during the hormonal shifts of menopause.   Of all these groups, infants on soy formula are at the highest risk because of their small size and developmental phase, and because formula is their main source of nutrient. Soy formula now represents about 25 percent of the bottle-fed market and has been linked to premature puberty in girls, delayed or arrested puberty in boys, thyroid damage and other disorders.
Soy formula also contains 50 to 80 times the amount of manganese found in dairy formula or breast milk, toxic levels that can harm the infant’s developing brain, causing ADD/ADHD and other learning and behavioral disorders.   Because ADD/ADHD has been linked to violent tendencies and crime, the California Public Safety Committee is considering making soy infant formula illegal except by prescription.
These and other known hazards of soy formula have led the Israeli Health Ministry, the Swiss Federal Health Service, the British Dietetic Association and others to warn parents and pediatricians that soy infant formula should never be used except as a last resort. Although children and teenagers are less vulnerable than infants, their young bodies are still developing and are highly vulnerable to endocrine system disruption by soy.
Despite these and many other potential dangers, soy is still widely promoted as a health food – even as a ‘miracle food’ that can prevent and cure cancer. While a few studies suggest that soy protein – or its phytoestrogens might help prevent cancer, far more studies show it to be ineffective or inconsistent. Some studies even show that soy can contribute to, promote or even cause cancer.
In February, 2004, the Solae Company submitted a petition to the FDA requesting permission for a cancer health claim for soy protein and claimed that ‘there is scientific agreement among experts’. In fact, no such consensus existed then or now, and numerous experts, including scientists from the FDA’s own National Laboratory for Toxicological Research, warned of soy protein’s carcinogenic potential and the other health dangers that ensue from excess soy-food consumption.
The idea that scientists could even consider soy for a cancer claim is ludicrous on the face of it. Soy isoflavones, the plant estrogens in soy most often credited with cancer prevention, are listed as ‘carcinogens’ in many toxicology and chemistry textbooks. Over the years, soy isoflavones have been proven to be mutagenic, clastogenic [causing breakage of chromosomes] and teratogenic.   In addition, the modern industrial soy processing techniques used to make soy protein isolate, textured vegetable protein and other modern soy products popular with people on low-carb diets create toxic and carcinogenic residues.
In 2004 and 2005 the Weston Price Foundation and I submitted three detailed documents to the FDA that refuted Solae’s claims that soy prevents cancer.  We showed the FDA that Solae was highly selective in its choice of evidence and biased in its interpretations. We reported on the fact that they had omitted many studies proving soy to be ineffective in preventing cancer, emphasized favorable outcomes in studies with mixed results and excused the results of the few unfavorable studies that they included to give the illusion of balance. Most importantly, we drew the FDA’s attention to the fact that Solae excluded many studies showing that soy protein can cause and accelerate the growth of cancer, particularly breast cancer. In October 2005, Solae withdrew its petition. The FDA made a big mistake in 1999 when it sided with the soy industry and allowed a positive soy-and-heart-disease health claim in the US.
Today the FDA is required by law to consider a petition from the Weston A Price Foundation   asking it to retract that health claim based on the fact that studies on soy and cholesterol are inconsistent and contradictory, and soy may contribute to or even cause heart arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy and blood vessel damage in women.  The chance of retraction was significant bolstered last August when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a negative opinion to a health claim submission linking soy protein and reduced LDL cholesterol.   This turn down was “disconcerting” to the soy industry, which continues to trot out new studies in hopes of bolstering their case and, in the meantime, to keep good news in the headines.    Meanwhile, the marketing of soy for cancer prevention took a big hit last fall with a study in Clinical and Experimental Metastisis that announced the “good news/fad news” story that soy isoflavones don’t worsen primary tumors but do cause cancer metastases.  Risk is not certainty, of course, but should certainly be sobering for all who would make health claims for soy.
The bottom line is that the safety of soy foods and formula has yet to be proven and that people eating large quantities of soy are unwittingly participating in a large, uncontrolled and basically unmonitored, human experiment.