Soy is a refined product that originates from the soybean plant. Soybeans are part of the legume family, which includes other common foods like peas, dried beans and lentils. Soy is the refined, highly nutritional derivative of the soybean.
A soybean is scientifically known as Glycine max. Soybeans are classified as an oil seed, which is a bit different than other legumes which are often known as pulses. Soybeans have become commonplace in many meal plans with the rising popularity of soy-based foods like tofu.
- Why Is Soy So Popular?
- How Healthy is Soy?
- What Does Soy Do For My Health?
- Health Benefits of Soybeans
- 3. Soybeans Can Improve Metabolic Activity
- 4. Soybeans can Reduce the Chance of Developing Cancer
- 5. Prevent Menopausal Syndrome
- 6. Soybeans can Improve Digestive Health
- 7. Soybeans Improve Bone Health
- 8. Soybeans Can Have A Positive Effect On Diabetes
- 9. Soybeans Improve Circulation and Oxygenation
- 10. Soybeans Lower Chances Of Birth Defects:
- 11. Soybeans Can Help Fix Sleep Disorders:
- 12. Soy Moisturizes The Skin and Makes Hair Shiny
- 13. Soy Can Prevent Hearing Loss
- 14. Soy Can Prevent Osteoporosis
- 15. Soy Strengthens Nails and Blood Vessels
- In-Depth Nutritional Profile
- 15 Possible Side Effects of Consuming Too Much Soy
- 1. Soy Affects Fertility in Women
- 2. Soy Can Cause Heavy Periods
- 3. Soy Can Cause Endocrine Disruption
- 4. Soy Can Cause Loss of Libido
- 5. Soy Increases The Risk Of Bladder Cancer
- 6. Soy Can Cause Kidney Issues
- 7. Soy Can Increase Chances Of Developing Breast Cancer
- 8. Soy Can Be Harmful For The Pancreas
- 9. Soy Can Obstruct Absorption Of Various Minerals
- 10. Soy Increases Chances Of Blood Clotting
- 11. Soy Can Lead To Hypothyroidism
- 12. Soy Causes Gastrointestinal Discomfort
- 13. Soy Can Cause Endometrial Cancer
- 14. Soy Can Cause Asthma
- 15. Other Side Effects Of Soy
Why Is Soy So Popular?
Soy is popular for a number of reasons. The high protein levels found in soy make it an ideal food for vegetarian who have a hard time getting protein. There’s a wide range of soy products that can be made from the soybean, which has allowed soy-based foods to expand to a huge market.
The protein content of soybeans is one of the main reasons soybeans are widely cultivated - they contain more protein per acre of land compared to any other crop. Soy is a green, low-lying plant that can grow up to 2 meters high. Soy protein has become universally reputed for its quality, containing all the essential amino acids that build up a complete protein, making this small bean globally significant.
How Healthy is Soy?
Soybeans contain high quality protein : 175 ml (¾ cup) of cooked soybeans has the same protein content as 75 g (125 ml (½ cup) of cooked, chicken, meat or fish. Soybeans are one of the very few vegetarian foods that contain all the amino acids that humans need for health.
Soy is higher in fat compared to other legumes, which are usually close to fat-free. However, the fat in soybeans is mainly healthy (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, also known as the omega-3 fatty acids). All legumes, soybeans included, have no cholesterol.
Soybeans are excellent sources of minerals, particularly iron and calcium. Iron is necessary to carry oxygen through the bloodstream and towards tissue and muscle cells. Calcium is used to build and maintain strong teeth and bones. Soybeans also have a high concentration of isoflavones, which are a certain type of antioxidants that carry additional health benefits.
What Does Soy Do For My Health?
Numerous health benefits can be attributed to consumption of soybeans. These benefits are largely related to the soybean’s wealth of nutrients, including organic antioxidant compounds, vitamins, minerals and various phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients.) Soybeans are also quite high in dietary fiber - all of this on top of their massive protein content.
Soybeans contain the following vitamins:
Vitamin K, which helps ensure that blood can clot properly to prevent wounds from bleeding out. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to hemophilia.
Riboflavin, vitamin B2, is artly responsible for cellular respiratory function which helps the body produce energy.
Folate, vitamin B9, is actually the name given to a family of nutrients that play many different functions.
Vitamin B6, which is partly responsible for helping the body produce energy and metabolize carbohydrates.
Thiamin, vitamin B1, like other B vitamins, helps energy production. It also helps the nervous system function properly.
Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps the body absorb other nutrients, improves the health of skin, and plays many other important roles.
Soybeans also contain the following minerals:
Iron, which helps promote red blood cell growth and oxygen transportation.
Manganese, which helps regulate blood pressure and bone structure.
Phosphorous, is important for making sure your cells can function properly.
Copper, which helps the body produce strong tissues.
Potassium, which keeps your kidneys healthy and helps regulate blood pressure.
Magnesium, which helps regulate blood pressure and neurotransmitter function.
Zinc, which helps the immune system function and keeps the skin looking healthy.
Selenium helps the body produce glutathione, one of the most potent endogenous antioxidants.
Calcium, which helps bones develop properly.
Health Benefits of Soybeans
Now that you know some of the reason behind the soybean's nutritional punch, you’re probably wondering - what exactly does this wonderful combination of nutrients do for the human body? Let’s take a closer look at some of the nutritional benefits of soybeans.
1. Soybeans can prevent heart disease
Soybeans are a source of fat, whIch might initially turn some people away. Don’t let this fool you! the fat the soybean supplies is necessary for proper health. They provide polyunsaturated fat, which assists your body in reducing the total amount of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or bad) cholesterol in your body.
This helps prevent the development of conditions such as atherosclerosis - the hardening of arteries and veins, caused by plaque buildup from cholesterol- which can result in heart attacks and strokes.
Additionally, some of these fatty acids are necessary for a healthy digestive system. The two most important fatty acids for the human body are linolenic acid and linoleic acid. These two acids are found in soybeans in significant amounts, and assist with the regulation of the body’s muscle tissues, as well as helping to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
The high fiber content found in soybeans has also proven to be another way that soybeans can regulate cholesterol levels in the body. Fiber is necessary for ‘scraping’ excess cholesterol off the walls of the intestines.
Cholesterol is excreted naturally by bile in the large intestine. Bile collects cholesterol, and bile attaches to insoluble fiber which is then passed in stool. Without enough fiber, cholesterol will continually be recycled through the liver in bile, becoming more and more toxic with each cycle. This can cause a number of illnesses.
Conclusion: Soybeans are beneficial in lowering the chances of developing heart disease. Soybeans are comparable to animal protein in their efficacy at providing protein. The high fiber content also helps the body clear bile out of the digestive system.
2. Soybeans Promote Healthy Weight Management
Soybeans can be great for people hoping to gain muscle mass, as well as for people hoping to shed fat.
First of all, soy-based products and soybeans have been linked with suppressing appetite. This obviously can assist people hoping to lose weight by stopping them from overeating, which can be a catalyst to excessive weight gain and obesity.
On the contrary, and as another benefit, soybeans, when eaten in large quantities, give a decent amount of quality protein and fiber. Both of these nutrients necessary to gain muscle mass.
Conclusion: Soybeans can help give your body the necessary nutrients to gain muscle mass. They can also help shed unhealthy weight and prevent overeating, which can lead to diseases such as diabetes, and cause other cardiovascular problems.
3. Soybeans Can Improve Metabolic Activity
As explained above, soybeans are a great source of essential protein. An adequate supply of protein is required for your body’s metabolism to function properly. Your metabolism is responsible for converting food into energy and digesting the nutrients provided.
As long as being a crucial component of metabolic structure, proteins act as the building blocks of cells and blood vessels. This makes protein a crucial part of the human body’s development. Soy protein, complete with all essential amino acids, makes it a prime source for ensuring healthy development. T
It can be hard for vegetarians or vegans to get enough proteins, so soybeans are a perfect addition to the vegetarian diet to replace the proteins usually supplied from red meat, dairy products, chicken, eggs, and fish. Vegetarians who don’t eat a lot of soy may find their metabolic process isn’t as effective when compared to those who regularly consume high protein animal foods.
Conclusion: Soybeans supply proteins that are necessary for improving metabolic function and digestion.
4. Soybeans can Reduce the Chance of Developing Cancer
Antioxidants are found in significant amounts in soybeans. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage, which is a huge factor in causing cancer.
Oxidation can result in the development of free radicals. Free radicals are the risky byproducts of cellular metabolism. These free radicals usually cause mutation of healthy cells by stealing an electron from the outer shell of some of their atoms. An atom missing an electron will steal one from a neighbouring atom, starting a destructive chain reaction that can turn cancerous.
In addition to soybeans having a good antioxidant capacity, they also contain lots of fiber. The high fiber content in soybeans has been linked to the reduction of colon and colorectal cancer, because fiber helps to reduce bile in the large intestine. This takes a lot of strain off the process of digestion, because when bile isn’t properly cycled, it attracts more and more toxic material which continues to travel through the intestines and the liver.
Conclusion: While particularly effective at fighting colon cancer, soybeans are also effective at preventing other types of the disease. They contain enough different antioxidants to make them a good weapon against all forms of cancer,
5. Prevent Menopausal Syndrome
During menopause, a woman’s estrogen levels are known to fall out of sync. Soybeans supply a good amount of isoflavones, which are vital components of the female reproductive system.
Levels of estrogen significantly drop during menopause. Isoflavones bind to estrogen receptor cells, which can prevent the body from feeling as if it’s going through such a dramatic loss of estrogen. Since the isoflavones stimulate the receptor, the body feels as if it’s being stimulated by estrogen and will experience reduced symptoms of estrogen loss.
These symptoms include hot flashes, mood swings, and hunger pains. Menopause can be a distressing time of life for many women, but by consuming soybeans you can ease that major life transition.
Conclusion: The phytoestrogen content found in soy protein becomes the substitute of estrogen, which can prevent women who are going through menopause from feeling some of the uncomfortable symptoms of the condition.
6. Soybeans can Improve Digestive Health
Fiber is a very important element in the human diet, mostly when it comes to the digestive system. Fiber, among other things, bulks up your stool, thus making it move through your digestive system smoothly. It relieves constipation, as well as helps your body clear out toxins.
Additionally, fiber motivates peristaltic motion (the contraction of the smooth muscles that pushes food through your system). Fiber is very essential to our bodies it ensures your body can process food
properly. If it can’t, residual waste can eventually lead to cancer of the intestines.
Conclusion: Soybeans can help the digestive system function by providing dietary fiber which helps keep things moving properly.
7. Soybeans Improve Bone Health
Soybeans contain very high amounts of calcium and manganese, along with impressive levels of magnesium, selenium, copper, and zinc. These are very important for various processes in the body, but all of them play at least some role in the development of healthy bones.
Vitamins and minerals in soybeans are important for helping osteotropic activity, which enhances the growth of new bones and also speeds up the healing process of damaged bones. Consuming soybeans can have a long-term solution for problems such as osteoporosis, which commonly arises as we age.
Conclusion: For anyone who wants to be sure of having healthy bones, soybeans are a good dietary addition.
8. Soybeans Can Have A Positive Effect On Diabetes
For more than a decade, this dreaded disease has been on the rise in the global population. Soybeans are proving to be an effective method of preventing and managing diabetes. Soybeans are able to increase insulin receptors in the body, thus assisting to manage the disease effectively or prevent it from happening in the first place.
Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar. Those who have diabetes often have decreased insulin sensitivity, meaning that the body’s naturally produced insulin doesn’t have enough effect. Increasing the sensitivity of insulin or the number of insulin receptors makes the body better able to fight diabetes.
Conclusion: People with diabetes should add soybeans to their diet - they’ll see a reduction in symptoms.
9. Soybeans Improve Circulation and Oxygenation
Soybeans have plenty of iron and copper, both minerals essential for the formation of red blood cells.
Red blood cells are vital for almost every function in the body. They carry oxygen throughout the bloodstream, providing organs and tissues with the oxygen they need to function. Without enough red blood cells, every system in the body can become vulnerable to disease.
Conclusion: Soybeans are a good measure for those wanting to ensure proper flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
10. Soybeans Lower Chances Of Birth Defects:
Soybeans have a good amount of various nutrients from the vitamin B complex - particularly high levels of folic acid. Folic acid enhances prevention of neural tube defects in infants, which can be an important step in ensuring your baby is born happy and healthy.
Conclusion: Soybeans can help make sure you have a healthy baby.
11. Soybeans Can Help Fix Sleep Disorders:
Soybeans assist in regulating numerous aspects of metabolism. Metabolism is partly responsible for ensuring quality sleep and reducing the occurrence of sleep disorders like insomnia. Additionally, soybeans contain a high amount of magnesium, a mineral associated directly to increasing the quality, duration, and restfulness of your sleep.
Conclusion: People suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders might see improved symptoms if they consume soy regularly.
12. Soy Moisturizes The Skin and Makes Hair Shiny
Have you ever seen Japanese women’s hair and noticed how shiny and straight it is? A lot of the credit can be attributed to their diet, which contains higher amounts of soy protein than most other regions in the world.
It’s proven that soy protein retains moisture in hair and can reconstitute dry and frizzy hair with natural shine. Soy protein also improves the strength of your hair.
There are lots soy based skin care products circulating in the market, which are known to improve skin tone and reduce excessive pigmentation caused by hormonal changes and sun exposure. These products are often made with fatty acids, Vitamin E, and even lecithin - all nutrients of which the soybean contains, and all of which can improve the health of the skin - applied topically, or ingested.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, soybeans also assist in healing and regenerating skin cells.
Conclusion: Adding soybeans in your diet makes a lot of sense for people who want to be have a healthy aesthetic. They contain a huge number of vitamins and minerals which all help bolster the skin.
13. Soy Can Prevent Hearing Loss
It’s recommended that you include soy protein in your diet to prevent hearing loss that naturally occurs during old age. Soybeans are a rich source of proteins and minerals that assist in expanding the development of capillaries, assist in the development of healthy red blood cells, and stimulate blood supply to the ears.
Conclusion: Soybeans are important to eat for those looking out for the health of their ears.
14. Soy Can Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease caused due to hormonal problems and age. Soybeans contain phytoestrogen that increases the absorption of calcium by the body and assists in preventing the loss of bone mass. To get the best results, one should take soy milk fortified with some extra calcium.
Taking soy protein eases visible signs of aging such as dark spots, wrinkles, discoloration, fine lines and other signs associated with aging. Phytoestrogen found in soy that recovers the lost estrogen in the body therefore revealing its presence through skin.
Conclusion: Soy is a great food for people who want to offset the damage of weakened bones.
15. Soy Strengthens Nails and Blood Vessels
Nails webmd are naturally made from proteins and calcium, so what can be a better natural source for their healthy development than the soybean? High in both calcium, protein, and minerals that improve the absorption of calcium, you should consume more soybeans if you want to improve your nail health.
Brittle nails can be a clear indicator of lack of protein in your body. Strong phyto-antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids contained in soy protein help protect blood vessels from lesions and hemorrhage.
These nutrients protect the cells that build up the endothelium (the walls of the blood vessels) from collapsing, as well as limiting free radical attacks and preventing the deposition of cholesterol.
Conclusion: Soy protein helps to protect blood vessels and keep nails strong and healthy.
In-Depth Nutritional Profile
Soybeans are undeniably a great blend of protein and fiber. In addition to the nutrients described earlier, soybeans contain numerous unique proteins, peptides, and phytonutrients. These nutrients comprise of:
Flavonoids and isoflavonoids (such as daidzein, genistein, malonyl genistein and malonyl daidzin)
Phenolic acids (such as caffeic, coumaric, ferulic, gallic and sinapic acids)
Phytoalexins (such as glyceollin I, glyceollin II, and glyceollin III)
Phytosterols (such as beta-sitosterol, beta-stigmasterol, campesterol)
Unique proteins and peptides (such as defensins, glycinin, conglycinin, and lunasin)
Saponins (such as soyasaponins from group A and group B, and soyasapogenol).
Adding to omega-3, omega-6, and protein, soy protein also include phytic acid. Phytic acid acts like an antioxidant and fight many diseases such as cancer, tumor, diabetes, inflammation, etc.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Soy contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats are a nutrient that greatly adds to all areas of our health. These fats can be difficult for vegetarians to acquire, which makes soybeans a great option for people who prefer not to eat meat. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly well-known for protecting your body against cardiovascular diseases.
Nutritional Summary of Soybeans
Based on recent research analysis, by substituting meat with soy, adults in United States would increase the intake of vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and fiber. Since legumes such as soybeans are usually eclipsed by fruits and vegetables in terms of sheer popularity, we sometimes miss out on the incredible health benefits that legumes like soybeans can offer.
Some of the most important nutrients in soybeans are antioxidants, which aren’t typically known by most people. Fortunately, the soybean has undergone extensive research, and nutritionists are starting to understand the health benefits for most of these nutrients. Below is a list of some important nutrients found in soybeans that are currently being studied for their health benefits. Comparing these nutrients to those present in other foods can help you develop a diet plan to fight specific conditions.
Flavonoids and Isoflavonoids
o malonyl genistein
o malonyl daidzin
o Caffeic acid
o Coumaric acid
o Ferulic acid
o Gallic acid
o Sinapic acid
o glyceollin I
o glyceollin II
o glyceollin III
· Proteins and Peptides
o soyasaponins (group A and group B)
Remember, consuming refined soy products such as soybean oil and tofu won’t be as nutritious as consuming lightly processed products or just soybeans themselves.
Soybeans as a whole are rich in all sorts of different nutrients. However, they also have phytates that block absorption of certain minerals, and some of the nutrients present in soybeans can have an adverse effect if consumed in excess.
15 Possible Side Effects of Consuming Too Much Soy
Even if soybeans and soy products contain a wide range of awesome benefits, there are also some potentially negative health defects that could arise as a result of eating too many soybeans.
1. Soy Affects Fertility in Women
If you or your lady are having difficulty getting pregnant, it could be wise to check your soy intake.
In 2009, a study conducted on female rats in Brazil proved that soy affects the reproductive system in females. During the study, these rats were fed genetically modified soy protein, and the results were quite significant. The rats displayed a decrease in the development of ovarian function, leading to issues in all areas regarding fertility.
While this particular study was done on rats, soybeans can have negative effects in the fertility of humans. Researchers discovered that women using genetically modified soy protein stand with a higher risk of developing retrograde menstruation. This can cause women to develop period cycle halts. This, in turn, will lead to endometriosis, which is one of the main causes of infertility in women.
2. Soy Can Cause Heavy Periods
Another study shows that consuming genetically modified soy protein can cause ‘menorrhagia’- abnormally long menstruation, which includes longer cramps, blood flow, and hormonal changes.
3. Soy Can Cause Endocrine Disruption
Soy is high in biologically active compounds like glycitein, genistein, and daidzein. These are grouped into a category referred to as “isoflavones’. These are often praised for their antioxidant capacity, however these particular phytochemicals are classified as ‘endocrine disruptors’. They change the normal functions of our endocrine system. The endocrine system regulates tissues throughout the body.
By activating or preventing receptors from responding to different chemicals and neurotransmitters, isoflavones can either boost or decrease their natural activities. This can result in hormonal imbalances.
Glyphosate, found in genetically modified soy, hampers the endocrine system of women. As a result, it hinders the functioning of aromatase, which produces estrogen. Estrogen is vital during pregnancy and an expectant woman pregnant normally produces high levels of estrogen. Having lower levels can be harmful to both the fetus and the would-be mother.
4. Soy Can Cause Loss of Libido
The side effects of soy protein don’t just affect women. Men can also be susceptible to negative health problems from soy intake.
Studies have revealed that soy protein inhibits testosterone. It’s therefore advisable for men to read the ingredients of items such as energy bars and protein shakes and be on the lookout for soy - they should watch out for susceptibility to these effects before taking them, if they want to perform well in the bedroom.
Additionally, two other components of soy protein - genistein and daidzein, are perfect imitators of estrogen. High levels of estrogen in the male body can bring about erectile dysfunction.
Men consuming soy protein have experienced lower sperm count, mood swings, gynecomastia, and also excess growth of facial and body hair.
5. Soy Increases The Risk Of Bladder Cancer
Studies have established that excess consumption of soy protein will increase chances of having bladder cancer. The risk gets worse if you have genetic history of bladder cancer. If you’re at all susceptible to bladder issues, stay away from soy protein and soy-infused foods, les you develop this painful condition.
6. Soy Can Cause Kidney Issues
Soy and soy products are natural source of aluminum. Excessive intake of aluminum can cause various renal diseases.
The oxalates found in soy are also known to cause kidney stones. It’s hard for our digestive system to process oxalates, and they accumulate within the kidneys during attempted excretion. When the concentration of oxalates becomes dangerously high, they become stones which are very painful to pass.
Those with history of renal failure or any other renal disorders, should stay away from soy protein.
7. Soy Can Increase Chances Of Developing Breast Cancer
Research has shown that soy isoflavones can increase the epithelial cells in female breasts. This means that isoflavones found in soy disrupt the normal functioning of estrogen hormones, therefore increasing the risk of breast cancer by creating a higher likelihood of turning the epithelial cells cancerous.
Nevertheless, some studies have disputed this claim. Whether soy protein causes breast cancer or not, as the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Always, restrict the amount of soy proteins consumed. People with a family history of breast cancer should avoid consuming this protein until further research is conducted to prove otherwise.
8. Soy Can Be Harmful For The Pancreas
Soy protein has trypsin inhibitors. Trypsin is a digestive enzyme present in the small intestine that helps with breaking down proteins. The pancreas secretes trypsin in the form of trypsinogen. Research suggests that the trypsin inhibitors obstruct the normal functioning of the trypsin enzyme, which in the process results to damaging the pancreas and inhibiting the absorption of protein.
9. Soy Can Obstruct Absorption Of Various Minerals
Soy has high levels of phytic acid, or phytates. High amounts of phytates can inhibit our body from absorbing important minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, etc. When we don’t get the supply needed of these essential minerals, our internal systems begins working abnormally and can lead to vitamin or mineral deficiencies which can cause a host of problems..
10. Soy Increases Chances Of Blood Clotting
A toxin called hemagglutinin is found in soy. Hemagglutinin causes clumps in the red blood corpuscles (RBCs) which can create blood clots within the bloodstream. Blood clots can be very dangerous - they limit the proper flow of blood and hinder the proper function of many body systems.
11. Soy Can Lead To Hypothyroidism
People that have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid gland have higher chances of developing hypothyroidism or other thyroid diseases. High consumption of soy further heighten the chances of developing thyroid conditions.
Goitrogens and phytoestrogens found in soybeans have a negative impact on the functioning of the thyroid gland. According to published studies, the isoflavones contained in soy can deplete iodine levels thus creating an acute iodine deficiency in our body. Iodine is largely responsible for proper functioning of the thyroid gland; without iodine, it can’t function properly and its ability to secrete healthy enzymes goes down.
This will result to hypothyroidism, which comes with a host of symptoms like insomnia, weight gain, mood swings and digestive issues.
12. Soy Causes Gastrointestinal Discomfort
While soy has a huge amount of protein, you might be shocked to discover that it also contains another compound that limits the digestion of proteins! Soy consumption can block some of the enzymes needed by the body for digesting protein. This causes symptoms such as bloating, constipation and stomach upset.
When broken down within our system, soy produces a mucus-like substance. The substance forms a coating on the inner wall of the gastrointestinal tract, producing lots of endogenous mucus which decelerates the process of digestion. This can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, acute stomach aches, or diarrhea.
13. Soy Can Cause Endometrial Cancer
Many people consume concentrated soy isoflavone supplements to meet their needs of protein and antioxidants. Continued use of tablets like these can lead to developing endometrial cancer.
As per the scientific reports, these supplements encourage abnormal growth of tissues in our uterus, which leads to ‘precancerous changes’ in the endometrial (uterus tissue) lining. Expectant women should always keep way from consuming such supplements because they can also harm their fetus.
14. Soy Can Cause Asthma
It has been proved by scientists that consuming soy can cause respiratory problems such as asthma, particularly if someone’s sensitive to soy allergies. Excessive intake of soy can cause increased levels of mucus in the body, resulting to problems such as cough, cold, and asthma.
15. Other Side Effects Of Soy
The other dangerous side effects caused by consumption of soy include:
Excessive consumption of soy can lead to itching, skin rashes and severe allergies.
Soy hulls can cause allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
Special Precautions & Warnings
Taking soy protein is LIKELY SAFE during pregnancy and when breast-feeding, if consumed in regular amounts. Consuming higher amounts of soy during pregnancy, through extracts, might harm development of the baby. There is not enough information about the safety of higher doses during breast-feeding. To be on the safe side one should avoid taking larger doses of soy during these times.
Children: Taking soy is LIKELY SAFE for children if consumed in amounts normally found in food or, for babies, infant formula. Nevertheless, soymilk that is not meant for infants should not be used as a replacement for infant formula.
Soy is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to children who are allergic to cow's milk when consumed as a substitute to cow's milk.
While not yet backed by much research, common sense would indicate that the negative effects of soy consumption that affect adults would be more dangerous for children.
Cystic fibrosis: Since soy can obstruct the way children process protein, you should not give children with cystic fibrosis soy products. An obstruction of protein absorption can have very dangerous effects.
Breast cancer: Soy has contrasting effects on people with breast cancer. Some scientific findings state that soy might "feed” breast cancers because it can act like estrogen. On the other hand, research has shown that soy appears to protect against breast cancer. The difference in the effects might have something to do with the amount consumed. Since there isn't enough dependable information about the effects of soy in women having breast cancer, with a history of breast cancer, or have a family history of breast cancer, it's best to avoid using soy until it's more clear.
Endometrial cancer: Continued use of concentrated soy can increase the occurrence of dangerous precancerous changes in the tissue lining the uterus, leading to the development of the disease. You should not consume concentrated soy supplements if you are at risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Kidney disease: People with serious kidney disease aren't able to properly process soy. This can cause dangerously high levels of the nutrients responsible for these negative side effects - particularly the oxalates that can build up and cause kidney stones. People with kidney disease or a history of kidney stones, should avoid taking large amounts of soy.
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis): People experiencing hay fever are more likely to be allergic to soy hulls.
While there may be quite the list of harmful side effects caused by soybeans, the detriments are reported far less than the positive effects. The benefits of soy have been witnessed by a large portion of the population, and soy protein intake is generally considered a beneficial and healthy choice for millions of people around the world.
If you’re not allergic to soy or milk, and don’t have any of the sensitivities we’ve discussed here, you might as well give soy a try. It can be a very good addition to a healthy lifestyle, and can even be life changing if you use it responsibly!