Soy Fact 2

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Q: Should I Eat Soy? Part 2

A: I continue to hear from people almost every day with questions about the anti-soy crusaders and the claims that they are making about the adverse effects of soy on health. One of those is that large numbers of people are allergic to soy. My contention is that it is not soy that people are allergic to, but genetically altered soy.

We know, for example, that the isoflavone content of genetically altered soy can be as much as 12-14% lower as compared to non-GE soy. And, new studies suggest that trypsin inhibitor, which in large amounts can be an allergen, is 26.7% higher in Roundup Ready soybeans from Monsanto than in regular soy. It is, in my opinion, most likely that people are allergic to the genetically altered soy, rather than to soy itself. In fact, soy only recently became listed as one of the top 10 foods causing allergies in the U.S., and it is not known to have this effect in other countries where soy is a staple food.

The answer is to consume organic soy – these soy products have not been genetically altered. And, fortunately, they are easy to find.

In another closely related issue, the story has circulated for several months about soy causing dementia in men. However, studies show that soy actually increases mental acuity. 27 healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to consume a high-soy diet or a low soy diet for 10 weeks. The high soy diet contained foods such as soy milk and soy flour. Compared with those who received the low soy diet, those receiving high soy showed significant improvements in measures of short-term memory and in mental flexibility. The improvements were the same for both men and women. (Psycopharmacology 2001)

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