Tofu/Soy risks? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-29-2008, 11:09 AM
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Hey guys,



I'm new to the forums, so sorry if this issue has been addressed before. I didn't find anything as I was browsing older threads. I've been researching soy and tofu lately because I've know about the potential prostate cancer link for men. However, I've found that soy/tofu really seem to confer no benefits whatsoever. There is apparently a proven correlation between Alzheimer's and late-life soy/tofu consumption. I realize that all of this really has to do with high-intake soy consumption, but I'm increasingly reticent to engage in tofu/soy consumption in general. Could someone give me an objective assessment of all this research? My vegetarian friends all give me the same line: "But people in Asia consume soy all the time and they're incredibly healthy!" But that's a myth as well, as their intake of soy really isn't excessive or abnormal relative to the rest of the world.



Any info would be appreciated.
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#2 Old 01-29-2008, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by philosophile View Post

However, I've found that soy/tofu really seem to confer no benefits whatsoever.

If that is how you feel then by all means, avoid it!

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#3 Old 01-29-2008, 11:18 AM
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If that is how you feel then by all means, avoid it!



I meant that's what the research says. I'm wondering if the research is all anti-vegetarian or what. Obviously there are innumerable benefits and virtues of a vegetarian diet; I'm just not sure about soy/tofu. As for the personal benefits of tofu/soy, I just think they're yummy. I'm not sure that's a good reason to keep eating it if the scientific consensus is that it's bad.
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#4 Old 01-29-2008, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by philosophile View Post

I've been researching soy and tofu lately because I've know about the potential prostate cancer link for men. However, I've found that soy/tofu really seem to confer no benefits whatsoever. There is apparently a proven correlation between Alzheimer's and late-life soy/tofu consumption. I realize that all of this really has to do with high-intake soy consumption, but I'm increasingly reticent to engage in tofu/soy consumption in general. Could someone give me an objective assessment of all this research?

If you've been researching this topic, I'm sure you have noticed that there are a lot of strong opinions, lots of sites with names like soyisbad4u.com and a lot of "sponsored" research. If you want to find less biased research, you need to know where to look. This is a general problem with the Internet and topics that are hotly debated.



If you post your links, we can tell you which are reliable & serious, and which that are not.

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#5 Old 01-30-2008, 07:51 AM
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I think this article is relatively unbiased and informative.

http://www.vegfamily.com/health/vega...nformation.htm



I eat soy, in moderation. I believe it can be part of a healthy diet. If you are that worried about it, don't eat it.
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#6 Old 01-30-2008, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by philosophile View Post


My vegetarian friends all give me the same line: "But people in Asia consume soy all the time and they're incredibly healthy!"

Any info would be appreciated.



I'm Asian and my family eats tofu once week or 2 weeks and maybe even 3. Asian diet consist mainly on vegetables,meat and rice. Chinese home made vegetables taste BAD! No flavor, just water and salty stuff.



I don't you you really need to consume soy for protein. I think that our society is just making money off this crop, cause its easily grown. I also read that peanuts and soy are the most mucus forming foods, and guess what, America consumes these two foods the most. It's no wonder that kids are growing up with asthma and overweight.
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#7 Old 01-30-2008, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by paganveg View Post

I think this article is relatively unbiased and informative.

http://www.vegfamily.com/health/vega...nformation.htm



I eat soy, in moderation. I believe it can be part of a healthy diet. If you are that worried about it, don't eat it.



Excellent. Thanks.



As for other comments: yes, I've noticed that a lot of the sites I've read all have anti-tofu/soy lines in their URLs. But I've also looked at some more credible sources. Even professionals can have certain prejudices, though. I haven't really found any professionals completely in support of soy/tofu, though, which is why I came to the forum.
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#8 Old 01-30-2008, 10:03 PM
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I think *completely* in favor, or opposed to would be quite biased. I believe there's a little good and bad in just about everything.



As for tofu, I really believe it has it's nutritional benefits. In addition to the usual protein assumption, tofu is also often fortified in B12, calcium, and iron in significant amounts.
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#9 Old 01-30-2008, 11:20 PM
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I find the soy-based research quite interesting...but, as has been mentioned before, does seem to be mostly sponsored by the dairy industry, and the like.



I have a big problem with something I repeatedly see online about soy.



"The isoflavones in soy act just like female horomones! If you make a child drink soymilk instead of cow's milk, it's like giving the child five birth control pills a day!"



Okay, I've been on the pill. My period stopped, I gained weight, my face exploded in hair and acne, and I started lactating. Those all went away when I stopped taking the pill. Now, I've started eating and drinking a lot of soy, and yet see nothing like those side-effects.



PLUS, how many teens wishing to be on horomone therapy in prep for a sex change are denied, and then start buying/stealing birth control pills? I've seen them, and a young man taking birth controls pills REALLY WILL develop breasts, hips, and a much more feminine appearance...and every one I've met has looked EXACTLY like a girl. So, if soymilk has the same effect at birth control pills, I really think we would have noticed by now.

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#10 Old 01-30-2008, 11:28 PM
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Okay, I've been on the pill. My period stopped, I gained weight, my face exploded in hair and acne, and I started lactating. Those all went away when I stopped taking the pill. Now, I've started eating and drinking a lot of soy, and yet see nothing like those side-effects.



PLUS, how many teens wishing to be on horomone therapy in prep for a sex change are denied, and then start buying/stealing birth control pills? I've seen them, and a young man taking birth controls pills REALLY WILL develop breasts, hips, and a much more feminine appearance...and every one I've met has looked EXACTLY like a girl. So, if soymilk has the same effect at birth control pills, I really think we would have noticed by now.



*nod* Yes you're right... Even to the point where these born-males can and do lactate! I know a transsexual (close friend of mine) who did this in the beginning of her transition.



I believe much of these soy tales can be dismissed as just that... Tall tales
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#11 Old 01-31-2008, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by philosophile View Post

My vegetarian friends all give me the same line: "But people in Asia consume soy all the time and they're incredibly healthy!" But that's a myth as well, as their intake of soy really isn't excessive or abnormal relative to the rest of the world.

I think Asians eat a lot more soy while Americans tend to eat a lot of processed food with soy in it. There is a big difference. As far as your question goes, I would recommend tofu, but I'd eat any processed food with soy in it in moderation. There's just been too much research about the negative effects it has. I'd definitely recommend soy beans though.
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#12 Old 01-31-2008, 04:21 PM
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Almost every article about this subject I read says this: Safe soy foods are traditional soy foods, and unsafe soy foods are everything else.



Traditional soy preparation in Asia typically involves some kind of fermentation to produce foods like miso, soy sauce, tempeh, and natto. Soy milk and tofu are more recent traditional dishes from what I've read, and are safe eaten in moderate quantities.



Foods like isolated soy protein, and everything made from it are definitely on the unsafe end of the spectrum.
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#13 Old 01-31-2008, 04:40 PM
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I eat soy and tofu and i'm the pinnacle of manliness!



*roar*



Plus asians/chineese have been eating the stuff for thousands of years and they have one of the largest populations.. [concerning infertility via soya]
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#14 Old 02-05-2008, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by paganveg View Post

I think this article is relatively unbiased and informative.

http://www.vegfamily.com/health/vega...nformation.htm



I eat soy, in moderation. I believe it can be part of a healthy diet. If you are that worried about it, don't eat it.

That's a great link, thank you.



I don't have anything to add except that I recently learned from my uncle, a former farmer, that almost all non-organic soy products are from genetically modified varieties of soybeans.
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#15 Old 02-05-2008, 05:23 PM
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This may be a stupid question, but why are genetically modified soy beans and other crops bad?
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#16 Old 02-05-2008, 06:19 PM
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I don't eat soy, I never really enjoyed it, except for in those bad bad burgers. But once I found out how terrible isolated soy protein is, I cut them out immediately.



I don't miss soy in my diet, and I enjoy a protein-rich diet. It's up to every individual what they see fit in their diet. Like everyone has said, moderation is key. If all you do is eat soy at every meal, you're overloading. Just like if you were to eat cereal for every meal.



Too many veg*ans depend on soy for their protein intake, and don't realize how much damage they are doing to their bodies. It's not a miracle food. We need variety in our diets.
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#17 Old 02-06-2008, 08:57 PM
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This may be a stupid question, but why are genetically modified soy beans and other crops bad?



I wondered that, too.



The only evidence/study I have seen that points to them being bad, is that the rate of Genetically Modified Foods has escalated right alongside the rate of Food Allergies in Children.



Seriously, if you held a timeline/graph up of the US's use and production of GMOs...and held it up next to another timeline/graph of the rate of new cases of food allergies...the two graphs look identical, and one could easily be placed over the other.



There's a great deal of speculation that the two are connected.

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#18 Old 02-07-2008, 03:19 PM
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I've been avoiding a lot of soy/tofu- one, I don't like it very much (the texture is too... weird for me), two, I have PCOS, meaning I really shouldn't eat it.
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#19 Old 02-07-2008, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by missmojorisin90 View Post

I've been avoiding a lot of soy/tofu- one, I don't like it very much (the texture is too... weird for me), two, I have PCOS, meaning I really shouldn't eat it.



I have PCOS as well, and eat soy in moderation. What is it about soy that makes it a no-no for PCOS women?



For me, I don't THINK it's caused any problems. My cycles are regular and my symptoms haven't gotten any worse.



Do you have a link to any articles about the topic? Though nothing by Dr. Mercola..I'm not overly fond of him...especially his opinion on vegetarianism.
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#20 Old 02-07-2008, 07:45 PM
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I first heard about it from my mom's friend Karen, who's a vegan, and has been since she was sixteen (she's thirty-ish now). She doesn't eat any soy because she has endometriosis, which is also a disease that has to do with hormone problems. I guess soy messes with your hormones?



All I can find when I Google are topics on various PCOS message boards- which I don't find very credible. I'd rather hear it from a qualified person.



Interestingly enough, when looking on Google for a link, I've heard both good and bad things about soy.



The impression that I've gotten from Googling is that if you have a high amount of estrogen, soy's bad, but if you have a high amount of testosterone, it's okay. According to wikipedia, for men, the phytoestrogen in soy can decrease testosterone levels for men. As for women, if you have a high risk for breast cancer, you shouldn't eat soy.



I don't know. I have PCOS books hidden somewhere in my room. I have to get to bed because I have school in the morning, but I'll check tomorrow to see if I can find anything in any of them. I never really bothered to check, because like I said, I eat little to no soy.



That being said, my periods, since being a non-'junk-food vegetarian' have been regular for the first time in my life, my hirsutism has calmed down A LOT, I have hardly any acne, acanthosis nigricans have almost disappeared, and I've lost about 10 pounds. Soy or no soy, vegetarianism has been a blessing for me.
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#21 Old 02-08-2008, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bells View Post

This may be a stupid question, but why are genetically modified soy beans and other crops bad?

I don't know that anyone can say that they are bad for sure, but we can definitely say that they are an unknown quantity. Non-GM (genetically modified) foods have been eaten by humans for centuries and we have a pretty good idea of what they will do in the body. GMO's (genetically modified organisms) are genetically different. When they are made, a gene from something else is introduced into the DNA of the target plant. And it's not like it's a precision surgery where the gene for "short" is replaced by "tall." We don't have the technology. It's much more random--the new gene gets spliced into the DNA and falls wherever it lands, so to speak. The new plant is experimented with and is tested to see if it has the desired characteristics (if it lives).



The varieties of soybeans that have been genetically modified are extremely resistant to herbicides. The reason they did this is so that they can spray herbicide on the entire field, and the weeds will die, but the soybeans will not. So the whole point of that is kind off ass backwards if you care about the environment and organic food.



These new varieties that have been created may be dangerous and they may not be, we just don't know for sure because they have not been tested well. I don't know how much they get tested but it's not nearly as long as we have all been "testing" non-GM foods just by eating them. GMO foods look pretty much the same as their non-GM counterparts and are often not required to be labeled.



Someone mentioned possible allergies. That's another point--if the food is not labeled you do not know if you might be having an allergy to say, a GM tomato rather than tomatoes in general. Actually a case of this was documented with soybeans, you can read about it here.



Those are some of the reasons that might be cause for concern.



Sorry if this is too off-topic. If people want to discuss we could start a new thread.
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