Soy and estrogen - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-06-2005, 09:26 PM
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I am a pretty new teen vegetarian and have a question for all you experienced vegs... I am not a vegan, but eat alot like one as I don't like cheese. I have been eating alot of soy as it is my source of protein. My mom says that she has heard that soy causes imbalence in estrogen which can throw off a female's cycle or something like this. Is that true? I have also heard that in men it can lead to breast growth. Of course, I am not a man, but was curious... can soy do this for females too? I am a small A cup and could use always use a little more there. What other effects (positive & negative) can soy have on a person? Thank you so much!
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#2 Old 12-07-2005, 12:07 PM
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The jury's still out on this one, but I've not noticed any difference in my cycles with eating soy vs. not eating soy.

But understand, I eat soy in "whole" form like tofu, miso, soya beans and edamame.

One thing I do avoid is an ingredient called Soy Protein Isolate (not to be confused with soy itself). It's in a lot of packaged veg*n foods and to me, it's right up there with hydrogenated oils. It's unknown if SPI is bad for your health, but since it's a processed ingredient, I prefer not to take chances (but that's just me).

To help quell your other fears: men will not grow breasts with soy (neither will females - sorry), soy will not increase the risk of breast cancer, men will not have lowered spem count/females will not become infertile when eating soy and IME, it will not throw off cycyles.

Stress, not eating properly, or too much weight loss (or weight loss that's too rapid) will throw off a cycle long before a block of tofu will.

Each person is different and some will have sensitivites that others will not have so if you're noticing that you're sensitive, the best course is to avoid soy completely. If you're not sensitive, though, I would say enjoy soy in it's "whole" form and don't worry about the scare-mongers.
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#3 Old 12-08-2005, 06:05 AM
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soy can have problems for some people. including messing with one's fertility cycle depending upon one's thyroid health and sensitivity.

here is a link to a list of articles related to the negative effects of soy if you're interested:Bibliography of Soy Studies

Because of this information, some people choose to forgo soy as much as possible. As many vegans are soy sensitive, it is not impossible to be a soy-free vegan. Joanne Stepienak has a cook book for soy-sensitive vegans.
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