Too much soy is a bad thing? Do we really need all those supplements? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-10-2008, 10:37 AM
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I've beean...vegan for two months and now that more and more of my family is going vegan and emulating my diet to a degree, I have some unresolved tension with those questions that I've put aside for months.



I'm sure many here are familiar with the research showing too much soy is a bad thing and I know soy isn't necessary to be vegan, but it's so convenient because it has all the esential amino acids and protein, right? I'm thinking, since it's qualities are "like meat" then that is probably why overconsumption of soy leads to similar bad health as overconsumption of animal.



So, is it possible to find out now how much soy is adequate enough for a day? How much is too much?



And second, I've never taken any reccomended vegan supplement and I'm still in superb health, much better than in my meat life, but I know b12 is often reccomended even by pro-veg organizations. What is really necesary?
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#2 Old 07-10-2008, 11:40 AM
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B12 is pretty necessary. Due to modern farming it's almost impossible to get from plants anymore.



As for the soy, I've heard good, bad, medium, never-touch-it, live-off-it... everything. The best thing I can say is 'everything in moderation, including moderation' (my family's motto). They say 25-30 grams of soy protein a day is good for you. The longest-living population is in Okinawa, Japan, where they average 2 servings of soy per day. That said, high soy levels may complicate certain medical conditions involving estrogen. But if you had that kind of condition you'd already know that.



As long as your protein is coming from a lot of sources (soy, other beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, dark greens, grains - pretty much every food has at least a little protein), then you should be fine. Eat too much too often of any one thing and you'll have issues.
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#3 Old 07-10-2008, 08:10 PM
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I believe your body can store B-12 for about six years, thus it takes a while for a deficiency to manifest. I take a supplement because I have ADD, which often arises from a B-vitamin deficiency.



I can't stand the soy debate! One article I read will contradict the last article I read, and both authors will have credentials, prove their positions in laboratories or case studies, and/or back up their sources with reliable citations. I don't know who to trust, but I love my soy milk and tofu is so much fun to cook with.
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#4 Old 07-10-2008, 08:30 PM
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if you are really healthy I don't see the point in taking a supplement. I know my soy milk has vitamin B12 in it... I think there are some vegan meat replacers that are enriched with B12 too. As for soy I would just eat it in moderation too.

edit: nutritional yeast also has B12 in it!
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#5 Old 07-10-2008, 08:32 PM
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There are a few schools of thought regarding soy and how much is too much. We don't see those "a zillion grams of soy protein a day" recommendations anymore! Some say no soy, some say a little soy, some say fermented/whole soy (edamame, tempeh, miso...).



Soy ruins my hormones and lowers the fiance's libido. We go with a few servings of fermented/whole soy a week. Other than that we do hemp milk, nut butters, beans, etc.



So, yeah, the body may store some B12 for a few years--or several. But why not take a supplement? I used to do a lot of Emergen-C packets (are they vegan?) pre-vegan. Now I do a B12-fortified nutritional yeast. Every day, two tablespoons. It's a safe amount and I incorporate into many meals. Red Star brand is certified for having an absorbable B12.
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#6 Old 07-10-2008, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockindancer86 View Post

B12 is pretty necessary. Due to modern farming it's almost impossible to get from plants anymore.



As for the soy, I've heard good, bad, medium, never-touch-it, live-off-it... everything. The best thing I can say is 'everything in moderation, including moderation' (my family's motto). They say 25-30 grams of soy protein a day is good for you. The longest-living population is in Okinawa, Japan, where they average 2 servings of soy per day. That said, high soy levels may complicate certain medical conditions involving estrogen. But if you had that kind of condition you'd already know that.



As long as your protein is coming from a lot of sources (soy, other beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, dark greens, grains - pretty much every food has at least a little protein), then you should be fine. Eat too much too often of any one thing and you'll have issues.

20 grams is about one tablespoon, so doesnt that mean drinking a whole glass of soymilk a day could be a bad thing?





*edit,apparently ounces means weight, whereas fluid ounces means volume and I can't seem to find a converter that will do "3 ounces to fluid ounces" conversion.

I agree about the supplements. Its better to be prevent any future bad health that could occur by taking b12 supplement. Where do you find that nutrionial yeast?
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#7 Old 07-10-2008, 11:04 PM
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Just take a multivitamin. Most people don't really need supplements, but they take them anyway. A daily multivitamin with B12, iron, and other vitamins would do everyone, not just vegans, a lot of good.
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#8 Old 07-10-2008, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElArte View Post

20 grams is about one tablespoon, so doesnt that mean drinking a whole glass of soymilk a day could be a bad thing?





*edit,apparently ounces means weight, whereas fluid ounces means volume and I can't seem to find a converter that will do "3 ounces to fluid ounces" conversion.

I agree about the supplements. Its better to be prevent any future bad health that could occur by taking b12 supplement. Where do you find that nutrionial yeast?



Yeah, the conversion is an issue. 25-30 grams of protein is about a third of the protein I'm supposed to eat a day, which is much more than a glass of soymilk. But for a general idea, 1 cup (240mL) of Silk plain soymilk has 7 grams of protein. (that's according to silksoymilk.com)



Also, please be aware that not all nutritional yeast has b12. A lot say they do, but I think Red Star is the one that is certified to have it. There are a lot of products out there (like nutr. yeast, packaged seaweed, etc) that people claim have b12 in them, but a lot have been found to have negligible or nonexistent levels. And if you buy nutr. yeast in a see-thru package, if won't have b12 in it because it's light-sensitive.
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#9 Old 07-11-2008, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElArte View Post

So, is it possible to find out now how much soy is adequate enough for a day? How much is too much?

I don't know offhand how much tofu is eaten by people in Asia every day, but they've been eating it for generations, with no apparent ill effects. You could look up their average daily consumption to get an idea of how much to eat.

www.thesaucyvegan.com
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#10 Old 07-12-2008, 03:51 PM
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I've been vegan since DEC-1-07 and take no supplements (including vitamins). I don't really pay close attention to my diet, beyond verifying that everything is animal product free. So I might be eating my words in a few years, but I think it's a myth that the vegan diet is "deficient" in anything.



I'm currently training for a 100-mi ultramarathon in 2009 and haven't felt this physiologically strong in years.
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#11 Old 07-23-2008, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElArte View Post

So, is it possible to find out now how much soy is adequate enough for a day? How much is too much?

Here is what the label on my bottle of Wildwood Probiotic Soymilk says (which is really good stuff!):

"According to the FDA, '25g of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.'"



Twenty five grams of protein is about half of the intake recommended for the "average" person who eats about two thousand calories a day. So it looks like the FDA at least doesn't think that getting half of your daily protein requirement from soy is a problem.

www.thesaucyvegan.com
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#12 Old 07-24-2008, 07:39 AM
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I don't eat any soy and I'm fine... so no, you don't really need soy.



I would try not to overdose on soy, that is keep it within a certain amount of servings a day (2 or 3 I'd guess; a glass or two of soy milk and a bit of tofu or tempeh)... but I wouldn't cut it out unless I needed to. (I'm not soy tolerant so I needed to cut it out. Trust me, if I could drink soy milk and eat tempeh and tofu. I SO would.)
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#13 Old 07-24-2008, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badwobot View Post

I've been vegan since DEC-1-07 and take no supplements (including vitamins). I don't really pay close attention to my diet, beyond verifying that everything is animal product free. So I might be eating my words in a few years, but I think it's a myth that the vegan diet is "deficient" in anything.



I'm currently training for a 100-mi ultramarathon in 2009 and haven't felt this physiologically strong in years.



Yep; there's no nutrients in meat that you can't find in plants.



I've read in several places that vitamin supplements can in fact be harmful to health (for several reasons -- one source cites contamination, another increased risk of prostate cancer...), and as I don't consider a plant diet deficient in nutrients, I don't take any.



A lot of plant milks and faux meats are fortified with B12 and calcium anyway.



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16655168/



http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine...-Watch-2326-1/
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#14 Old 07-24-2008, 08:57 AM
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I think soy is fine in moderation. You should not be eating it all day long (you shouldn't be eating any one thing all day long, really), but a couple of servings a day won't hurt anyone.



Personally, I usually have 1-2 servings of soy a day maximum -- a cup of soymilk with breakfast and maybe some tofu or other soy product at dinner.



I also take a daily multivitamin that contains B12. Multivitamins are a good idea for anyone IMO, not just vegans.
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#15 Old 07-26-2008, 07:42 AM
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I take a B12 supplement and I also take flaxseed oil everyday (for omega essential fatty acids)



On the soy subject I normally have 2/3 servings at most a day.
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