The Soy Controversy

There has been much controversy surrounding soy, namely its impact on the endocrine system. This, like many other points of contention among health professionals and enthusiasts alike, arises from the failure to differentiate between that which is created by man and that which comes from nature. Had we a greater propensity for common sense and a more coherent understanding of basic chemical, physical, and biological principles governing this natural world, there would be much less confusion around dietary practices.

The main concern is the soybean’s (Glycine max) or soya bean’s appreciably high content of phytoestrogens—plant chemicals that possess properties comparable to those of estrogen. Testosterone imbalance, low sperm count, impaired fertility, and prostate issues in men, estrogen dominance, increased breast cancer risk, and menstrual complaints in women are often attributed to the intake of soy. Some go as far as to suggest that eating soy is tantamount to taking birth control pills.

The history of the soybean goes back thousands of years. The legume was initially domesticated in China nearly half a millennium ago and became an essential dietary element in many East Asian cultures. Interestingly, prostate problems in Chinese and Japanese men are not nearly as prevalent as among Western males, and women in that part of the world are much less susceptible to the development of breast cancer. Considering the substantial differences between the East Asian and Western lifestyles, however, it would not be reasonable to attribute this lesser predisposition to the aforementioned conditions solely to soy consumption, which varies in extent from region to region. Conversely, it is facile to assert that the soybean is the culprit responsible for cancer growth and emasculation and feminization of men in the West, as many declare to be the case.

The phytoestrogens found in the soybean are called isoflavones. Soy isoflavones have been the subject of rigorous scientific investigation for the past couple of decades. What has flummoxed researchers are the results of those experiments, which demonstrate that isoflavones exert both estrogen-mimicking and estrogen-suppressing action. This inconsistency confounds the left-brain-dominated scientific community, but to one with a keen understanding of energy and natural laws, there is no mystery or ambiguity about this phenomenon. Due to its one-dimensional approach, the scientific mind fails to grasp that there exists an innate Intelligence within every living organism. This Intelligence permeates every molecule of every seed, root, bark, stem, leaf, and fruit of every living plant. Upon the ingestion of a plant, this Intelligence communicates with the Intelligence of our body culminating in information exchange, after which, appropriate effects are exerted on the human organism. In other words, the plant considers our current hormonal profile and either acts either as an estrogen-agonist or estrogen-antagonist.

Another salient limitation of scientific research is the fact that most studies are conducted solely on isolated plant chemicals. So long as food analysis is almost exclusively based on dissection and examination of individual compounds that have been removed from their natural milieu, the data obtained will not be an accurate representation of the action of that food as a whole. Dissecting a whole natural organism and individually analyzing its isolated parts can expand our knowledge about its individual components but will not grant us a complete understanding of that organism. For instance, we will not know the herb Ephedra by studying ephedrine (one of its alkaloids). While ephedrine, due to its incomplete and imbalanced structure, can adversely affect our health, Ephedra, which comprises ephedrine as part of its innate molecular composition, will not. Similarly, the effects of coca leaf are vastly different from those of cocaine (coca leaf derivative). Likewise, when separated from the soybean, soy isoflavones can be detrimental to the human body, but the actual soybean–a whole food–is not.

So why has soy received such a bad reputation in the West?

There are a few reasons.

Firstly, many commercial soy-based products are made with fragmented soy. This type of soy is energetically imbalanced, molecularly incomplete, and therefore destabilizes our internal function. U.S. supermarket shelves are replete with this type of processed soy products that wreak hormonal havoc in both males and females. This includes foodstuffs such as soy-protein isolate/soy-isolate, textured soy, TVP (textured vegetable protein), textured soy protein, soy lecithin, soybean oil, soy isoflavones, faux meats, and a myriad of other fractionated soy products. Packaged commercial foods, including many vegan-friendly items, are rife with those various soy-derivatives.

Secondly, most Americans consume soy whose genetic structure has been altered by chemical modification (the soybean is the most heavily genetically modified crop in the United States). GMO soy’s ruinous effect on animals’ endocrine and reproductive systems is incontrovertible, as demonstrated by numerous studies. Based on this research, we can confidently extrapolate its impact on the human body.

Whole, non-GMO soybeans will not throw our hormones out of balance; however, they require proper preparation because they are enzyme-inhibitor-and-phytic-acid-containing legumes. Although fermented foods are not the epitome of health food, fermentation helps remove these anti-nutrients from soybeans and markedly increases their bioavailability. All soybeans should be soaked for a minimum of 24 hours (optimally, 48 hours) prior to use.

Whether you are a male or female, soy is not your enemy, so long as it is prepared correctly and consumed in moderation (this applies to all other legumes). Soy isoflavones are not much different from the phytoestrogens found in herbs such as Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, Red Clover, Damiana, and Hops; or seeds such as sesame, flax, and sunflower. While these herbs are used therapeutically in certain endocrine conditions (and in some cases, they can even assist in the removal of synthetic estrogens such as Bisphenol A (BPA) from the body), normal use of phytoestrogen-rich plants, including the organic soybean, does not lead to permanent, untoward reproductive changes. Instead, our focus should be placed on the synthetic plastics and other endocrine disruptors that are ubiquitous in our food, water, and environment, which inflict grievous damage on adults, children, infants, and even the unborn. They are the true nemesis of the health of the modern human.

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