Is Tofu Bad For You
Despite the many health benefits of tofu, some people are still hesitant to add this food to their diet, especially in high amounts.
While the evidence overwhelmingly supports the idea that tofu is a healthy alternative to meat, there are some situations in which eating a lot of tofu and soy may not be a good idea.
Research On Soy And Disease
Learn more about the research on soy and specific diseases or other conditions:
Soy protein took center stage after research showed that it might lower levels of harmful cholesterol. A 1995 meta-analysis of 38 controlled clinical trials showed that eating approximately 50 grams of soy protein a day in place of animal protein reduced harmful LDL cholesterol by 12.9 percent. Such reductions, if sustained over time, could mean a greater than 20% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or other forms of cardiovascular disease. In response to this finding, in 1999 the Food and Drug Administration allowed companies to claim that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that also contain soy may reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, a number of studies since have tempered that finding. According to a comprehensive update of soy research by the nutrition committee of the American Heart Association published in 2000, eating 50 grams of soy per day lowered LDL by only about 3%. In October 2017, after review of additional scientific studies since the health claim was authorized, the FDA proposed a rule to revoke the claim because numerous studies presented inconsistent findings on the relationship between soy protein and heart disease. Some of these inconsistencies may have resulted because soy was compared with a variety of alternative foods.
Another prospective study followed 1,954 American women who were breast cancer survivors for six years. Key highlights of the study:
Favor Whole Soy Foods
While foods made using whole soybeans like edamame, tofu, and soy milk have health benefits, highly processed soy products likely do not. Some food companies have separated protein from whole soybeans and used it to make soy protein isolate. Theyve packed this isolate into shakes and turned it into meat substitutes. Unfortunately, soy protein isolate may not be healthy. In fact, its been shown to increase the amount of insulin-like growth factor in the blood, just like cows milk. Insulin-like growth factor can promote cancer growth. So stick to simple soy products like tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, or miso. These foods may help protect against cancer while providing health benefits.
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What Are The Health Concerns Of Excess Estrogen
Excess estrogen in men is linked to a number of serious health concerns that can impact short-term and long-term health.
Estrogen dominance is a toxic condition. Estrogen is the hormone that promotes growth and development. Too much estrogen is linked to the growth and spread of cancerous tumors. Researchers have especially studied the connection betweenexcess estrogen and breast cancer in both men and women. Excess estrogen may also increasethe risk for testicular and prostatic cancers.
Read:Does My Husband Have Prostate Cancer?
High levels of estrogen are also linked to weight gain. Estrogen likes to hold on to fat cells, which can make weight loss a challenge. Excess estrogen also upsets insulin levels. Insulin metabolizes sugar when insulin is out of whack, it doesnt fully process these sugars. If insulin cant remove sugar from the bloodstream, the body starts storing that sugar as fat. This creates weight gain and eventually can lead to insulin resistance andtype 2 diabetes.
Reducing estrogen levels andincreasing testosterone levels can increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass.
Excess estrogen can also causethyroid concerns anddepress the immune system. Other health concerns from thishormone imbalance include:
- Sexual dysfunction
Does Estrogen Cause Hair Loss
09 Jul 2022
- Written by Dr. Patricia Shelton on July 10, 2022
Its very common for men to lose hair as they get older, due to the effects of a particular type of testosterone known as DHT. Many people think of hair loss as primarily a male problem. However, its also common for women to experience hair loss as they age, particularly after menopause.
Why do women lose hair at menopause? Is there a relationship between estrogen levels and hair loss? Can estradiol cause hair loss, or can drops in various forms of estrogen cause it? Do changes in estrogen with menopause lead to changes in hair growth?
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Can Eating Soy Increase Your Risk Of Breast Cancer
Some types of cancer, such as hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, use human estrogen to grow and spread. Because of this, some people may worry that eating the phytoestrogens found in soy could increase estrogen in their bodies and encourage breast cancer growth.
However, no studies in people have shown a link between eating soy and having breast cancer. Studies done in the laboratory have shown that isoflavone enhanced the growth of breast cancer cells and promoted breast cancer tumors in rats. However, these studies were not done in people, and laboratory studies are not used to make dietary recommendations for people. Researchers have also discovered that rats metabolize soy differently than humans do.
Scientific data suggests that consuming soy foods as part of a diet with lots of other plants is a great way for breast cancer survivors to care for their bodies. However, if you’re not comfortable including soy foods, survivors can have a perfectly healthy diet that does not include soy foods. Julie LG Lanford, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, registered dietitian and nutritionist with 15 years of experience working in oncology nutrition
Does Estrogen In Soy Affect You
Soy is unique in that it contains a high concentration of isoflavones, a type of plant estrogen that is similar in function to human estrogen but with much weaker effects. Soy isoflavones can bind to estrogen receptors in the body and cause either weak estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity.
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The Science Of Soy: What Do We Really Know
A stroll through nearly any American grocery store or pharmacy yields ample proof of the soybeans increasing role in the U.S. diet. Food packaging offers statements about products soy content and the purported associated health benefits. Products such as tofu, soy milk, soy-based infant formula, and meatless texturized vegetable protein burgers are widely available. Shelves of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals are stocked with isoflavones, naturally occurring estrogenic compounds found in soy. The general impression is one of certainty that both soy and soy isoflavones deliver many health benefits, including prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, as well as treatment of menopausal symptoms. The science is less absolute, however, and still evolving.
Soy provides a complete source of dietary protein, meaning that, unlike most plant proteins, it contains all the essential amino acids. According to the American Soybean Association, 3.14 billion bushels of soybeans were harvested in the United States in 2004. Approximately half of the harvest was exported, and most of the remainder was crushed to produce oil and protein meal for domestic use. An April 2006 report from the USDA Economic Research Service indicates that only a small amount of whole soybeans are used to produce soy foods, and just 2% of soy protein meal is used for human consumption the rest is used for animal feed.
Soy Milk Can Be Super Processed So Shop Smart
Soy milk can be part of a healthy diet, but Dr. Bhatia says it’s important to remember that not all sources of soy are nutritionally equivalent. “Fermented soy such as miso, tempeh, and natto help balance the gut,” she says. “But soy in highly processed foods lack the same nutritional value,” she says .
Examples of the most processed soy foods include soy burgers and bars. Dr. Bahtia says some soy milks can be highly processed too, which affects its nutrient density . Before buying, check that nutritional panel. If the amount of vitamins A, D, K, calcium, and protein are almost nil, that likely means there’s a lot of fillers in thereand not even really all that much soy. The ingredients list should be minimal, and check that the milk is coming from whole beans, not the more processed soy protein or soy protein isolate.
Of course, soy isn’t for everyone. “Some people are intolerant to soy, which can cause digestive issues,” Dr. Bhatia adds. Many people are also just straight-up allergic to soy, making eating any product with soy a complete non-starter.
But in general, Dr. Bhatia gives the green light for consuming soy milk regularly, up to three times a week. “Go for a good quality one and non-GMO if you can,” she says. Sometimes the oldies really are the goodies.
Now that you’ve been schooled on soy, get the low-down on if starchy foods like rice and potatoes are healthy.
Does Soy Milk Affect Estrogen Levels
Rumors about soy milk and estrogen may cause you to question the safety of this beverage. But dont worryyou dont have to skip your favorite soy latte. While soy milk does contain compounds that are structurally similar to estrogen, they do not function exactly the same as this hormone. For many people, soy milk can be part of a nutritious, balanced dietand may actually have a few beneficial effects.
How Can I Get Bigger Breasts In 2 Days
Modified pushups Lie on the ground and put your palms on the outside of your chest. Push your body all the way up until your arms are almost straight, but keep a slight bend in your elbows. Slowly lower your body back down using controlled resistance. Keep your elbows in at your sides. Do three sets of 12.
Isoflavones And Sensitive Individuals
Studies into the effects of phytoestrogens on the human hormone system overwhelmingly show that this chemical has only positive or neutral effects. It has also been shown to reduce bleeding during menses and lengthen womens cycles, two things known to reduce ovarian and breast cancer risk.
But there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the opposite may be true in some highly sensitive individuals. For some women, possibly those with naturally low estrogen levels, consuming a lot of soy and tofu can cause early menstruation and breakthrough bleeding.
Women with estrogen-sensitive breast tumors and individuals with certain thyroid conditions are often told to avoid soy products. However, there have been few studies to prove that this precaution is warranted.
Is There A Link Between Consumption Of Soy And Estrogen Levels
The reason why many people are concerned about a link between soy and estrogen levels has to do with a class of compounds called isoflavones, also known as phytoestrogens. Found in all types of soy products, from tofu to soy milk, phytoestrogens are able to bind to the estrogen receptors on your cells, but much more weakly.
Some people are concerned that a phytoestrogen would act like estrogen. However, the phytoestrogen doesnt stimulate the estrogen receptor as much as estrogen itself does, but it does block estrogen from reaching the receptor. Because of this, phytoestrogens may actually decrease estrogens effects in the body, by blocking estrogen from binding to cells. In fact, this is similar to the mechanism of action of tamoxifen, a common estrogen blocking treatment thats used in women who have undergone treatment for estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer.
What Are The Dangers Of Soy
In some animal studies, rodents that were exposed to high doses of compounds found in soy called isoflavones showed an increased risk of breast cancer. This is thought to be because the isoflavones in soy can act like estrogen in the body, and increased estrogen has been linked to certain types of breast cancer.
Could Eating Too Much Soy Be Bad For You
New studies suggest that eating large amounts of soys estrogen-mimicking compounds might reduce fertility in women, trigger early puberty and disrupt development of fetuses and children
This article originally ran at Environmental Health News, a news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.
Is There A Soy Milkestrogen Connection
If you like tofu, or opt for soy milk over dairy, concerns about the health effects of soy may have piqued your interest.
However, there seem to be more questions than answers about the role soy plays in womens bodies, especially when it comes to menopause and breast cancer. There are also many misunderstandings.
The soy in our food supply is a processed product of the soybean. Tofu is one of the most common sources. Youll increasingly find it in dairy substitutes like soy milk and soy cheese, as well as foods made specifically for vegetarians, like soy burgers and other meat substitutes.
Soy contains phytoestrogens, or plant-based estrogens. These are mainly two isoflavones , genistein and daidzein, that act like estrogen, the female sex hormone, within the body.
Because estrogen plays a role in everything from breast cancer to sexual reproduction, this is where most of the soy controversy stems.
Further, studies looking at the effects of soy on humans havent shown the potential for harm.
The ACS states that because research on the link between soy and cancer is still evolving, much more analysis is needed. As it stands, soy doesnt appear to pose any cancer risk.
In fact, some studies actually show that soy reduces cancer risk.
The bottom line: There isnt substantial evidence that soy definitively increases or decreases cancer risk.
Are You Worried About Your Estrogen Levels
Estrogen levels that are too high or too low can create a variety of health problems, and high estrogen is linked to breast cancer risk. If youre concerned about your estrogen levels, then you may want to consider getting your levels tested. This is the only way to know whether you have high estrogen levels. Many people choose to get a complete hormone panel, rather than testing the level of just one hormone, because this allows you to understand the state of your overall hormonal health, including the ratios of different hormones to each other.
You can ask your doctor to order hormone tests for you, although this requires an office visit. If youd rather avoid the hassle of going to the doctor just to ask for the test, you can order it yourself online, and either go to a lab for your blood draw or take your blood sample yourself at home using a fingerprick. You will then receive your results online within a few days. If your results are abnormal, you will often be offered a consult with a medical professional by telehealth to discuss next steps.
Soy Formula And Babies
Experts have raised concerns about the potential hormonal effects of the phytoestrogens in soy protein formula. These formulas are often used as alternatives to cows milk-based formulas, and estimates are between 20 to 25% of formula-fed infants are given a soy-based baby formula.
The phytoestrogens in soy formulas are absorbed by infants and may lead to proportionally high levels in their relatively small bodies. Questions exist over whether this may affect reproductive development during this critical time, due to their ability to bind to estrogen receptors.
Some studies have indicated that soy formula during infancy led to heavier or longer duration menstrual bleeding during young adulthood in females. On the flip side, early exposure to soy protein may lead to some of the beneficial protective effects against hormone-dependent cancers.
The current position statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics states that No conclusive evidence from animal, adult human, or infant populations that dietary soy isoflavones may adversely affect human development, reproduction, or endocrine function.
Nevertheless, more long-term research in this particular area is warranted. It is important to note that only soy formulasnot commercial soy milk beveragesshould be used as infant feeding options.
Soy And Estrogen: Two Great Tastes
Soy is a popular food these days, and is widely used in supplementation and nutrition replacement. You can now buy soy milk, soy burgers, soy flour, soy cereals, soy candy, soy protein, and plain ol tofu. Many health claims are being bandied about for this little bean, not the least of which is that it has estrogenic properties.
Soy does indeed have estrogenic properties. It contains phytoestrogens, which are produced by plants and mimic the action of estrogens at the bodys estrogen receptors. Because they are weaker than the estrogens that your own body produces, yet compatible with the estrogen receptors, they compete with estrogens at the estrogen receptor sites, and when bound to the estrogen receptor they block the effects of the stronger estrogens.
It has been speculated that a diet high in soy can have hormonally feminizing effects. This has almost no basis in fact, and really, makes very little sense. The beneficial effects of dietary soy are more related to the fact that it inhibits the action of estrogen, not that it has estrogenic effects itself. These inhibitory effects seem to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease as well as breast and uterine cancer, but only when taken as part of a complete program.
What does this mean for trans women? Well, at the feminizing doses of estrogen that most trans women take, I dont think that a diet rich in soy would noticeably inhibit fat redistribution, breast growth, or any of the other desirable effects.
What Is Soy Milk Exactly Defining The Popular Drink
Soy milk is a plant-based nondairy beverage, often consumed as an alternative to milk. Its made from soybeans, and many brands fortify their soy milk with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D and calcium. Soy milk offers culinary diversity, creamy texture, and a healthful nutritional profile, including essential omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids that exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties, says , a plant-based-foods dietitian in the Los Angeles area and the author of The Vegiterranean Diet.