The dangers of soy

YOURLifeChoices member Marg has some concerns about soy, and she has asked Rachel to look into the possible health dangers for her.

I’m trying to find out why soy is used in so many manufactured products. It is in our bread, our margarine, our chocolate. It’s in everything. Whilst in one respect soy may be good for one, and a small amount may cause us no harm, with it being in so much and people today suffering so many allergies, I wonder. Maybe you could look into it for me? Thank you, Marg

Soy has been marketed as a miracle food for the last 40 years, so whenever a scientist speaks out against it this causes conflict. Dr Joseph Mercola is a cutting edge scientist who actively speaks out against soy. It’s important to note that his work is controversial, but he is immensely popular with many people in the health and fitness industry, and he runs the world’s most popular natural health site.

Mercola published an article in the Huffington Post entitled The health dangers of soy last month, and he says that studies have linked soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility, and possibly even cancer and heart disease.

Apart from the health dangers of soy itself, a lot of the soy currently being grown is genetically modified, and the crops are sprayed with dangerous pesticides, both of which carry health risks.

Mercola explains in his article that not all soy is dangerous. Traditionally fermented soy has a lot of health benefits, but most westerners consume unfermented soy (often without knowing). The fermentation process destroys the dangerous parts of the soy bean, so he suggests eating organically grown, non-genetically modified soy which has been traditionally fermented. This includes miso (a traditional Japanese seasoning, often made into soup), tempeh (a firm, tofu-like food), natto (whole soybeans in a sticky sauce) and traditionally fermented soy sauce.

Soy is in many commercial products as it is a good marketing tool—people associate soy with healthy food—but this does not necessarily mean it is good for you. If you are concerned about the soy you are eating, I would suggest visiting Dr Joseph Mercola’s website and reading more about the studies he has conducted.