Soy is unrightfully dissed a lot. One of the liveliest debates I ever had on my radio show in Austin when it was on, was with Dr. David Brownstein. He is a great friend, but he is against soy, I am not.
I have a whole chapter in Safe Hormones, Smart Women called, To Soy Or Not To Soy and the basic answer is, for me, bring the soy on. It is a huge protector against hormone driven cancers, especially breast and uterine. BUT is has to be whole food or fermented and not in soy isolates or pills or separate isoflavones which are found to be harmful, rather than helpful.
Another benefit of soy – It protects against the estrogen mimicker, BPA.
BPA, found in a variety of food containers, including polycarbonate plastic water bottles and can linings mimics estrogen but not in a good way. Biomonitoring studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 96 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies.
As of 2014, nearly 100 epidemiological studies linked BPA to health problems, including reproductive disorders and infertility or poor response to infertility treatments.
This study is out of Harvard. This study found a soy-rich diet could protect against reproductive health problems associated with BPA exposure.
This study looked at diet and success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 239 women. These ladies were part of the EARTH Study was funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Women who ate less soy + higher BPA (metabolites) in their urine = lower rates of embryo implantation, fewer pregnancies and live births.
In comparison, BPA concentrations had NO impact on IVF outcomes in women who routinely ate soy.
The soy protected the reproductive tissues from BPA endocrine disruption assault!
Soy signals the protective estrogen, ER beta, not the growth estrogen, ER alpha that BPA signals.
There is even research (out of North Carolina State University) to show that exposure to BPA in utero (in the womb) and early in life (kiddos) increases the risk of anxiety later in life. It does this by turning on, to excess, “fear” genes in the fear center of the brain—the amygdala. But that consuming a healthy soy-rich diet mitigates these genes and that anxiety! Soy helps your tissues keep balance! But is it good in women and not in men and infants? It is very estrogenic, but it signals the good estrogen dominance. Lots of questions. But good protection for women in mid-life!
Do not write whole organic non-GMO soy food off!
Jorge E. Chavarro, Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, Yu-Han Chiu, Audrey J. Gaskins, Irene Souter, Paige L. Williams, Antonia M. Calafat, Russ Hauser. Soy Intake Modifies the Relation Between Urinary Bisphenol A Concentrations and Pregnancy Outcomes Among Women Undergoing Assisted Reproduction. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2016; jc.2015-3473 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2015-3473
Heather B. Patisaul, Alana W. Sullivan, Meghan E. Radford, Deena M. Walker, Heather B. Adewale, Bozena Winnik, Janis L. Coughlin, Brian Buckley, Andrea C. Gore. Anxiogenic Effects of Developmental Bisphenol A Exposure Are Associated with Gene Expression Changes in the Juvenile Rat Amygdala and Mitigated by Soy. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e43890 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043890