General Question

ubersiren's avatar

What is the risk of eating a lot of soy?

Asked by ubersiren (15046 points ) April 12th, 2010

I read conflicting arguments about a soy-heavy diet. Some articles say it’s really good to eat a lot of soy, for heart health and cancer prevention , and some say it can cause problems with hormones and brain function including in breast-fed babies.

Is there a conclusive study that shows the risks vs. benefits? What have you heard?

I ask because I’m breastfeeding and addicted to edamame. :)

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34 Answers

sleepdoc's avatar

I am not sure about studies, but I have always suscribed to the moderation theme for eating. I would say that if all you are eating all the time is soy, probably not the best thing for your health.

Storms's avatar

Turning Japanese.

Storms's avatar

I use soy sauce to tenderise meat so it’s probably somewhat acidic. I shouldn’t think consuming it liberally would hurt your beautiful little baby’s brain, just give them an upset tummy and an interesting mess for you to clean up.

lilikoi's avatar

Pooping a lot of soy.

Ludy's avatar

everything in ecxess is dangerous even the good things ;)

alive's avatar

i don’t know a lot about this topic, but i do know a little. The majority of soybean crops in the world are grown from genetically modified seeds. the GM crops require less pesticides, but more herbicides.

From Wiki:
“In a report published in November, 2009 , “Impacts of Genetically Engineered(GE) Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Thirteen Years using USDA data shows that since 1996, U.S. farmers have applied 383 million more pounds of herbicides on GE crops including soybeans than they likely would have applied on non-GE varieties of these crops. Forty-six percent of the total increase occurred in the last two years studied (2007 and 2008).”

i have heard that soy can really mess with hormone levels (i did not hear this from a scientific source, it was more a word on the street kind of thing from people i know who are heath nuts), but i am a vegetarian, so i continue to eat it.

edamame is a very very nutrition packed snack though. lots of good fatty oils, and tons of protein. so it has its pros and cons.

MrGV's avatar

Increase in estrogen.

nimarka1's avatar

i had this conversation recently, and what i was told is that it’s not good to eat too much soy because of the hormones. These days they use soy for things like filling chicken nuggets or strips (using like 60% chicken and 40% soy) and in a lot of other processed foods. thats why kids are going through puberty a lot sooner in age. It’s considered normal today for a girl to get her period by the age of 7–10! If i was that young i would have probably thought i was dying! I would have felt like my childhood was stolen from me

Ludy's avatar

wow that is an amazing fact, i’ve always wondered why is that about the period on young girls, it’s good to know that, but how can we know if what we’re eating has soy in it?

alive's avatar

@Ludy it is not only the soy in products that is causing the early onset of puberty. most meat in this country is injected with tons of hormones (usually growth hormones to make animals grow much bigger much faster). when we ingest the meat we also absorb very high concentrations of these hormones

Storms's avatar

@nimarka1 That’s pop theory 5005 I’ve heard on why Americans go through puberty so early.

Personally, my favorite theory is too much dairy.

gailcalled's avatar

I am a breast cancer survivor; my oncologist says that the jury is out on soy so to eat it sparingly. Edamame is best because it’s closest to the source and not processed.

Think about how those lovely green beans turn into a brick of whey-colored stuff.

Ludy's avatar

is there anything safe? Should I stop eating meat? ;) and also only red meat or you mean everything?

sleepdoc's avatar

@Ludy If you want to get real scared just watch the movie that was recently put out about this.

Ludy's avatar

which one?

sleepdoc's avatar

@Ludy Let me find the name and I will get back to you.

Storms's avatar

@Ludy No. According to science, 100% of material objects, esoteric concepts and anti-matter are all proven to KILL YOU.

sleepdoc's avatar

Food Inc

Ludy's avatar

I’m just 23 years old, should I worry about what I eat??? ;)

ubersiren's avatar

@gailcalled Oh, I didn’t know that about you. Thank you for the info. Maybe I can find out just how much is a “safe” portion.

Yeah, it’s definitely not just soy that is making puberty hit earlier. There’s a lot in meats, as mentioned, and even dairy.

sleepdoc's avatar

@ubersiren… how much are you eating?

alive's avatar

@Ludy yes! not worry, but at least be aware. seriously, netflix Food Inc.

after years of ingesting regular supermarket foods your body will retaliate. My mom’s thyroid has pretty much disintegrated. as @gailcalled mentioned, the jury is still out on soy, but cancerous cells have been linked to certain things in the western diet

ubersiren's avatar

@sleepdoc maybe a half a cereal bowl full of edamame in the pod every few days. 2–3 times a week.

sleepdoc's avatar

@ubersiren I think you are ok with that amount.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

As I understand it, because of all the controversies and the studies, the FDA marked a limit of 25 g of soy per day – generally speaking that’s really hard to accomplish, :) even for me, a vegan so you eating some edamame are in the clear. I do recommend buying non-GMO organic soy products.

gailcalled's avatar

Here is a summation of what looks like some legitimate studies. It is scary. Personally, I eat nothing connected with Montsano.

http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/soy.htm

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@gailcalled I call that a biased website – I know it’s hard to find one that isn’t these days but I’d rather read something that gives pros and cons and not just the cons

gailcalled's avatar

I know but I did check the studies listed in the footnotes. I’ll try Mayo Clinic now.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@gailcalled I agree that genetically modified foods are problematic.

gailcalled's avatar

Mayo clinic had almost nothing to say. So I’ll stick to an occasional handful of Edamame beans.

Storms's avatar

Don’t believe every nutty thing that you watch.

Merriment's avatar

I know that you can knock out your thyroid function by overdoing the soy.

I know someone who went on an all soy, all the time diet and her thyroid went haywire. She stopped the soy and her thyroid recovered.

I love tofu but I eat it in moderation because of it’s possible effect on thyroid function.

Nullo's avatar

Soy, or perhaps it’s soy products, contains a compound that your body recognizes as estrogen. Not something to be wolfing down, IMO. I avoid the stuff.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo And meat had dioxin, an androgen inhibitor…steer clear of that if I were you.

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