Top Hazards of Soy

This article is a bit long. I could not shorten it further and keep the key points! Many people are not aware that soy is a highly processed “food”. Soy is not a natural food for the human body. The issue with soy goes beyond phytoestrogens and GMO.  


1 Soy is one of the top 5 allergens in the U.S. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations includes soy in its list of the 8 most significant food allergens. At least 16 potential soy protein allergens have been identified.An immune system involved allergy to soy is relatively rare. Food intolerances (not a “true allergy”) are not rare and lead to skin rashes/eczema, constipation, sinus and ear infections, asthma, bronchitis, and behavioral issues.
2 More than 90% of soy grown in the U.S. is GMO (genetically modified) and heavily sprayed with Roundup. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup. This popular herbicide is linked to numerous health and environmental issues.Two key problems that can lead to many of the health issues involve gut dysbiosis, and disrupted sulfur metabolism.

  • Gut Dysbiosis (microbial imbalance): Glyphosate preferentially affects beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow and take over.
  • Disrupted Sulfur Metabolism: Sulfur is a mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It plays a key role in liver detoxification. Sulfur helps maintain the structure of connective tissues which include joint cartilage and the keratin of the skin & hair. It is also critical for metabolism and anti-oxidant defense systems that protect the aging patterns of the brain.



Soy has high levels of phytic acid which reduces the uptake of IRON and ZINC. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. Iron and zinc are vital for life!PubMed: “Iron and zinc deficiency remain substantial problems in small children in both developed and developing nations. Optimizing mineral absorption is an important strategy in minimizing this problem…” “These findings indicate that beef protein increases both non-heme iron and zinc absorption compared to soy protein. The effect of protein source on non-heme iron and inorganic zinc absorption should be one of the factors taken into account when designing diets for children…”PubMed: “However, even after removal of virtually all the phytic acid, iron absorption from the soy-protein meal was still only half that of the egg white control. It is concluded that phytic acid is a major inhibitory factor of iron absorption in soy-protein isolates but that other factors contribute to the poor bioavailability of iron from these products.” – it is not just the physic acid in soy-protein isolates that interfere with iron absorption.Iron Deficiency Symptoms:

  • MedScape: Children and adolescents with iron deficiency anemia are at increased risk for psychiatric disorders, including depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and autism, new research shows.
  • The most common symptom of all types of iron deficiency anemia is fatigue. Fatigue occurs because your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts. This can lead to irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias, a heart murmur, an enlarged heart, or even heart failure.
  • Iron plays a key role in brain development, including myelination of white matter and the development and functioning of the different neurotransmitter systems, including the dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin systems.
  • Anemia also can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, coldness in your hands and feet, pale skin, chest pain, and weakness.

Any interference with zinc absorption will produce a whole body, cell-level dysfunction.

Zinc is involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism. It is required for the activity of approximately 100 enzymes and it plays a role in immune function, protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence  and is required for proper sense of taste and smell.


A review of the research found no significant effects of soy on the thyroid except in people who are iodine deficient — a condition that is rare in this country.- Dr. Mark HymanIodine is one of the most common deficiencies found in natural health offices! An advanced iodine deficiency will produce a goiter. Goiter is rare. Low iodine levels are common. Prescriptions for the hypothyroid drug levothyroxine increased in the U.S. from about 50 million in 2006 to about 70 million in 2010.How many millions of people in the U.S. just needed to avoid soy and/or take kelp as part of their dietary or supplement plan? Thyroid hormones T3 and T4 – the 3 and 4 represent the number of iodine molecules in each thyroid hormone molecule.Common symptoms in adults: Fatigue, Increased sensitivity to cold, Constipation, Dry skin, Unexplained weight gain, Hoarseness, Muscle and Joint weakness, aches, tenderness and stiffness, Thinning hair, Depression, and Impaired memory.

Women need iodine for the developing baby. When hypothyroidism in infants isn’t treated, even mild cases can lead to severe physical and mental retardation. In general, children and teens who develop hypothyroidism have the same signs and symptoms as adults do, but they may also experience: Poor growth, resulting in short stature, Delayed development of permanent teeth, Delayed puberty, Poor mental development.

6 “Early studies revealed that the full nutritional value of soybean protein is achieved only after heat has been applied. Subsequent studies confirmed the presence of a number of heat-labile factors with biological activity in soybean-based products. The most prominent of these factors is a soybean protease inhibitor with the properties of an antitrypsin, antichymotrypsin, and antielastin. Soybean protein isolate, as heated for infant formulas, removes 80% to 90% of this protease inhibitor activity and renders it nutritionally irrelevant. There also are heat-stable factors that remain in the soy protein isolate, including the low-molecular-weight fibers, phytates, saponins, and phytoestrogens.” – AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICSCould a 10%-20% level of protein digestion inhibitors cause an issue? Depends on the person’s protease (enzymes that break down proteins) output from the pancreas.Trypsin and chymotrypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause abdominal pain, indigestion, gas and malnutrition, pancreatic disorders and stunted growth. Elastin is a protein in connective tissue that is elastic and allows many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting.Note: Researchers are still determining how to process soy into a food! Anything that needs so much care and is highly processed is NOT a good, natural food for any body.
7 Aluminum is not good for your brain! Soy protein isolate and protein powder production takes place in industrial factories where a slurry of soy beans is acid washed (solvent extraction) in aluminum tanks. This leaches high levels of aluminum into the final product. In 1996, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement on aluminum toxicity in infants and children and discussed the relatively high content of aluminum in soy-based formulas.  Although the aluminum content of human milk is 4 to 65 ng/mL, that of soy protein-based formula is 600 to 1300 ng/mL.
8 Hexane is a byproduct of gasoline refining. It is a neurotoxin and a hazardous air pollutant. Soybean processors use it as a solvent—a cheap and efficient way of extracting oil from soybeans, a necessary step to making most conventional soy oil and protein ingredients. Whole soybeans are literally bathed in hexane to separate the soybeans’ oil from protein. Hexane may be used in “Natural” products but not in “Organic” products.



PROS AND CONSThere are several phytoestrogens – genistein is a phytoestrogen found in soy. Genistein (not whole soy) has been the focus of many studies. As a supplement it may have some valuable use in the area of cancer (helping the toxic drugs work better and making children more comfortable during toxic treatments). On the other hand long-term exposure to dietary sources of genistein induces estrogen-independence in the human breast cancer. Long-term consumption of low genistein doses promotes MCF-7 tumor growth and results in GINR tumors with more aggressive and advanced growth phenotypes.- PubMedPlasma testosterone and androstenedione levels were significantly lower in the animals fed the phytoestrogen-rich diet compared with animals fed the phytoestrogen-free diet. However, there were no significant differences in plasma LH or estradiol levels between the diet groups…PubMed

Have a Great Soy-Free Day,

Sharlene Peterson
Educational Coordinator
Genesis School of Natural Health

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