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To Soy or Not to Soy?

Overall though, at a time when our bodies are forced to deal with excessive toxins and pollutants, soy phytoestrogens may play a beneficial role too. They attach to estrogen receptor sites in the body, blocking the ability of harmful xenoestrogens to bind to these sites. Xenoestrogens are chemical estrogen mimickers that are found in many foods, plastic substances, and household items and are known to cause serious hormonal imbalances. You may have heard about bisphenol A (BPA) and its worrisome prevalence in the manufacture of plastic water and beverage bottles, as well as in other consumer products. BPA is just one type of damaging xenoestrogen to which we are exposed.

Most xenoestrogens found in plastics and other sources are roughly 100 times stronger than human estrogens. The natural estrogen found in soy is extremely mild and closer to human estrogen than xenoestrogens. For many people, the addition of phytoestrogens (plant estrogen) found in soy can be beneficial, both to block xenoestrogens and also to help balance potentially low levels of human estrogens. But any amount of phytoestrogen can be too much in someone with already excessively high levels.

People with low thyroid functioning need to limit their soy consumption since soy contains substances called goitrogens which can slow the production and/or release of thyroid hormones in the body. Most people with hypothyroidism, as this common condition is called, can tolerate up to about 1 cup of organic soy milk daily without negative consequences on hormone production. But itís best to consult with your doctor or natural health practitioner if you have any concerns about eating soy products.

Fermented soy products are actually the easiest to digest and the best tolerated by people. Traditional Asian diets typically contain more fermented soy products like miso than non-fermented forms of soy. Some fermented soy products include tamari, fermented tofu, natto, tempeh, cheonggukjang, chunjang, doenjang, doubanjiang, gochujang, and tauchu.† Many of these fermented soy products contain valuable nutrients and enzymes that can help protect the body against disease.

If you choose to eat soy, itís best to choose only non-genetically modified, unsprayed, sustainably harvested organic soybeans, free of sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other additives.

Whichever side of the debate youíre on, itís also wise to remember the old adage ďone personís food is anotherís poison.Ē Soy can be beneficial for some and harmful for others.

Adapted from The Life Force Diet.†Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

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Read more: Aging, Alternative Therapies, Cancer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Environment, Food, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, Menopause, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Soy Benefits, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


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4:09AM PDT on May 23, 2013


5:56AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

I don't think soy should be ate. It's great as a candle though.

7:54AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Thanks for the info

5:59PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

As an asian, I'm slightly lactose-intolerant so have started drinking soymilk instead. Like anything else, a buyer needs to read labels.

4:22PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

I am on HRT and am on 4mg estradiol a day, the small amount of phytoestrogens I get from soy are barely noticeable. I cant help myself, I see edamame and its like candy to me.

9:10AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Thanks for the information. I think the usual rule applies - moderation in all things!

3:42PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012


8:16AM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Rule of thumb with soy. Try to avoid it in processed foods when you can and when buying soy products look for labels that say GMO-free and organic. Unfortunately, there are no laws requiring companies to say they MUST have labels telling us they have GMOs.

2:56PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

I am allergic to some forms of soy, and I refuse to believe there is a fact that something is not good for all, I believe it depends on every person's body, so each one of us should learn themselfs to know what is good and what is not for one. is a journey to learn but very interesting!!!

2:42PM PDT on Aug 16, 2012

OMG!. Soy: helpful but careful!!!

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