The Dark Side of Soy

How can a food so healthful and delicious have a down side? According to Pioneer Nutritional Formulas, Inc., publishers of the newsletter Pioneer Pearls, soybeans contain five plant chemicals that, in sufficient quantities, can be toxic to humans:
(1) soy allergens may affect up to 20 percent of our population
(2) phytates bind to and prevent absorption of essential minerals (calcium, iron & zinc)
(3) protease inhibitors interfere with the function of protein-digesting pancreatic enzymes
(4) genistein can inhibit at least three metabolic pathways needed to maintain normal brain function
(5) goitrogens can latch on to iodine, preventing its absorption (hypothyroidism).

These compounds are generally present in small quantities so, enjoy soy in moderation. Avoid the more processed products, such as soy isolates and powders, which may provide undesirable concentrations of soy toxins. Choose instead whole soybeans, which have been naturally fermented or sprouted, such as miso, tempeh, tamari or soybean sprouts.

Naturally Yours
Judy Chambers RNCP, CPT