By Jane Sheppard
Is soy really the perfect food it’s made out to be? I thought so until I began to investigate. I was shocked to find that much of the information we are given about soy is based on half-truths and flimsy facts. The multi-billion dollar soy industry has gained consumer acceptance of tofu, soy milk, soy ice cream, soy cheese, soy sausage and soy derivatives, particularly soy isoflavones, the estrogen-like compounds found in soybeans. After looking into the health effects of feeding soy products to children, I have stopped giving my daughter soy milk and tofu.
Soy infant formula is the most cause for concern, since the daily exposure of infants to isoflavones in soy infant formula is 6 to 11 times higher, on a body-weight basis, than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults. It is estimated that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day!
Here are some of the detrimental effects of feeding soy products to children:
- Soybeans contain large quantities of natural toxins or “antinutrients”, including potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for protein digestion.
- Soy also contains goitrogens – substances that depress thyroid function.
- Soybeans are high in phytic acid, a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc – in the intestinal tract.
- Soy phytoestrogens may disrupt endocrine function
- Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein.
- Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
- Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
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