Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Oy, More on Soy

soypods.jpgThe July-August Utne Reader publishes four articles on soy, attacking the hot subject from different angles. Starhawk, aaugh, I don’t want to shake your faith or heavy soy habits, but, really, take another look. None of these articles make me want to eat much more than my trusty bowls of miso. Soy milk manufacturers must be calling emergency staff meetings, the assessments of it are so negative! Here’s the lead piece by Mary Vance, reprinted from Terrain. And here’s an excerpt from Vance’s interview on soy with clinical nutritionist Kaayla Daniel:


What health problems do you see in your practice that can be traced back to overconsumption of soy?
I work mostly with midlife women, and they’re likely to eat a lot of soy and drink a lot of soy milk. They’re taking soy isoflavone supplements because they’ve heard that it’s going to help them through menopause. A lot of these women are very intelligent and educated, and, unfortunately, they get this idea that if a little of something might be good, then they should do a lot of it. They start gaining weight, feeling fatigued; they get lethargic and depressed, and when they go to a regular doctor, they’re told “Well, what do you expect, you’re getting old,” and that this is typical of menopause. In fact, the symptoms are almost entirely coming from that change in their diet, which had to do with soy.

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Starhawk Laughingsun

posted July 3, 2007 at 7:24 pm

First I think I need to clarify in the case my last comment here confused you. I use the name Starhawk both online and in the RW it is my Rainbow Family name and I have used it for years. But I am not Starhawk the Wiccian author, nor do I know her nor I am I wiccian tho my “beliefs” are perhaps very similar. I am a 46 yr old male, see I was unaware of Starhawk the Wiccian Author when i started using the name.
Anyway I must say I have a lot of respect for Utne Reader despite the fact that it is not hardly an academic journal. I’ve read it for years and will continue to read it. But I am not even close to convinced there is any danger for me in relation to soya in my diet. Medical research is full of conflicting studies in alot oft things and with respect to soy any scientific conclusion is truly hard to form. Btw I usually make my own soy milk as well as eat miso, natto, and tempeh, and tofu (I buy these). For several decades I’ve been aware of the antinutrients in soy that block enzymes needed for digestion, and naturally occur-ring phytates blocking the absorption of essential minerals that is of course why no one eats soy raw ( or really any other bean as all a beans are toxic!). Cooking destroys some if not all of these antinutrients. Such antinutrients are in fact very common in food as are toxins. All plants contain toxins dear. Truthfully there is no food we eat which is free of either toxins or some degree of danger (for some people) and this is especially true if the food is ate in concentrated form or in large amounts.
I have no health problems from use of soy or from veganism and from what I’ve read the research is totally unconvincing. When the scientific community reaches some consensus on the dangers (or benefits) of soy i might consider eating less or not eating it at all, that is currently not the case and in the absence of any ill effects personally I will continue to eat it. So at this point I think the soya critics are engaging in mostly a fear campaign. My thoughts and my thoughts alone.

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Starhawk Laughingsun

posted July 3, 2007 at 7:29 pm

And btw Amy I like your Blog, I read it every day and while I don’t comment here alot I am one of your fans 😉

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Laurie Sue

posted July 4, 2007 at 8:27 am

Amy, thanks for the heads-up about soy. I showed your research to my hormone doc. She didn’t seem to think it was a problem for me now. But I am sure it has effected my thyroid in the past few years, as I was living on tofu and soy milk. I believe the effects on women, and the atttitude toward women’s health, is distinctly different from the male experience (although, Starhawk, I love a guy who is not afraid of tofu). Women have been sold the idea that more soy will counter loss of estrogen in menopause. I feel it gave me too much imbalance, personally; in fact, I think it made me cranky! Again, my doctor said soy is fine as long as you are not using it as hormone replacement. ButI have cut my soy intake from 75 per cent of my diet to 25 percent. Since your blog on the topic Amy, I am down to a healf a cup of soy milk a day. I have to say, I feel better and I am losing weight.

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posted July 4, 2007 at 2:00 pm

I think I’ll take out my link to Wiccan author Starhawk’s website to avoid additional confusion. Laurie Sue, I’m so glad you found this information helpful. Starhawk Laughingsun, thanks for posting! Pleased to make your acquaintance.

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Katherine Zavartkay

posted July 4, 2007 at 3:46 pm

greetings, all —
of course i would not want to use soy as “hormone replacement” — but i certainly would not want to use something like Premarin, either (derived from the urine of perpetually pregnant female horses)!
i agree with Bauman — moderation is the key, and DEFINITELY the TYPE of soy one is consuming — it seems as if EVERYTHING we eat is over-processed . . . (i have been vegan for a number of years, but i think even before that, i stopped using canned and frozen foods)
i have also heard of studies that claim that soy is the reason why women in Asian countries (such as Japan and China) do not even go through menopause, but i think here, one also has to look at other factor, NOT just the consumption of soy . . .
blessings, and thanks for posting this!
— kathy z.

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Kathi Calahan

posted July 6, 2007 at 1:04 pm

April marked my 2 year anniversary of being cancer-free. My Invasive Breast Cancer (IBC) was linked to estrogen sensitivity and today I know I cannot eat soy or ginger foods because my body thinks it is being bombarded by estrogen. I never see this life-saving information mentioned in articles touting the benefits of soy. Please pass it on. Thank you.

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