Mythbusting: the truth about soy

A wonder-food or a dangerous trap?
Soy has been called everything, so let’s clear the air and put some annoying myths about soy to rest!
Myth #1
Illustration of Soyasapogenol A by www.chemfaces.com

Soy contains certain proteinic substances (called Soyasapogenol A, B, C and D) which can hurt the thyroid, blood red cells and pancreatic cells, especially in children.

Only if it’s raw. However, these substances are immediately destroyed when we boil soy, even if we only bring it to boil once, so you can cook and eat it without any risk.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
Myth #2

Soy contains phytates and phytic acid.

It’s been scientifically shown that common corn contains more phytic acid than soy. Although, for decades, it’s been said that phytate-rich foodstuffs could block absorption of calcium and other minerals, studies in the last decade failed to confirm this, and the “phytates theory” is today considered outdated.

People in China and Japan are the world’s first and, respectively, second largest consumers of soy; however, osteoporosis rates in these societies and much lower that in the US or Western Europe by a factor of 3 to 10, depending on the source. In America, 1 in every 3 post-menopausal women will suffer from osteoporosis; the most reserved sources quote 1 in 10 as a figure for China!

Myth #3

Soy estrogen leads to impotence or fertility issues

If that were true, again, China and Japan would have less than half their current population. On the contrary, there’s no evidence of a higher than average infertility rate in China, while the most common types of cancer such as prostate, breast and ovaries cancer affect lower percentages of the population than in the US.

Some true, good things about soy

Soy includes lecithin, a phospholipidic complex that stimulates neuronal metabolism (brain cells)

Lecithin increases intellectual performance, cleans the liver, helps break down fat cells, decreases plasmatic cholesterol and prevents fat deposits on the walls of blood vessels. It also tones the heart, contributes to a normal, healthy skin tone; it prevents hair loss, as well as gallbladder stones; it decreases the duration, frequency and intensity of weather-sensitive rheumatic pains; it has a slightly laxative and sedative effect.

  1. Soy does not contain cholesterol
  2. It supplies 377 kcal / 100 grams.
  3. Soy includes almost all minerals and vitamins our bodies need, except vitamin C, which can however be found in germinated soy.
  4. Contrary to popular belief, it does include vitamin B12, in low concentrations, but enough and safe for a vegan.
  5. Genistein and daidzein in soy destroy vessels that irrigate (nourish) tumors in the body
  6. It has the best balance of Calcium vs Magnesium, 260 and 242 mg, recommended for people who work out.
  7. Iron in soybeans grows through germination (or if soybeans are soaked for 47 hours) from 7 mg % to 45 mg %, and then rapidly drops.
  8. The phytoestrogen hormone in soy increases for each hour it spends in water – double the initial amount after 2 hours, 6 times more after 6 hours, after which it plateaus.
  9. It contains fatty acids omega 6 and 3 in an optimum balance.
  10. Daily soy intake improves the glycaemic and lipidic balance
  11. Soy oil is a very rich source of Q10 coenzyme. I don’t recommend it because it’s predominantly omega 6.

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