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Some Dangers of Soy

by ThinkOnThis, Anonymous Reader

Here are some of the dangers of soy...

The addiction that many vegans, especially new ones, have to soy needs to be broken for the sake of health and well-being.

Where soy is concerned I believe we've all been sold a crock by the seductive advertising put out by the powerful Soy Industry.

I speak from experience here! I've been a committed vegan for many years, and at one stage developed a taste for tofu, consuming it 3-4 times a week, believing it would be very good for me. As a consequence I fell ill with very bad hormonal disruption. Clearly the high amount of phyto-estrogens in soy was exactly what I didn't need.

After months of agonising pelvic pain ending in massive ongoing hemorrhaging, I cut the soy right out of my diet, and everything started to come right in the reproductive area.

After my bad experience, I started researching soy nutrition from every scientific paper I could find and preferably from studies not funded by the soy industry. I discovered some dangers of soy and how regular consumption not only demineralises the body over time, but also causes hypothyroidism and other unpleasant conditions.

Demineralization of the body is also implicated in anemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, some eye and vision disorders, and other chronic diseases which have their causes in mineral depletion or imbalance.

Bear in mind that vegetarians and vegans who eat tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products are particularly at risk of demineralization and other dangers of soy. To be fair, soy is the worst culprit here as the mineral-locking phytic acid in it can't be reduced except by fermenting.

Other foods can have their phytic acid much reduced by pre-soaking, but not soybeans. Demineralization of our bodies is a very serious concern, and is the silent thief of health.

Scientists are in general agreement that grain and legume-based diets, which are high in phytic acid contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries which rely on these foods as their staples, just as we vegans do.


Beside the very large amount of phytic acid it contains, which no amount of pre-soaking or boiling will reduce, there are other worrying problems with soy consumption.

There's the problem of the very high level of phytoestrogens in soy. These present dangerous triggers for breast cancer, endometriosis, infertility and a number of other conditions. Of equal concern is the huge amount of phytoestrogens being loaded into vegan children's bodies if they are regular soy eaters.

The next problem is soy's goitrogenic effect-- it interferes with iodine uptake and causes malfunction of the thryroid gland. As we vegans tend to be very low in iodine anyway, this is a double whammy because the tiny amounts vegans get through their diet can't be utilised when soy is consumed. And iodine is an extremely important requirement in any diet, having multiple functions within the body.

Yet another problem is that soy contains potent enzyme inhibitors that block the action of enzymes needed for protein digestion. These inhibitors interfere with protein digestion and produce long term deficiencies in amino acid uptake. They can also produce serious gastric upset. In test animals, diets high in these enzyme inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.

Another problem is that non-organic soy is extremely high in pesticide residues.

Furthermore, soybeans also contain haemaggutinin, a clot-promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together.

Because of these dangers of soy, I'm of the firm view that tofu, soy milk, and soy protein isolate should be eaten only rarely, if at all.


The only safe way to eat soy is in the form of tempeh, which is fermented, ensuring that many of soy's anti-nutrients are reduced or neutralised. (For the best reduction in phytic acid store your tempeh in the fridge for 2 weeks and then fry in a little oil). The other virtue of tempeh is that it provides twice the protein content of tofu.

Miso is also acceptable, being fermented, but choose those types which have low salt content.

Naturally fermented soy sauce is another acceptable form of soy.

Some vegans rely heavily on soy for its protein content, and also because they believe the pseudo-hype put out by the industry claiming soy is good for you, and because they see it pushed at them by virtually the whole vegan community, and in numerous recipes.

Vegans have good reason to be concerned about where their protein will come from and I'd suggest that we replace soy with other legumes and pulses (pre-soaked lentils, chick peas, quinoa, etc) and get back to learning about protein complementation. It may be a bit more work but well worth the effort.

Along with your usual staples, if you include chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds (pre-soak your seeds!), organic peanut butter, and tempeh to your diet you will provide yourself and children with very useful amounts of protein without needing to fall back on tofu or soy milk as a protein source. Just remember to make sure you eat various grains (also pre-soaked) during the day too.

I encourage the practice of soaking all grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, prior to eating or cooking them. This considerably reduces the phytic acid in them and your body will then be able to absorb a good deal more of the essential minerals they contain. (Oats and corn are exceptions. Soaking only reduces phytic acid by 25% with these two)

If you neglect this step of pre-soaking in acidified water, you put yourself at risk that over time your body will become demineralised and chronic diseases will set in.

One other excellent insurance is to consume each day a plateful of raw organic fruits or vegetables, (or delicious fruit and vegetable smoothies) to replenish body stores of essential minerals. Eat them separately (1-2 hours either way) from grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. This will ensure maximum absorption of minerals and will give your body a fighting chance to remineralise itself. As well you'll get a bountiful supply of vitamins from the raw fruits and veg, some of which cooking inevitably destroys. If you can, incorporate some good quality spirulina powder into your smoothies for an instant mineral boost.

Please avoid some dangers of soy.

*Editor's Note*
Please remember that all articles posted in the forum section of Vegan Nutritionista are written by guest authors and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the website's author.

Comments for Some Dangers of Soy

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Be careful who you listen to, and what you watch!
by: Malc

I have already commented today so I will keep it brief.
I read: some dangers of soy, by anonymous again.

Then I went online to look at sites that were
"anti-soy." Oh boy! Just about everything anonymous said could be found on these websites.

So my advice is, what anonymous said, take with a pinch of salt!

Instead, go online and look at: the benefits of soy and soy products.

Bless you all,


Why pick on soy alone?
by: Malc

Hi everyone.
I get really fed up with people jumping on the band-wagon about soy. Soy has been a staple part of the vegan diet for a long time; then for some reason, every illness imaginable gets blamed on soy (if you are a vegan). I admit, some people are unable to tolerate soy; but, I could fill this page with food products that cause problems for certain people, whether vegans, veggies or meat eaters.
When I hear that doctors are telling vegans that soy is unsafe, why don't they tell non-vegans that a large proportion of what they eat is full of soy, and it's GM!
I am 66 years old, and in extremely good health. I have been enjoying the benefits of soy products for a very long time, and shall continue till my time on this earth comes to an end!

My advice to my fellow vegans is, enjoy the whole wonderful range of vegan food, and do not get trapped in the soy lie. There are other types of food for the vegan (good and bad), so eat what makes you feel good, and be happy!

Finally, I believe if the anti-soy crowd were real vegans themselves, they would be a little kinder and loving to other vegans, instead of frightening them into avoiding soy products.

Much love, and God bless you.


Fear tactics!
by: Courtney

This article seems like fear tactics directed towards vegans. I thought I would share this well-cited article I found stating that phytoestrogens are in MANY different foods, including animal products: http://freefromharm.org/health-nutrition/vegan-doctor-addresses-soy-myths-and-misinformation/

Why is soy encouraged since it appears to be so unhealthy
by: Lin

The more I have researched soy products the more I am convinced they are BAD. As vegan being a healthy lifestyle, for me most importantly is the moral issues of eating animals, dairy eggs, fish. Why should all the vegan societies push soy when after all the research I've done show show harmful it is and how much is used in product people are not even aware of. To me it seems like vegan marketing should not give into those big $ corp or marketing. Why do they?

Do your own research!
by: Bianca

I too wanted to get to the bottom of this and did a TON of research! I wrote an article on what I found, you may find it useful :) and might save you hours of your own research :p


hope it helps! :)

the soy debate
by: Jessica

I recently became vegan 3 months ago, gave it all up one day cold tofurkey and haven't looked back. I have always eaten healthy and now feel even better than ever. I'm a semi-athlete and try to get as much protein as possible from soy powder mixed with soy milk. Much of my diet seems to be soy and now I'm reading articles saying that I shouldn't because of the hormones. Could you please shed some light on this issue for me?

No peer review or references
by: Anonymous

If there are no references available in the article, it is dubious. Often articles are masked opinions but if the source reference is provided it makes the information transparent. I suggest that to read a range of peer reviewed articles and make up your own mind. Soy whole bean products have been eaten by asian people who have had historically brilliant health. However most soy products in the west are fractured processed industry goods, i make my own soy milk, tofu and tempeh from scratch and have no health issues. The problem is industrialisation of all foods, not foods themselves.

Personal medical proof of soy products
by: Malc

I am not bothered about he/she being anonymous or not. What does bother me is the constant propaganda against the vegan diet. I am 64 years old. I became a vegan in my thirties, though I did slip in and out of being vegan to veggie (sometimes meat). When I met my wife she also became vegan. When I was fifty we moved house, I registered with a new doctor. She gave me a medical check, was pleased how healthy I was. All my blood results were at healthy levels. When I told her I was vegan and very active she was not too happy. For goodness sake, I was in tip-top condition what on earth was she on about. My blood tests did not include check for B12 deficiency, so she insisted on checking it as if determined to find some fault with my diet. But, my B12 level was fine.

So, if you are doing ok on soy products without any signs of ill health, stick with it.

My wife is a nurse and she saw the article on soy from anonymous; her first comment as a medical professional was: You always have to quote references when making such powerful and possibly misleading quotes. (Will anonymous divulge to us where all this medical/scientific information came from?).

I have had Hep c for 40 years. Many vegans I have been in touch with (on-line) who have or had Hep c, their vegan diet in many cases caused the virus to be minimal or undetectable. The virus thrives on cholesterol.

I saw my doctor this morning for blood results, my liver function tests (LFTs) came back as normal. My liver is in very good condition! This doctor thinks my healthy vegan diet is really the way to go!

Also, there is no cholesterol in soy milk, or any other vegan food.

(No GM of course)

Author Is Not Lying
by: Stalean

I can't believe just because someone writes their views anonymously that they become suspect. If you read the whole article, you would see that not once did they mention eating meat or meat products to substitute for unfermented soy. I have been directed NOT to eat raw soy or soy flour products by my oncologist as I have had estrogen-receptor pre-cancer cells in lumps removed from my breasts. I also have hypothyroidism, and my gastroenterologist has advised against soy products that are not fermented. This author has the lowdown on soy (and research to back it), believe it.

Only condemned soy
by: Medis

But the response was all for veganism and vegetarianism?

A five-star bunch of lies!
by: Susan Cockrell

That the writer of this piece, "Some Dangers of Soy," chooses to remain anonymous says it all! If we knew who wrote this, we would likely find a path back to the meat industry. They have endless time and resources to slam the diets of those who are trying to do better--for the world, for the animals, and for themselves.

I call this writer a liar, because he/she refused to give his/her name OR to cite any peer-reviewed studies. Give me your sources, anonymous person, and I will search them out. I want data produced by reputable scientists NOT funded by the meat industry (stockgrowers, cattle producers, dairy interests, and others who have joined together to thwart the vegetarian-vegan "scare".

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