So let’s see what is found in soy and what actions it has. Having examined in the light of current science data, running assertions about soy – not without a purpose – we will find that are cited numerous acts of certain works, taken out of context and  filled with totally incorrect assertions, presented in a way apparently plausible.

For example, dr. Ron White has published a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition [2000 vol. 19 (number 2), p.242-255], which shows that the intake of tofu, two or more weekly servings, accelerates the brain aging process. But the studied group of men was two years older than the control group, and among those studied there were several which already had a stroke. Also, in the group studied, a larger number were coming from poor families, perhaps with a poor nutrient intake during intrauterine life and possibly in early childhood, which may have contributed to a reduced brain development. No serious conclusions can be drawn based on this single work regarding the influence of soy products on the brain.

If we were to believe some titles that appear in the tabloid press, billions of asians should suffer mental retardation, deficits of mineral substances, present development disorder, infertility (you heard something like this about chinese?), present joint deformities and early cerebral aging. Asians health and the received Nobel prizes by them in countries where freedom and material conditions have allowed serious scientific research proves just the opposite.

Regular consumption of soy has been held responsible for different malignant tumors that are more prevalent in the asian region. Compared with the rest of the world population, asians frequently suffer from esophageal and gastric cancer and much rarer of colon, prostate, breast and lungs cancer.

 Today, it is known that the large number of gastric and esophageal cancers are not due to soy products, but the increased consumption of salt, as well as meat and brine or grilled fish.

The risk of esophageal cancer increases with the alcohol consumption, that is met often in asia, and very hot food and drinks.

Those who draw attention to the higher number of oesophageal and stomach cancers in the asian area are hushing the fact that prostate, breast and colon neoplasia is much lower – for example, in Japan, the prostate cancer occurs 4-5 times less than in the United States.

It was argued that asians would have a genetic protection against cancer, however, when they emigrate to the west, their cancer risk becomes identical to that of population among which they settled. It considers that this phenomenon is due to the adoption of western-style diet and to the diminishing of soy consumption. When the Japanese emigrates to Hawaii, their urinary isoflavone declines rapidly, liken to those who consume a western – type diet, which shows a marked decrease in traditional food intake.

Some recent data on soy and malignant tumors

  • Bowman Birk inhibitor in soy prevents the cancer gene product manifestation, thus contributing to the prevention of cancer.


A special place among phytochemical substances lately found is occupied by genistein, daidzein and glicetin, which have the following actions:

  • inhibiting tyrosine – kinase – protein – enzyme (PTK), slow the aggressive tumors increase;
  • due to the antioxidant effect can decrease the production of oxygen reactive species, so can reduce the number of free radicals, which plays an important role in the emergence of malignant tumors;
  • can break the DNA chains of malignancies cells;
  • can slow or even stop the cell multiplying, helping to control of some unwanted cellular proliferation;
  • can inhibit the development of metastases by inhibiting angiogenesis, ie the formation of new blood vessels necessary for tumor growth;
  • can help steroid hormone metabolism, inhibiting the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme.

There is the wrong opinion that the administration of soy milk would not be indicated for children. Recent research shows that genistein consumed at a very young age prepares the mammary gland cells to withstand the effects of dimethylbenzanthracene, a strong carcinogen substance, administered much later.

Other research conducted in the United States (Alabama) showed that soy favors the maturation and differentiation of mammary cells, thus reducing their vulnerability towards cancer. This means that in order to get the maximum effect, soy should be consumed since  childhood. These studies explains why using genistein in adult age can not protect so well against breast neoplasms, the most common cancer in nonsmokers women.

Categories: Diet, Health, Nutrition
Tags: soy

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