Many people love soy because of its health-promoting qualities. But once you learn that unfermented soy can actually damage your sexual health, will you still continue to eat it?
According to many studies, the estrogenic isoflavones found in soy can interfere with the usage and production of testosterone in your body, leading to loss of libido, impaired sperm production, and erectile dysfunction.
A 19 year-old man learned this the difficult way. After becoming vegan, he started consuming large quantities of soy in the form of tofu, soy milk, soy crisps, soy nuts, soy sauce, and edamame. He soon experienced reproductive health problems, such as erectile dysfunction and loss of libido.
In an article posted on the Weston A. Price Foundation website, Dr. Kaayla Daniel explained:
“This level of soy consumption is far above average, yet increasingly common these days as people quit meat and dairy products for soy substitutes…
After discontinuing his vegan diet and eliminating soy foods altogether, he noticed a gradual improvement in sexual function over the course of a year and his lab tests revealed gradual normalization of testosterone and DHEA levels.” (link)
Dr. Joseph Mercola agrees that the introduction of soy as a health food was one of the most successful myth-making campaigns in the food industry. Soy brings a host of health benefits as long as it is traditionally fermented. The non-fermented soy products sold today DO NOT offer the same benefits.
Are You Putting Your Reproductive Health At Risk?
Unfermented soy contains isoflavones that mimic estrogen so effectively that they are able to bind to estrogen receptors. This is one possible reason why it may have dire effects on your reproductive health.
A Chinese study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology revealed that genistein, a naturally-occurring isoflavone in soy beans, may alter the male reproductive system. It interferes with the production of enzymes involved in the process of producing sperm. (link)
Non-fermented soy may also cause precocious puberty. An animal study revealed that young male hamsters who were given the soy isoflavone genistein appeared to have a delayed or retarded sexual development. Meanwhile, female hamsters showed physical signs of sexual maturity and interest in mating much more quickly than hamsters that naturally matured.
Dr. Mercola explains that precocious puberty may be dangerous. Girls who go through puberty early in life increase their risk of developing breast and uterine cancer, both of which are influenced strongly by estrogen.
More Detrimental Effects of Soy
Soy has been linked to numerous health ailments, like digestive distress, malnutrition, immune-system breakdown, cognitive decline, thyroid dysfunction, cancer, and heart disease. Dr. Daniel details all these harmful health problems in her book The Whole Soy Story.
Here are some of the disorders associated with unfermented soy consumption:
- Soy phytoestrogens may potentially cause infertility and promote breast cancer in adult women because they disrupt endocrine function.
- Soy contains trypsin inhibitors that interfere with protein digestion and lead to pancreatic disorders. Animals given soy with trypsin inhibitors had stunted growth.
- When soy protein is processed, toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines are formed. Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, also forms during soy food processing.
- Soy products have high aluminum levels, a toxin that may damage your nervous system and kidneys.
- High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, and zinc, and potentially cause growth problems in children.
What’s worse is that 90 to 95 percent of soy products today are genetically-modified (GM). GM soy and other GM products are sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, which contains an active ingredient called glyphosate. Glyphosate is linked to genetic damage and hormonal imbalance among women, which causes infertility, birth defects, and cancer.
The Only Safe Soy You Should Consume
Dr. Mercola says that the soy products you should consume are those that are traditionally fermented and made from organic soy. Fermenting the soy reduces the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of the soybean. Traditionally fermented soy has beneficial properties for your digestive system.
Dr. Mercola recommends these traditionally fermented soy products:
- Miso is commonly used in miso soup and is a fermented soybean paste with a salty and buttery texture.
- Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that has a firm texture and a nutty, mushroom-like flavor.
- Natto is made from fermented soybeans and has a sticky texture and a strong, cheese-like flavor.
- Soy sauce is traditionally made by fermenting soybeans with salt and enzymes. However, beware of soy sauce brands that are made artificially using a chemical process.