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I've been reading about the potential dangers of soy, what's the story?
Soy is a good food if you are type A. By this it is meant that soy will not make you FEEL good if you are type A. Some of the good things soy is doing may, in fact, make you feel not so great after you eat it, but it is good for you nonetheless. Here it is the effect of soy lectin on the blood and immune system. These uncomfortable reactions are usually temporary. Making sense of the recent controversial articles about soy, phytates, aromatase and minerals:
Phytates are in soy.
Humans secrete phytase (and occasionally consume it), which is an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of phytic acid. Some animals, namely rats, have close to none of this enzyme. This means that in humans it won't bind the minerals nearly as much as it does in rats. Phytates are converted to inositol, and phosphate in the human body which has other beneficial effects. Most "tests" are done on rats [and are not applicable to humans]. Phytic acid protects against the two biggest cancer killers in men and women, namely breast, and prostatic cancer.
The relatively low methionine levels in some phytochemicals such as soy, limit the synthesis of polyamines necessary for tumor growth. Methionine is problematic for type A's in other areas as well: it is linked to elevated levels of homocysteine, a significant risk factor for artery disease.
Genistein and daidzein, the major phytoestrogens in soy are themselves 'aromatase inhibitors. This is true of many isoflavones. Aromatase is an enzyme which converts androgens to estrogens. Aromatase is located in estrogen-producing cells including ovaries, placenta, testicular Sertoli and Leydig cells, adipose, and brain tissues. Aromatase inhibitors are increasingly the drug of choice for managing metastatic breast cancers which have retained estrogen sensitivity.
High levels of the enzyme aromatase stimulate estrogen sensitive cancers. The isoflavones (phytoestrogens) in soy inhibit aromatase. Another potential problem with soy is that of genetic manipulation. An ever increasing amount of soy planted in the United States has been genetically altered.
In addition, many commercial varieties of soy have been manipulated to increase the fat and protein content of the bean. The long term results of these manipulations are unknown, and remian to be seen. In general, organic soy has not been altered or manipulated, and products made from organic soy should be the soy of choice.