[permaculture] Not soy good for you

Tripp Tibbetts slowfoodguy at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 11 13:35:55 EST 2009

Straying from the point or not, this is some of the best information on soy I've ever seen put together from a human nutrition perspective.  Although I agree that proper citation would be helpful.
One thing I might be careful with, in the interest of getting information like this out to a skeptical readership, is Susun Weed's claim that "unfermented soy virtually destroys all zinc in the body."  It's a technicality, but obviously unfermented soy doesn't destroy minerals.  Unfermented soy might chelate or bind zinc in such a way as to render it useless metabolically, but it doesn't destroy it.  The zinc will soldier on despite demon soy's best efforts.  I'd hate to see a thesis of this magnitude disregarded over a technicality.
Aside from that, the only thing I might have missed is how PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) in soybean oil, (and corn, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed oils), work as immunosuppressors in the human body.
Monumental work.  Well done ladies!  If permaculture is to remain on the leading edge of a human Renaissance, I think information like this is extremely appropriate.

The best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow.
-Chinese proverb

--- On Wed, 11/11/09, lbsaltzman at aol.com <lbsaltzman at aol.com> wrote:

From: lbsaltzman at aol.com <lbsaltzman at aol.com>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Not soy good for you
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 11:41 AM

I think articles like this are getting far from the purpose of this list.  I might also mention that this article fails to cite a single source of scientific research to back up its' claims. The article also contains some whopping strawman arguments such as claiming that soy is used so that we can reduce fats.  Soy is being recommended for far different reasons than fat reduction in the scientific literature I have read.  More appropriate to Permaculture is how the soy was grown, processed and got to market, and what its' resultant carbon footprint is.


-----Original Message-----
From: SArjuna at aol.com
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Tue, Nov 10, 2009 6:37 pm
Subject: [permaculture] Not soy good for you

Not Soy Good For You
nformation from Sally Fallon, Mary Enig and Susan Weed:
    -The justification for more soy is based on the spurious notion that 
e should reduce fat. Fats contain many nutrients that are vital for normal 
rowth and development, and that contribute to the proper function of the 
rain and nervous system. (The right fats, of course.)
    -High levels of phytic acid in soy block the absorption of calcium, 
agnesium, copper, iron and and especially zinc and contributes to widespread 
ineral deficiencies.   (Soy is the legume with the most phytates.)
    - Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation 
ethods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets 
aused growth problems in children. 
    - Trypsin inhibitors in soy block the action of enzymes needed for 
rotein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals, soy   
rypsin inhibitors cause stunted growth. 
    - Soybeans contain hemagglutinin, which causes red blood cells to lump 
    -Phytoestrogens in soy can inhibit normal development and can cause 
eproductive and fertility problems later in life. Recent research implicates 
hese phytoestrogens in the development of Alzheimer's and dementia.   They 
re "brain aging" substances. 
    - Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential 
o cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.   
    - Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that inhibit 
hyroid function, leading to fatigue and mental problem.   They cause 
ypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy 
ormula has 
een linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.   Soy isoflavones are the most 
otent thyroid inhibitor, followed by daidzein and genistein.
    - Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase 
he body's requirement for B12. 
    - Soy foods increase the body's requirement for vitamin D.   Vitamin D 
nd B12-both essential for normal growth and development.
    - Modern soy products contain carcinogens and toxins formed during 
rocessing.   Fragile proteins are denatured during high temperature processing 
o make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein. Processing of 
oy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly 
arcinogenic nitrosamines. 
    -   Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during 
oy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods. MSG 
auses neurological problems, including violent behavior.
    - Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the 
ervous system and the kidneys.
    - Soy foods do not provide complete protein, as thought by many.   
ike all legumes, soy beans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids 
ethionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.
    - Fermented soy foods cannot provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets, 
s some believe. The compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy cannot be 
sed by the human body; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12
    - In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but 
here is no evidence that lowering cholesterol decreases the risk of having 
eart disease.
    - Children receiving soy formula as their only food take in over 10 
ime the levels of isoflavones on a body weight basis than the amount shown to 
ause thyroid suppression in adults after three months and about eight 
imes the levels of isoflavones on a body weight basis as the amount shown to 
ause hormonal changes in adults after just one month.
    - Babies on soy formula receive the estrogenic equivalent of at least 
birth control pills per day.   Pediatricians are noticing greater numbers 
f boys whose physical maturation is delayed, or does not occur at all, 
ncluding lack of development of the sexual organs. Learning disabilities, 
specially in male children, have reached epidemic proportions. Soy infant 
eeding, which floods the bloodstream with female hormones that could inhibit 
ffects of male hormones, cannot be ignored as a possible cause for these 
ragic developments.
n alarming number of girls are entering puberty much earlier than normal, 
ccording to a recent study reported in the Journal of Pediatrics. One 
ercent of girls now show signs of puberty, such as breast development or pubic 
air, before the age of three; by age eight, 14.7 percent of white girls and 
whopping 48.3 percent of African-American girls had one or both of these 
haracteristics.   Use of soy formula in the WIC program, supplying free 
ormula to welfare mothers, may explain the astronomical rates of early menarche 
in African-American girls.
    - Aluminum content of soy formula is 10 times greater than that of 
ilk-based formula, and 100 times greater than in unprocessed milk.             
Soy formulas lack cholesterol, another nutrient that is absolutely 
ssential for the development of the brain and nervous system; they also lack 
actose and galactose, which play an equally important role in the development 
f the nervous system.
    No other dietary staple has as many antinutrient drawbacks as soy.   
or so many public relation firms and lobbyists working for it.
     From Susan Weed: 
    Soybeans were one of the five sacred grains in the Orient. [Ancient] 
gricultural reports speak frequently of using soybeans in crop rotation (to 
ix nitrogen and thus improve soil fertility) but there is no indication 
hat soybeans were eaten until fermentation processes were discovered, sometime 
round 440 BCE. The first soy products eaten by people were tempeh, natto, 
iso, and shoyu tamari.   It was not until some centuries later (2nd century 
CE) that the process of making tofu was discovered.
    While it is true that the people of the Orient have [used] tofu as a 
ource of protein for about a thousand years, this is not necessarily by 
hoice nor beneficial. The early Chinese did not eat soybeans, although they did 
eat other pulses, because they recognized the large quantities of a number 
f harmful substances....
    There are more phytates in soybeans than in any other grain, bean, or 
lant studied and these phytates are remarkably resistant to reduction 
echniques. Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the 
hytate content of soybeans....
    Vegetarians - especially vegetarian children - who eat tofu and drink 
oy milk as substitutes for meat and dairy products are at very high risk of 
oss of bone mass and severe mineral deficiencies. Oriental children who 
at soy but no meat, eggs, or dairy often suffer from rickets, stunted growth, 
nd lowered intelligence. Unfermented soy virtually destroys all zinc in 
he body, and zinc is critical for optimal development and functioning of the 
rain, nervous system and immune system.
    The soy industry has concentrated for 20 years on creating markets for 
he byproducts of soy oil manufacture: lecithin and soy protein, [which] 
ere generally (and rightly) considered "poverty foods" and rejected by most 
    The soy industry recognized that, according to a spokesman: "The 
uickest way to gain product acceptability in a less affluent market is to have 
he product consumed on its own merit by those who are more affluent."   Thus 
hese soy byproducts have been cleverly marketed to resemble traditional 
oods: soy milk malteds, soy baby formula, soy yogurt, soy ice cream, coy 
heese, soy hot dogs, and so on. These are fake products, not health foods.
    The production of soy milk does remove trypsin inhibitors, but at the 
xpense of denaturing the proteins, making them indigestible, of creating a 
arcinogen, lysinealine, and of reducing the cystine content, an essential 
mino acid which is already very low in soybeans. The phytate content 
emains, further deranging the diet.
    Soy formula and soy milk is often made with soy protein isolate, an 
xtremely refined product lacking virtually all minerals and vitamins. Many 
oy formulas sold for infants are rich in trypsin-inhibitors which can stunt 
rowth. And all contain staggering amounts of mineral-depleting phytates. The 
luminum content of soy formula is 100 times greater than unprocessed milk. 
luminum has a toxic effects on infants kidneys and may be a cause of 
lzheimer's in adults. Soy formula lacks three important nutrients found in all 
ilk: cholesterol, which is essential for brain development, and lactose and 
alactose, which play vital roles in the development and functioning of the 
    Allergies to soy are at least as common as allergies to milk. 
itrosamines, potent carcinogens often associated with meat, are found in high 
oncentrations in all commercial soy protein foods. Isoflavones, 
ubstances present in soybeans may have a pro-cancer effect when consumed 
nfermented. Although soybeans contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, 
hese acids are particularly susceptible to rancidity when subjected to the 
igh heat and pressure require to remove the oil from the bean; such 
ancidity promotes cancer and heart disease. Additionally, all soy oil is 
ith a solvent, traces of which remain in the oil.
Shivani's own experience:
    I relied heavily on tofu for years until routine blood work showed 
hyroid insufficiency.   No wonder I was always chilly when others felt warm 
nd comfortable.   I had to undertake thyroid hormone replacement in order to 
e functional, but looked for the reason for my problem in order to be able 
o remove it and get my thyroid working well again.   Soy consumption soon 
oomed as a likely culprit.   (Abetted, IMHO, by electrical pollution, which 
ad considerably increased my stress load.)   I stopped eating all 
nfermented soy products in June of 2002.   My thyroid hormone dosage began at 
cg. a day.   By October 2003 I was taking just 1.5 mcg. in the early evening, 
he time when I consistently had the most trouble.   A few months later, I 
as able to ease off altogether.
    As the change in diet was undertaken concurrently with reduction of 
lectrical pollution in my home environment, it is not possible to say if my 
hyroid would have healed with just one change or the other.   However, those 
tressed by electrical pollution seem to “break” at their weakest link, so 
o speak.   So what had weakened my thyroid?   I believe it was regular 
onsumption of tofu.
    Others have had similar experiences.   If your thyroid gland activity 
s down due to soy consumption, though, recovery is certainly possible, so 
o for it.    
    You can very effectively self-test for thyroid insufficiency by doing 
he Basal Metabolism Test.   This will accurately show problems that many 
lood tests do not.
     Shivani in WI

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