Tofu, edamame and tempeh are high-quality sources of protein that are low in calories and saturated fat and high in vitamins and minerals. However are there a subset of people who should avoid soy foods? Should men avoid soy products because of possible feminizing effects, lowering of testosterone and the fact that soy contains plant estrogens called phytoestrogens? The short answer is no…..and this meta-analysis showed that soy products do not affect testosterone levels in men. Interestingly soy may be protective against prostate cancer. This is because prostate cells carry beta type estrogen receptors, which appear to act as tumor suppressors, inhibiting invasion, proliferation, and preventing the prostate cells from turning cancerous and those are the very receptors targeted by the phytoestrogens in soy.
This analysis showed that increased intake of soy resulted in a 26 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk and even a 30 percent risk reduction with non fermented soy products such as tofu. I must stress that it’s very important to eat soy in it’s whole form and not to eat isolated so protein products like soy burger, powders etc. Now there have been two case reports of men who consumed 14-20 servings of soy foods a day who did experience feminizing effects but that’s the equivalent of consuming 5 liters of soy milk every day so of course it’s dose dependent. Now what about women at risk of breast cancer? In the past it was recommended that those who have, or are at risk of developing estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer should avoid eating soybean-based foods because they contain the isoflavones.
Isoflavones are similar in structure to estrogen so there was a fear that soy could act as estrogen in the body and stimulate cancer cells and encourage tumor growth. Well let’s hear from Dr Michael Greger as he addresses this concern……[Dr Greger] Yes until 2007 we didn’t know either way because there weren’t any human studies so soy did one thing to hamsters and other things to rats and there was a lot of controversy, until finally it was put to the test. The original study was published in the journal AMA there’s since been five studies done to date looking at breast cancer survivors involving thousands of breast cancer survivors basically split into two groups half eat soy, half don’t eat soy and just asking simple questions who lives longer and who has lower cancer re occurrence risk, lower risk of the cancer coming back and in every single study,
five out of five studies, women with breast cancer eating soy live significantly longer, have significantly lower risk of the cancer coming back, when you put all the studies together so five out of five. It couldn’t get more clearer so not only should breast cancer survivors not avoid soy they should actively include soy in their daily diet and this goes for a woman with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, estrogen receptor negative, on tamoxifen, off tamoxifen and in fact it’s particular beneficial for those women with BRCA genes with these breast cancer genes at particularly high risk, soy is even more protective for them not only for preventing breast cancer in the first place but extending the life of those with breast cancer and significantly reducing risk of the cancer returning.
People don’t understand about soy there are two types of estrogen receptors in the body, alpha and beta so the phytoestrogens in soy preferentially bind to the beta receptors whereas our own endogenous estrogen binds to the alpha receptors so the effect that soy has on the tissues of the body depends on the relative ratio from alpha to beta. I mean estrogen has positive effects on some tissues like bone health whereas it has negative effects other places like increasing risk of breast cancer so ideally we would have some kind of selective estrogen receptor modulator and that’s exactly what soy does. Soy has anti-estrogenic effects where you want them like reducing the risk of breast cancer but pro estrogenic effects where you want them like reducing menopausal hot flashes that’s actually a pro-estrogenic effect so you get the best of both worlds when you eat soy.
So the most important thing is that you’re eating whole soy foods so I encourage people to eat a diet centered around whole plant foods and so the more of the food is whole the better. So even something like tofu, that is a processed food, you know, you take a soy bean and you remove about 80% of the fiber remove about half of the minerals and you’re left with tofu. Now soybeans are so incredibly healthy you can remove most of the nutrition and are still left with a really healthy food but tempeh is even better you can see the individual soybeans right there in front of you something like miso something like edamame, whole foods is really the critical point.
soya chunks you’re getting about 52 grams of protein per hundred grams and hundred grams of soya chunks come for about 20 rupees compare that to eggs if you want 52 grams of protein from eggs you need to spend about 40 rupees so soya chunks are half the price of eggs so your chunks and soy products in general are fantastic for building muscle but chances are if you tell a gym bro to take so a chance they’ll react like this yo soy un man boobs or what now here’s the unfortunate truth about jimbros if for most of their life they’ve believed in a particular concept and they formed an opinion on that concept it’s very difficult to ask them to reconsider their opinion now in today’s video I’m not asking you to listen in my opinion I’m asking you to listen to the opinion of science don’t form opinions based on something you’ve heard someone say
if you want to form an opinion on something fitness related first you got a science the shit out of it now understand this topic better you gotta understand where this whole myth comes from now any soy derived product contains a compound called isoflavones and isoflavones are called phytoestrogens phyto means plant and estrogen is the female hormone responsible for giving you female characteristics and unfortunately for most people this is where the story ends you’re eating estrogen grow obviously will become a chick and unfortunately it’s not just the guys a lot of women are also concerned about soya
because they think it messes with their hormonal system but again to understand the truth let’s dive a little bit deeper into the science now isoflavones are called phytoestrogens because they’re capable of combining with the east asian receptors all over your body but what is – gene receptors now East Regine receptors are these proteins found on cells all over your body even on the guys and Eastridge and by itself which means the female hormone doesn’t have any effects without combining with the east asian receptors you know if you’re trying to light a firecracker you need the wick and you need the flame so the flame is the Easter gene that set off the whole thing
but the East region receptor is the wick only together will they have an action now these receptors basically allow East region to do its thing and they found all over your body in your bones they allow for a deposition of calcium in the bones on your skin it helps in keeping the skin looking you’ll know when it’s combined with these students now the isoflavones that you ingest when you eat soy products also have the ability to combine with these receptors but the thing to note here is that they don’t combine with the receptors the same way the East region does they combine weakly with the receptors but just to be sure let’s put numbers on this so there were these studies done when rodents were given a huge amount of isoflavones
and the rodents did show an elevated estrogen level and a drop in the testosterone levels but not so fast the rodents were given about twenty milligrams per kg of body weight converting that the human numbers for every gram of protein that you’re getting from soya you’re ingesting about three milligrams of isoflavones so even if you have 100 grams of soya you’re getting about 52 grams of protein which means you’re getting about 156 milligrams of isoflavones so if you’re a 70 kg dude and you’re ingesting 100 grams of soya chunks you’re only getting about 2.2 milligrams per kg or body weight now just for a minute compare that with the 20 mg per kilogram
that those mice were given if as a human being you want to be consuming 20 mg per kg that means you need to consume about 1,400 milligrams if you’re a 70 kg individual which amounts to about 467 grams of protein and if you want 467 grams of protein just from soya chunks you have to consume a kilo of soya chunks every single day if you actually want manboobs through the soya chunks and if you want your hormones to get affected you got to be consuming a kilo of soya chunks every single day you gotta understand that unfortunately the fitness industry is full of egos and a lot of propaganda and there are rumors that the whey protein industry and the meat industry have had a role to play so we are having such a bad name
now soya having such a bad name is linked to isoflavones but what they don’t tell you is that isoflavones also have a lot of other health benefits they use in everything from cancer therapy to hormone replacement treatment to helping with your bone density and a bunch of other things okay but just for a bit let’s turn our attention away from the science and the numbers and let’s look at Japan and Japanese food culture a lot of the dishes are centered around soya products like tofu and miso sauces everything that contains isoflavones
but none of them have hormonal problems or manboobs or reproductive problems or anything like that now if a culture like that has survived and prospered for thousands of years and thousands of generations of eating soya what makes you think that that little bit of soya chunks are you eating every day will change your hormonal system or your hormonal profile or will make you more manly or more feminine or things like that okay now that we know that you can consume so a chance