Here is a conversation that I recently had on my
family’s website. I responded to Robin’s
question the best that I knew how, within a limited amount of time. I extend this submission to all of you. Perhaps you will know more about this subject
than I, and be able to provide further enlightenment to us all.
Hey Girl! How’s life in Arizona?
We’re practically neighbors these days!
I have a question for you. I have been getting a lot of requests from brides
asking if we bake a vegan cake. One bride in particular was concerned if we use
soy in any form in our recipes. The answer to that is no, but she went on
inform me that she was trying to stay away from soy because she has
investigated that it is actually bad for your health. Something was said about
soy causing thyroid malfunction, and can also be attributed to Alzheimer’s
developing in later years in those who were fed soy based formulas in
infancy. Now, I have been using soy milk and tofu to off set the hormonal imbalance
of premenopause, which I do find to be of great help. But if I am going to end
up with a thyroid issue, is the cure worth the bother? You being a vegetarian
who uses soy products, may I ask what your thoughts are on this subject, or
have you even heard such news?
Btw, I think that your Blog is great, and if you indeed decide to write a book,
girl, you already have one in the making!
Interesting questions, Robin…
I had heard a bit of general murmuring about this. So when you asked, I figured it was a good
time to do some online sleuthing. After
weeding out the soy promoters and such, I found some interesting info.
As for the Thyroid
I found a lot of
people railing against the FDA for even suggesting a link
between soy and anything even remotely negative. I can thoroughly understand this emotional
response; however, it was not what I was looking for. Then I found a few thoughtful articles. One of the ones I like best was at About.Com. It stated that there has been a link, but the
issue appears to primarily affect individuals who already have thyroid issues
which may be exacerbated to the symptomatic stage. Sort of like an alcoholic would not show
signs until they’d had a drink. Further
investigation uncovered the fact that the amount of soy found in a regular diet
seemed to have no real effect upon the individual. Thyroid problems generally did not appear
unless the person was taking a soy supplement. So, I figure, eat those tofu dogs if you like them. Just don’t pop the pills.
I found no direct link. What I did find was a lot of advice about treating your brain as you
would your heart. – low fat, low cholesterol, regular exercise, etc. Some data referencing this was found at
I did come across some info regarding soy and brain.
Soy isoflavonoids are plant phytoestrogens available as
dietary supplements and are increasingly advocated as a natural alternative to
oestrogen replacement therapy. As weak oestrogen agonists/antagonists with a
range of other enzymatic activities, the isoflavonoids provide a useful model
to investigate the actions of endocrine disruptors. Here, the activational and
organisational effects of these compounds on the brain are reviewed. In spite
of their preferential affinity for oestrogen receptor (ER) in vitro,
isoflavonoids act in vivo through both ER and ER . Their neurobehavioural actions are largely anti-oestrogenic,
either antagonising or producing an action in opposition to that of oestradiol.
Small, physiologically relevant exposure levels can alter oestrogen-dependent
gene expression in the brain and affect complex behaviour in a wide range of
species. The implications for these findings in humans, and particularly in
infants, largely remain uninvestigated but are a subject of increasing public
Unfortunately for me, a subscription must be paid to be able
to read more about this.
To sum up:
Soy seems to be great in moderation. Just like everything else…Martin gals can’t
eat gluten or their bodies attack themselves. My mom & dad can’t eat red meat very often or they’ll have a heart
attack or stroke. Diabetics should
greatly limit their carbohydrates. People with a propensity toward thyroid
issues should avoid soy supplements. I
think the Alzheimer’s information just reiterates life’s need for
Some things should just be common sense. Unfortunately, the general public usually
only gets sound bytes in the evening news, and then never follows through. I’m glad that you did. I hope this helps.
Now, I must finish by saying that being a vegetarian does
not make me an expert. But it does
(despite my attempts not to be) make me somewhat biased. The articles above can be read any number of
ways, and that is why I posted them…please feel free to let me know your
interpretation – or the findings of any more info you may turn up. Meanwhile I’m going to ask my parents. My dad reads JAMA regularly, and my mom is a
super research fanatic about her nutrition and supplements.
Thank you for thinking of me. I’m glad you like my blog. I enjoy it a lot, too. Hopefully soon we can see each other so that
you don’t just have to read about my life. Just be forewarned, you may be featured in a
future a post.