Are Soy based products really harmful?
Fact or Fiction?
Soy is often used as an alternative to meat, poultry and other meat-based products. The FDA has given permission for food manufacturers to label foods high in soy protien as having the ability to possibly lower heart disease risks. While their has rison a controversy since the approval by the FDA concerning certain comonents, particularly isoflavones, Elizabeth A. Yetley, Ph.D., lead scientist for nutrition at FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition says that all dietary health claims that have ever been published have had controversy.
While many foods have a positive effect on many people, they can have an adverse reaction on others such as allergic reactions. They have also been cautioning post-menapausal women due to the isoflavone content in some soy based foods as studies have not yet determined for sure if this means higher risk in these women of breast cancer.
However, with the FDA approval in place, sales of soy based foods are up because of the extra attention from news and media. The FDA approval came in response to a petition by Protein Technologies International Inc. They are a leading soy producer, which tracks its origins to soybean studies sponsored by Henry Ford in the early 1930s
The FDA, in considering the petition, reviewed data from 27 clinical studies as well as other studies adentified by the FDA. The research consistantly showed that the regular consuption of soy protien lowered cholesterol to varying degrees.
While studies show that it reduces the level of LDL's (bad cholesterol), it has not proven any effect on the level of HDL, (good cholesterol) which, in higher levels has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Many consumers may find that adding soy protien to their diets may prove to be a very healthy choice. However, if you are prone to allergic reactions, it may serve you well to consult with your doctor about any concerns you have and ask his advice on implementing soy protien into your diet. If you would like more information on soy protiens from the FDA website, there is a wealth of information at fda.org that can be helpful to you.
As with any product, you will always find many negative postings and reactions. There are all sorts of claims from soy causing brain cancer to soy causing our kids to be gay. I believe it is better to get the information from someone who has many different forms of study, rather than a few people's personal opinions. But that, also is my personal opinion.