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Soy Protein Information


BodybuildingPro.com Nutrition Database Protein Information Database Soy Protein Information

Soy protein is a type of protein derived from soy beans. Soy protein is an excellent source of protein for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant. It is low in fat and lactose free. Like many of the lactose containing alternatives, soy protein is a very good source of digestible protein thanks to it's excellent amino acid combination. It is perfect for many different bodybuilders, including those who simply don't like the taste of whey or cassein protein.

Soy protein is a very healthy, non-animal protein source. It's valuable constituents include saponins, phytosterols, and isoflavones. This is one of the best things about soy protein! Saponins enhance the immune system's function and combine with cholesterol to reduce it's absorption into the body through the small intestine. Phytosterols have also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. The anabolic isoflavones in soy (genistein and daidzein), not only have exhibited effects as powerful antioxidants, but have been shown to exhibit positive health benefits for both men and women such as cancer fighting. Studies have shown they may reduce the risk of hormone-dependent cancers (breast, prostate, etc), and other cancers as well. Soy's primary health benefits include reducing high cholesterol and easing the symptoms of menopause, with secondary emphasis on cancer reduction, osteoporosis help (by building up bone mass).

Research has found that the isoflavones in soy are responsible for the increase in bone mass and density cause by the intake of soy protein. You can benefit greatly from the use of soy, and although it is not a necessity, it might be a good idea to include it in your diet. Soy is also very safe, and is not a problem for allergic reactions for most people.

Below are some common myths regarding soy protein:

Myth: Modern soy foods and supplements offer the same health benefits as traditionally used soy.

Truth: Most modern soy foods are not fermented to neutralize toxins in soybeans, and are processed in a way that denatures proteins and increases levels of carcinogens.

Myth: Soy foods provide complete protein.

Truth: Like all legumes, soy beans are deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine. In addition, modern processing denatures fragile lysine.

Myth: Fermented soy foods can provide vitamin B12 in vegetarian diets.

Truth: The compound that resembles vitamin B12 in soy cannot be used by the human body; in fact, soy foods cause the body to require more B12

Myth: Soy formula is safe for infants.

Truth: Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders. Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D, needed for strong bones and normal growth. Phytic acid in soy foods results in reduced bioavailabilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. Soy also lacks cholesterol, likewise essential for the development of the brain and nervous system. Megadoses of phytoestrogens in soy formula have been implicated in the current trend toward increasingly premature sexual development in girls and delayed or retarded sexual development in boys.

Myth: Soy foods can prevent osteoporosis.

Truth: Soy foods can cause deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, both needed for healthy bones. Calcium from bone broths and vitamin D from seafood, lard and organ meats prevent osteoporosis in Asian countries—not soy foods.

Myth: Modern soy foods protect against many types of cancer.

Truth: A British government report concluded that there is little evidence that soy foods protect against breast cancer or any other forms of cancer. In fact, soy foods may result in an increased risk of cancer.

Myth: Soy foods protect against heart disease.

Truth: In some people, consumption of soy foods will lower cholesterol, but there is no evidence that lowering cholesterol improves one’s risk of having heart disease.

Myth: Soy estrogens (isoflavones) are good for you.

Truth: Soy isoflavones are phyto-endocrine disrupters. At dietary levels, they can prevent ovulation and stimulate the growth of cancer cells. Eating as little as 30 grams (about 4 tablespoons) of soy per day can result in hypothyroidism with symptoms of lethargy, constipation, weight gain and fatigue.

Myth: Soy foods are safe and beneficial for women to use in their postmenopausal years.

Truth: Soy foods can stimulate the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors and cause thyroid problems. Low thyroid function is associated with difficulties in menopause.

Myth: Phytoestrogens in soy foods can enhance mental ability.

Truth: A recent study found that women with the highest levels of estrogen in their blood had the lowest levels of cognitive function; In Japanese Americans tofu consumption in mid-life is associated with the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.

Myth: Soy isoflavones and soy protein isolate have GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status.

Truth: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) recently withdrew its application to the FDA for GRAS status for soy isoflavones following an outpouring of protest from the scientific community. The FDA never approved GRAS status for soy protein isolate because of concern regarding the presence of toxins and carcinogens in processed soy.

Myth: Soy foods are good for your sex life.

Truth: Numerous animal studies show that soy foods cause infertility in animals. Soy consumption enhances hair growth in middle-aged men, indicating lowered testosterone levels. Japanese housewives feed tofu to their husbands frequently when they want to reduce his virility.

Myth: Soy beans are good for the environment.

Truth: Most soy beans grown in the US are genetically engineered to allow farmers to use large amounts of herbicides.

Myth: Soy beans are good for developing nations.

Truth: In third world countries, soybeans replace traditional crops and transfer the value-added of processing from the local population to multinational corporations.


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