|Enewsletter • April 21, 2004|
Feature: Is Soy Safe?
To those who went to last week's "Just for Fun" link after it was changed.
To everyone taking part in National Leaflet Day!
Adopt a College Update
Please get involved -- it would be great to reach at least 70,000 students before the end of the school year. If you can, consider donating to support these efforts!
The Next Week
The office will basically be closed for the next week.
Tomorrow, April 22, Jack Norris will be speaking at Youngstown State University, after leafleting at Kent State and University of Akron. The next day, Jack and Matt Ball will be leafleting at Grove City College, Slippery Rock University, and Allegheny College.
Jack and Matt will be at the Animal Liberation Conference in Syracuse, NY, April 24-25. Jeff Jenson is organizing an Ithaca gathering with Jack and Matt for the evening of Sunday, April 25. It will be at the ABC Cafe at 7pm;for more information, please e-mail Jeff.
The 26th, Matt and Jack will be leafleting at Cornell University and Ithaca College. The 27th, we will be at West Virginia University and Washington and Jefferson College.
We are just a few hundred dollars from being able to print the new version of Why Vegan (the updated Try Vegetarian has already gone to press). See here for current total. You could be the one to push us over the top!
"Virginia's egg business heats up. But is there a difference between factory and farm?"
A human auction will be held on Saturday, 4/24 to benefit CARBS, the unfortunate victims of our post-Atkins society. Participants may bid on a vegan date of their choice and find love the old-fashioned way. The benefit, to be held at the Seattle club the Hideaway (formerly Sit and Spin) at 8:00 pm, will also feature literature and prizes promoting the utility of CARBS along with the music of Beloved Binge, Maxus Tale, and Dorkweed. Beloved Binge will also celebrate the release of their debut album; 25% of CD sales go directly to Vegan Outreach. See www.belovedbinge.com for a press release and details.
Reprinted from the January/February 2004 Issue of VegNews :
I am also aware of many articles circulating on the Internet and in health magazines which say that soy is bad for you. First of all, let me say that there are at least 30 - 40 scientific papers on soy published each month. If you do a search on PubMed, you will find almost 7,000 papers with “soy” in the title and over 19,000 with soy in the abstract. So, it would be quite easy to build a false case against soy by citing a handful of these thousands of studies.
To sum up the research on humans, the bulk of the evidence indicates that 2 to 3 servings of soy is perfectly safe, possibly even protective against disease. A serving of soy is 1/2 cup of tofu, tempeh, soybeans or textured vegetable protein, or 1 cup of soymilk.
The following is a list of problems said to be caused by soy. I will quickly cover each one.
Soy contains goitrogens which are substances that cause goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid. It is the same disease people get from both iodine deficiency and iodine excess and it can cause metabolic problems. Most people who have a reliable source of iodine can safely eat soy without it causing a problem for their thyroid. Some vegans might not get enough iodine because it is inconsistently found in foods. I recommend that vegans (who do not each much seaweed) get 75-150 mcg of iodine every few days from a supplement to ensure they are getting enough. Seaweed can also be a good source of iodine (sometimes too much, so be careful).
There is a debate about whether soy prevents or causes breast cancer. Some women have estrogen-positive breast cancer, meaning their tumors have estrogen receptors and are thought to grow from contact with estrogen. Soy contains isoflavones which are weak estrogens. It is not known if this is good or bad. The isoflavones could stimulate estrogen positive breast tumors, or they could dull the effect of real estrogen on the tumor. There has been little research performed on humans. If I was a woman who had breast cancer or who was at high risk for breast cancer, I might limit soy until more is known. But, that might be cutting out a food that is protective -- we just don’t know at this time.
One study from Hawaii linked tofu consumption with lower cognitive function. Other studies have linked soy to better cognitive function. A study of Seventh-day Adventists, many of whom have consumed soyfoods all of their lives, showed lower dementia in old age than the general population. So, there doesn’t seem to be much to fear here.
People prone to oxalate kidney stones might want to limit their intake of soy as many soyfoods are high in oxalates.
On a Brighter Note
There is evidence that soy intake may be protective against heart disease, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, and menopausal symptoms. Tempeh is also a good source of absorbable zinc.
Of course, some people are allergic to soy and should avoid it. Other people say they feel better when not eating soy. And other people feel better when they do eat soy. So, you never know. But the research indicates it’s “not unsafe” for most people at 2 to 3 servings a day.
Messina V, Messina M. "Is It Safe to Eat Soy?"
It True What They Say About Soy?" UC
Berkeley Wellness Letter, November