Estrogen in Soy: What are the Facts?
Estrogen in Soy. Should we be Worried?
From the very beginning, the Vegan movement has been associated with femininity, pacifism, and oftentimes derided by so-called manly men who have fallen prey to superb marketing.
With the popularity Veganism has enjoyed, the public have been witness to NBA players, professional bodybuilders, and ultramarathoners, all thriving from a vegan diet. Among the final frontiers in the argument against veganism is the assertion that soy products, commonly found in many vegan items, promotes the growth of free estrogen in the body. Since estrogen is linked to various primarily-female cancers, and in men to weakness, laziness, and lack of muscle, this fear has held the line for the meat-marketers of the nation.
Let’s take a deeper look into the impact soy has on your estrogen, and what’s really slowing you down.
Phytoestrogen vs. Estrogen
Phytoestrogen are estrogen like compounds found in plant based foods such as vegetables, grains, and seeds. They have been known to be very effect for women experiencing symptoms of menopause. These estrogenic compounds are at the heart of the soy stigma. However, they are being vilified in the eyes of meat consumers to an almost joking level, considering the severity of their impact against animal products.
Phytoestrogens are very ineffective in promoting increasing of free estrogen. Why? They’re plant based! Compare this to the growth hormones, estrogen, and other disrupting chemicals found both naturally and artificially in poultry, dairy, beef, and much more. The compounds produced by a nursing cow, for example, have a far more powerful effect on human estrogen than soy ever would.
An Inverse Effect
Soy’s phytoestrogen is notable weaker than its animal based counterpart, but did you know that in pre-menopausal women and young men, that soy can have an opposite effect on estrogen? Often, as cited recently in the film The Game Changers, the phytoestrogens in soy actually served to blockade the body’s estrogen receptors from absorption, functioning as an anti-estrogen.
Should I eat more soy?
Maybe! Soy is one of the most abundant, affordable, and versatile plant proteins. While we don’t utilize it in Chocolate Magic, the stigma around soy is exaggerated at best, misleading at worst. Soy is high in B Vitamins, fiber, complete protein, magnesium, and potassium.
Should anything about soy worry me?
You should be mindful when shopping for anything, but there are some concerns regarding the cultivation and purchase of soy products. Soy is often a GMO crop, with 94% of USA soy acreage dedicated to the GMO variety in 2018. Soy can also be heavily doused with glyphosphate, or cultivated from deforested land, particularly in Brazil. Also buy organic soy, and be mindful of the land it was harvested from.
If you buy organic, ethically harvested soy, you’ve got little to worry about! Soy will never compete with the estrogen found in animal products, eaten by the lobbyists who support the perpetuation of this stigma.