Senior year of high school I unfortunately became lactose intolerant and took up the joys of drinking soy milk. Lately, however, I’ve been hearing a lot of gossip about how soy milk and other soy products mimic and/or contain hormonal estrogen, which in turn adversely affects the estrogen levels in the body. Ergo, about a month ago I switched to lactose free dairy milk, instead of soy milk! Which to me isn’t as delicious, but it will have to do if I want to continue binge eating on cereal! Ironically however, when I was at the gym today, watching Dr. Oz, I heard that soy milk is a great sources of protein and can help guard against hormonally driven cancers.
Why is everything so contradicting??? I was on the search for answers!
When reading my food tox lecture notes I stumbled on a slide that reassured me of Dr. Oz’s answer. “Dietary Cancer Protectors. Soy: Epidemiologic data are inconsistent however, 30-60 mg a day are associated with decreased risk of prostate, lung, breast, and colon cancer.”
Here’s the deal. Soy does not contain estrogen, it does, however, contain isoflavones, better known as phytoestrogens or “plant estrogens.” Phytoestrogens are weaker versions of estrogen and prevent the effects of your natural estrogen levels from being too high or too low. High consumption of isoflavones causes the body to think it’s producing too much estrogen, in turn your body slows down the production of estrogen and increases its breakdown.Thus, isoflavones have been studied for many beneficial effects; including supporting heart and bone health, minimizing menopausal symptoms, and reducing the risk of some cancers including prostate, lung, breast, and colon cancer. In addition, replacing dairy milk with soy milk lowers your saturated fat and cholesterol intake!
The recommended soybean product serving size is 1-2 servings a day. Remember, everything is toxic, it all depends on the dose! Thus, I’ll be switching back to soy milk!
So, enjoy your glass of soy milk tomorrow morning! Whether it’s with cereal or coupled with a toasted bagel!
P.S. here’s some last-minute food safety tips! According livestrong.com, if you have or have had breast, prostate, endometrial, or other hormonal cancers, you should consult with your doctor before increasing your soy consumption. Furthermore, high soy consumption may interfere with certain blood thinners or thyroid medications.