Since their recognition as part of some plant foods like soy and flax seeds phytoestrogens have been called into question for their potential to mimic the effects of real estrogens.Phytoestrogens in plants are known as isoflavones.
In some cases this is a critical question. Take for instance a woman who is on estrogen blockade therapy for an estrogen dependent breast cancer. Estrogen can stimulate the progression of this and other forms of cancer and as such ridding the body of all estrogen is key to survival.
Food manufacturers have said that phytoestrogens don’t convey the same biological effects as real estrogen citing a weaker affinity to the estrogen receptor and strength of estrogenicity. But then industry funded research shows that these isoflavones may protect against osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, diabetes and obesity.. Hmmm just like real estrogen replacement therapy. Let’s face it, they don’t want women to stop drinking soy milk! But are they telling the truth?
Applying some critical thinking fueled by a banner ad I found, on a scientific journal website marketing to scientists, makes me challenge these claims by the food industry.
This banner ad to the right focuses on researchers who are feeding lab animals a controlled diet for research purposes. The outcome of said research depends on the diet not influencing the hormone levels of the lab animals. As you can see, they are boasting indirectly that their lab animal diets are devoid of phytoestrogens and as such won’t adversely affect the study outcome. So what do these scientist know that the food industry doesn’t? OR, the food industry is hiding?
In my mind it appears from this ad that the presence of phytoestrogens may cause the same effects as estrogens in these lab animals.
So what does that mean to the woman battling breast cancer? Or in remission from breast cancer? Is she raising her likelihood of a reoccurrence of her breast cancer as she enjoys her soy latte each day at her favorite boutique coffee shop? And what of the well-meaning mother that gives her children soy smoothies to start the day each morning? Is she effectively putting her children on hormone replacement therapy in doing so?
This table below shows the amount of phytoestrogen isoflavones in various popular soy products we consume daily.
Soy products are widely consumed in our population today. As such, phytoestrogens that scientists don’t want in their lab animal’s diets, are being pumped into unsuspecting adults and children all over the country. So what should you do? Avoid soy or embrace it? Answer this next question and you’ll have your answer for soy.
Q. Would you knowingly rub estrogen cream on your body or the body of your children every day?
If you answered NO then how can you consume soy based products in good conscience?