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How healthy is soy?

  1. Soy products such as tempà © and tofu are increasingly on the menu in the Netherlands as a meat substitute. The soybean is healthy, but what about the phytoestrogens in soy?

  1. Soy products are made from the soybean, a legume. Soy mainly provides proteins, essential amino acids and unsaturated fats. A large number of products can be made with it. In addition to meat substitutes such as tempà ©  and tofu, these are milk, cream, margarine and yogurt. The 'meatballs' in tins of soup often consist partly of soy. There is soy ice cream and some fruit drinks are based on soy.

Cholesterol level

  1. Soy has been eaten in China for many hundreds of years. Soy is also popular in Japan. Soy is mainly praised for its health effects. The most well-known property is that it is good for cholesterol levels. Various studies have shown that soy, when used regularly, can indeed slightly reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.


  1. A lot of research is being done on soy because of the isoflavones that occur in the bean. These flavones produce phytoestrogens: genistein and daidzein. These substances are very similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. So if you eat a lot of soy, you get a lot of estrogen-like substances. Despite all the scientific studies, little is known about what these substances do in the body. Some other vegetables and grains also contain phytoestrogens, but to a much lesser extent than in soy.

Soy and cancer

  1. Studies show that men are slightly less likely to have prostate enlargement and prostate cancer if they regularly eat soy. Soy is also said to prevent arteriosclerosis. However, no hard evidence has yet been provided for this. It is clear that in countries where a lot of soy is eaten, certain types of cancer occur slightly less than average than elsewhere. In addition to prostate cancer, it concerns breast cancer and certain types of colon cancer. An example is the Japanese island of Okinawa, where tofu is often on the menu. The life expectancy of people in Okinawa is one of the highest in the world. But critics point out that this could also be due to other causes in lifestyle and diet.

Breast Cancer

  1. In recent years, soy has regularly made negative headlines. Soy is said to hinder the functioning of the thyroid gland and it could make breast cancer worse. Although there are quite a few studies that contradict each other on these points, the preliminary conclusion seems to be that none of these suspicions are correct. [! 162350 => 1130 = 6!] Soy against hot flashes

  1. The estrogen-like compounds in soy are said to reduce the severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. But several studies show opposite results on this point. In some women, a small beneficial effect against hot flashes may develop after a minimum of 12 weeks of daily consumption of soy products. Another supposed beneficial effect of soy on bone loss cannot be substantiated by research.

Sperm Cells

  1. According to some statistical studies in 2006 and 2008, soy in men is said to have an inhibitory effect on the production of sperm cells. But subsequent clinical studies have not shown an association between male fertility and regular soy consumption. Based on a series of recent studies, the US Food and Drug Administration (FD) concludes that soy products are safe foods with at least proven minor beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels and prostate cancer. Sources: Â Food info Knowledge link BBC MayoClinic Independent

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