Sorting Out Soy by Dr. Janna House

Sorting Out Soy by Dr. Janna House

Chiropractic London ON Sorting Out Soy

The Way I See It…

Soy is one of the most controversial foods on the market. It’s been touted as a superfood by some and a hormone-disrupting poison by others. Let’s take a closer look at soy in London.

The Science Behind It…

Soy is not the healthy choice many believe it to be.

A multitude of research points to the same conclusion, which is that the risks of consuming unfermented soy products far outweigh any possible benefits.

Soy Sad…

The five main reasons you should avoid unfermented soy: Over 90% of conventional soybeans grown in the US are genetically modified.

  1. They have been modified to make them immune to the toxic pesticide, Glycosophate (Roundup). Conventionally grown soybeans are exposed to high doses of glycosophate. [1]
  2. Unfermented soybeans contain “goitrogens,” which hinder thyroid function. [2] When the thyroid is not working properly, a cascade of health problems may result, including digestive issues, food allergies, difficulty losing weight, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, difficulty conceiving children, and many more.
  3. Unfermented soybeans contain the plant form of estrogen, phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens have been linked to breast cancer, kidney stones, and impaired memory in seniors. And so, if you’re a male consuming extra estrogen, it’s going to give you more feminine characteristics and decreased sperm count. [3] If you’re a woman consuming foods that increase estrogen levels, it’s going to increase your risk of some types of breast cancer [4][5], cervical cancer, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and other hormone imbalance-related disorders. Here’s the confusion. Soy contains phytoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the body. If you are deficient in estrogen, then it could be beneficial for your body, and actually help prevent breast cancer, but if you already have a good level of estrogen in your body, eating unfermented soy will increase your levels and could put you at risk for estrogen-dependent cancers. I say it’s best to avoid unfermented soy.
  4. Unfermented soybeans contain phytates, which prevent the body from absorbing minerals.
  5. Soy-based infant formula is an especially poor option. There is significant evidence that soy-based infant formula can cause harm, both via its isoflavone, phytoestrogen content and its unnaturally high content of manganese and aluminum. [6]

Soy Good…

Soy can be very healthy. I’m sure you have heard that Japanese people live longer and have lower rates of cancer than Americans because they eat so much soy. [7] This is true, but it’s the kind of soy they eat that makes the difference. They primarily eat fermented soy. The fermentation process reduces the phytate, phytoestrogens, and goitrogens levels. Fermented soy is also an excellent source of vitamin K, which plays an essential role in preventing osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and prostate, lung, and liver cancer. If you chose fermented soy, the benefits outweigh any risk.

What This Means to You…

Avoid the following soy products:

  • Edamame
  • Soy burgers
  • Soy milk and soy milk products such as “ice cream”
  • Textured soy protein
  • Tofu

To enjoy the health benefits of soy, I suggest eating the following fermented soy products:

  • Tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty taste.
  • Miso, a fermented soybean paste with a salty, buttery texture commonly used in miso soup, one of my favorite ways to eat fermented soy, has been associated with lowering the risk for breast cancer [7]. Miso is one of my favorite forms of fermented soy. I buy organic miso soup packets at the local grocery store.
  • Natto, fermented soybeans with a sticky texture and strong cheese-like flavor.
  • Soy Sauce, but one that has been naturally fermented. Look for an organic, gluten-free tamari.

Note, it is very important when choosing your fermented soy, to pick one that is organic as this is the only way to avoid GMOs in your soy products.


Samsel A, Seneff S. 2013. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy. 15(4): 1416-1463. doi: 10.3390/e15041416
Chang HC, Doerge DR. 15 Nov 1997. Anti-thyroid isoflavones from soybean: isolation, characterization, and mechanisms of action. Biochem Pharmacol. 54(10):1087-96.
Chavarro JE, Toth TL, Sadio SM, Houser R. Soy food and isoflavone intake in relation to semen quality parameters among men from an infertility clinic. Oxford JournalsMedicine & Health Human Reproduction. 23(11): 2584-2590.
Allred CD, Allred KF, Ju YH, Virant SM, Helferich WG. 2001 Jul 1. Soy diets containing varying amounts of genistein stimulate growth of estrogen-dependent (MCF-7) tumors in a dose-dependent manner. Cancer Res. 61(13): 5045-50.
Allred CD, Ju YH, Allred KF, Chang J, Helferich WG. 2001 Oct. Dietary genistin stimulates growth of estrogen-dependent breast cancer tumors similar to that observed with genistein. Carcinogenesis. 22(10):1667-73.
Zung A, Glaser T, Kerem Z, Zadik Z. 2008 Feb. Breast development in the first 2 years of life: an association with soy-based infant formulas. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 46(2):191-5. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318159e6ae.
Seiichiro Y, Tomotaka S, Minatsu K, S, Shoichiro T, For the Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study on Cancer Cardiovascular Diseases (JPHC Study) Group. Soy, Isoflavones, and Breast Cancer Risk in Japan.
Gunnars C. Authority Nutrition. Is Soy Bad for You, or Good? The Shocking Truth. [accessed 2016 Oct 24].
Mercola J. 2015. Effortless Healing. First Edition. New York: Harmony.


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