Soy and infertility, can they be linked? It’s a controversial thought, but there is some interesting information becoming available.
Dr Joseph Mercola of the USA is one doctor who is very concerned about soy and infertility. He was born in the 1940′s and has watched with alarm for many years what has been happening to our food supply. Dr Mercola is an osteopathic physician and health activist practicing in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Certainly he is a controversial figure, but one has to look at who his detractors, and his supporters are. Who stands to lose and who stands to gain if he is discredited, or validated? As in all things, gather the data, and then make your own informed decision.
Dr. Mercola is sure soy and reproductive health is linked. Soy is one problem he is sure is affecting fertility, in both men and women. Back around 1913, soy crops were being grown in just a few fields; now over 70 million acres of farmland are growing soy.
In the early 1990′s, soy and soy products started to become popular. We were told they held many health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, reducing hot flashes, and protection against certain cancers, to name a few.
We now know there are dangers and side effects from soy protein isolate and genetically modified (GM) foods. The Soyfoods Association of America state, “Soy protein isolate is a dry powder food ingredient. It is either isolated or separated from the other components of the soybean, making it 90-95% protein and nearly carbohydrate and fat free.”
Soy protein isolate is found in bottled fruit drinks, soups, sauces, breakfast cereals, protein bars, baking goods and some diet supplements, to name a few.
The big problem is that 90-95% of soybeans grown in the USA are genetically modified, and these are used to create the soy protein isolate. The reason they are GM treated is because they can then withstand heavy doses of herbicides without killing the plant! It is wise to question, can this be good for our health?
Glyphosate is used in the herbicide and this has been shown to cause hormonal disruption with regards to the female reproductive cycle. UK pathologist Stanley Ewen states that it’s an endocrine buster and interferes with aromatase, which provides estrogen, proving a soy and estrogen link.
Not only that, the pesticide glyphosate can be toxic to the placenta which provides essential nutrients from the mother to her baby, and also eliminates her unborn baby’s waste products.
Is soy safe?
Eating foods on a regular basis containing soy protein isolate and other soy based products, can cause heavy or longer menstrual periods. It has been named Menorrhagia, and a medication has been created to deal with this problem. Soy contains high levels of phytoestrogens, and along with chemical estrogens we are exposed to in our modern environment (xenoestrogens), contributes to “estrogen dominance.”
Just cutting out soy and soy based products, you could find your menstrual cycle will correct itself. It’s common sense to help your body correct itself naturally, and not add to its work with hormone altering drugs when you are attempting to conceive.
There are two types of soy: fermented and unfermented. The one to avoid is unfermented soy. Fermented soy does provide health benefits. The fermentation is achieved with the addition of cultures, consisting of specific bacteria which make changes in the soy. This is just the same process as making cheese, yogurt and buttermilk. Japan is a long time master of creating fermented soy foods. You can find fermented soy in the following -
1) Miso – a fermented soybean paste, originating in Japan, and used in broths and soups.
2) Natto – Japan – fermented soybeans with a cheesy flavor.
3) Tempeh – Japan – fermented soybean cake. This can actually be made at home and has a bacon-like flavor.
4) Soy Sauce – but be careful, as many varieties are made artificially using a chemical process and have extremely high sodium, caramel coloring, and are only salty condiments. Look for soy sauces called shoyu or tamari (wheat free).
If you thought Tofu was okay to eat, unfortunately it’s an unfermented soy product.
If you are trying to conceive a baby, or thinking about doing so in the near future, then take a really good look at what you are eating on a daily basis. Try to eat as much fresh food as you can, avoiding processed food if possible. Just cutting out soy products could help to regulate your periods, and after you conceive your long-awaited baby, continue to avoid unfermented soy products.
If you feel you must have soy, if you are vegetarian, then stick to organic fermented soy, and learn to make your own tempeh. Check the bottom of this article for a very clear guide to making your own tempeh.
Soy and infertility are constantly being investigated, and more information is being made available all the time. Anything that helps you to have a healthy pregnancy must be right!