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Experts Finally Recognize The Dangers With Soy

February 07, 2006 | 15,968 views

The Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association has examined decades' worth of studies on the health benefits of soy, and has found little evidence that soy-based foods and supplements significantly lower cholesterol, as has sometimes been claimed.

Potential Labeling Change

These findings could result in the FDA changing rules which currently allow companies which produce soy-based foods to advertise a cholesterol-lowering benefit on the label.

No Benefits

While a very large amount of soy protein might lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol by a few percentage points, there were no observed benefits with regard to HDL ("good") cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein, or blood pressure. The benefits of soy supplements to cardiovascular health are therefore likely "minimal at best".


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Considering the growing number of studies regarding the harm you can do to your body by eating non-fermented soy, it's not completely surprising that the conventional medical establishment may finally be getting it ...

In addition to the complete lack of benefits with regard to cholesterol, the AHA review also found that, contrary to some popular myths:

  • Soy isoflavones don't prevent various forms of cancer (prostate, breast or uterine).
  • Neither soy protein nor soy isoflavones are useful in limiting menopause-related symptoms.
  • The jury remains out on any soy-related benefits in treating osteoporosis.

A telling quote by a noted cardiologist that speaks volumes about soy's true worth: "If [patients] are radically altering their diet, where they're only eating soy in the hopes that this is going to bring their cholesterol down, they're deluding themselves."

In fact, non-fermented soy products contain a number of potentially health-disrupting "anti-nutrients", such as phytic acid. You would be wisest to avoid any such foods, which include:

  • Tofu
  • Soy milk
  • Soy hot dogs and other "meatless" products made with soy or textured vegetable protein (TVP), which is usually soy based
  • Soy yogurt and ice cream
  • Soy protein

The fermentation process, however, drastically decreases the levels of the dangerous components of soy, and also aids in liberating otherwise difficult to digest nutrients in the soybean, making them more available for absorption.

Fermented soy products (such as miso, soy sauce, natto, and tempeh) are therefore safe to eat. However, don't expect "miracle cures" for your cholesterol even from safe soy foods and can certainly be part of a healthy diet.

If you really want to lower your cholesterol levels, there are two primary strategies that work well over 99 percent of the time if properly implemented. They are:

  • Daily cardiovascular exercise
  • Low grain diet

A healthy food plan with little to no grains and sugars will effectively lower insulin levels, as elevated insulin levels are one of the primary drivers for raising cholesterol.

And just as important is exercising regularly. The key to exercising effectively is to keep in mind three important variables: length of time, frequency and intensity. I encourage my patients to gradually increase the amount of time they are exercising to 60 to 90 minutes a day. Initially the frequency is daily.

This is a treatment dose until you normalize their weight or insulin levels. Once normalized, you will only need to exercise three to four times a week.

Also, you should exercise hard enough so that it is difficult to talk to someone next to you. When you are exercising that hard your cardiovascular system is under such a significant amount of stress that the mere act of talking makes you unable to provide your body with enough oxygen.

However, if you cannot carry on a conversation AT ALL, then you have gone too far and need to decrease the intensity.

Anyone interested in regulating their cholesterol without drugs can find these methods completely explained in my book, the Total Health Program. Most anyone who follows it will find that their cholesterol levels will reach a healthy level, and numerous other health complaints will disappear as well.

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