Many people think of soy as some sort of health food. And the FDA helped promote that myth for more than two decades.
But now the tides have changed. And the FDA may be finally ready to admit (once again) it was wrong, all along.
The story about soy is far more complicated than the FDA probably realized back in 1999, when it gave food manufacturers the approval to claim that soy protein reduces heart disease risk.
To illustrate how grossly inaccurate this claim is, let’s start by discussing raw soybeans themselves…
Soybeans are small but dangerous
The first reason to avoid soy stems from how most soybeans are grown…
Ninety-nine percent of soybeans grown in this country are genetically modified (GM) to withstand exposure to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup).
And some experts now believe the increasing rates of food intolerance and allergies actually stem from exposure to glyphosate. (For the full story, refer to the October 2017 issue of my Insiders’ Cure newsletter. Subscribers can access this by logging into the Subscribers Sign-In via www.DrMicozzi.com. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s your chance!)
This issue affects more and more people, as several food manufacturers now add GM soy to food products…
These manufacturers grind up the GM soybeans and add them to processed foods. The processed soy adds texture, bulk and protein to products. You can find it hidden in numerous processed foods from cereal bars to corn chips to chicken nuggets.
But even whole, organic, non-GM soybeans can eventually cause serious health problems involving a digestive enzyme called trypsin.
Soybeans disrupt digestion
Your body needs trypsin to break down and digest proteins. But soybeans contain an anti-trypsin factor that blocks this digestive enzyme, leading to problems breaking down and absorbing nutrients.
Asian cultures learned long ago how to remove the anti-trypsin factor in soybeans…
Typically, they’ll boil or roast the soybeans with calcium or magnesium. The anti-trypsin remains behind in the liquid, which is then discarded. Next, the remaining water is pressed out, leaving the protein “meat” of the bean as curd. They use this process to make tofu, soy sauce and other foods.
The FDA backpedals on soy — after 10 years of dithering
As I mentioned earlier, in 1999, the FDA allowed food manufacturers to start making the health claim that eating soy lowered heart disease risk.
When that announcement came out, I was dumbfounded, given what was known about soybeans’ anti-trypsin factor.
Plus, a lot of people — including myself — didn’t think the evidence was there to support such a bold claim.
(It’s ironic that the FDA allowed this sweeping claim to be made about eating soy, for which there was no good evidence. Yet it cracked down on walnut growers who wanted to make the same claim, for which there IS good evidence. It boggles the mind!)
In fact, in 2005, another government agency called the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research began to look closely at the evidence about soy. In short order, they went on record saying there was little evidence to show that soy products benefit heart health.
Then, in 2007, the FDA started to backpedal and review its stance. In October 2017 — a full decade later — the FDA finally wrapped up its research and concluded “the totality of the evidence is inconsistent and not conclusive.” They plan to make manufacturers remove the false heart health labeling on somewhere between 200 and 300 soy products. (This is the first time the FDA has ever moved to revoke a health claim.)
And even after a dozen total years of review, the FDA is still waiting another 75 days to take comments before finalizing the change.
Ironically, the FDA approved the heart health claim based on studies suggesting soy protein lowered a type of cholesterol in the blood. The FDA used this very same cholesterol myth to justify its approval of dangerous and useless statin drugs.
Now, we know these drugs lower cholesterol, but they don’t benefit heart health or mortality, as I reported again last month.
Likewise, studies have failed to show a link between soy and heart health. Of course, advocates are desperately trying to hold onto soy. They argue that substituting meat with soy “benefits the heart” simply because it reduces red meat consumption. But as I explained last summer, eating red meat doesn’t pose a health risk — quite the opposite, in fact. It’s just another mainstream myth.
Plus, science shows soy causes a number of other health problems…
Soy linked to serious other health problems
Clinical literature is full of cases of disease caused by soy. For example, soy isoflavones can lead to severe hypothyroidism, which affects up to 10 percent of the population.
Plus, research shows isoflavonoids in soy cause hormonal disturbances. In fact, ongoing studies link isoflavone with breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, cerebral infarction (stroke), and heart attack.
Phytic acid in soybean also interferes with absorption of essential minerals, especially zinc.
Avoid products that contain unprocessed soy like soy milk and protein bars. (Traditionally processed soy products like tofu, soy sauce and kimchi are fine.)
Also, steer clear of those ridiculous “health drinks” with soy protein powder. And while you’re at it, stay away from all those nasty protein powders. You can learn more about the dangers and pitfalls of protein-powered drinks in the January 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. (If you’re not yet a subscriber, sign up here.)
It’s long past time to say “Soyonara” to soy. Even the FDA is now finally dragging out their long goodbye.
“FDA plans to ax claim that soy benefits heart,” Associated Press (www.apnews.com) 10/30/2017