For many many years we have been led to believe soya is a “super” ingredient, the ultimate healthy alternative, a good source of protein and low in calories, there are even claims that the Isoflavones (powerful antioxidants) could help reduce cholesterol and heart disease.
Some even believe the sudden upsurge in the recommendation of soy as a health food has been nothing more than a clever marketing gimmick to further reduce the cost and nutritional content of your food, perhaps those people are right?
There have been recent studies to support claims that Isoflavones actually have an adverse effect on the endocrine system and hormonal balance, leading to such issues as, premature puberty, reduced fertility in men and women, as well as certain cancers.
Let’s delve deeper into the effects on male fertility, and more specifically the effect Isoflavones have on sperm motility, a study by Dr Lorraine Anderson found that sperm with low motility had a significantly lesser chance of reaching a female’s egg, stating 'It doesn't matter how many sperm a man's got; if they can't get from A to B then there's little chance of reproduction,'
Dr Anderson discovered that the slower moving sperm’s seminal fluid contained Isoflavones, these compounds are also known as phyto-oestrogens or plant-oestrogens because they copy oestrogen, the female hormone.
These very active compounds are, you guessed it, are found in large concentrations in Soya. It is said that a woman drinking two glasses of Soya milk a day over the course of a month will see the timing of her menstrual cycle change, and amongst infants being given Soya formula exclusively, that it is the equivalent of having FIVE birth control pills every day!
An article by Dr Mercola highlights the issue of female fertility, stating that an increase in Soya can actually lead to endometriosis, which could lead to infertility.
Dr Mercola also states that soy can lead to the Thyroid gland being supressed which could potentially have the following effects:
• Anxiety and mood swings
• Difficulty losing weight
• Difficulty conceiving children
• Digestive problems
• Food allergies
Another downside is that Soy is high in Phytic-acid, which can lead to difficulty with mineral absorption, which in turn leads to mineral deficiencies, which in turn could possible lead to conditions such as osteoporosis.
Although this is still a much widely debated topic, it’s looking alarmingly more likely that for whatever good effects Soya may have, there are a lot more negative effects.
If you are now at a loss as to what you could have as a healthy alternative to Soya milk, I would recommend either Almond Milk or Hemp milk, my personal preference would be Almond Milk.