PLEASE read if you give soy products to your family
Posted in Nourishment for the Mind » Learn on Sunday, December 27, 2009

I've been hearing conflicting reports about the dangers of TOO MUCH soy so I decided to investigate and this is what I found.  Yes, it's lengthy but believe it or not, it is only a portion of the article I read!  It's another one of those FRUSTRATING discoveries.  You think you're being healthy by eating soy and then THIS!!  

For a list of references and the complete articlearticles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/09/17/soy-brain.aspx otherwise scroll down for excerpts of the article.

The cynic in me can't help but wonder if some of these websites are run by government conspiracy theorists.  You just never know WHO to believe anymore!  But one of the reasons for my website is to put as much info out there as possible for us to try to make an informed decision regarding our health and the health of our family.

Article from Mercola.com.............

 Researcher Dr. Lon R. White from the Hawaii Center for Health Research and his fellow researchers speculate that soy's estrogen-like compounds (phytoestrogens) might compete with the body's natural estrogens for estrogen receptors in brain cells.

Plants have evolved many different strategies to protect themselves from predators. Some have thorns or spines, while others smell bad, taste bad, or poison animals that eat them. Some plants took a different route, using birth control as a way to counter the critters who were wont to munch.

Plants such as soy are making oral contraceptives to defend themselves, says Claude Hughes, Ph.D., a neuroendocrinologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. They evolved compounds that mimic natural estrogen. These phytoestrogens can interfere with the mammalian hormones involved in reproduction and growth -- a strategy to reduce the number and size of predators.

Concerns About Giving Soy to Infants

The most serious problem with soy may be its use in infant formulas. "The amount of phytoestrogens that are in a day's worth of soy infant formula equals 5 birth control pills," says Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., president of the Maryland Nutritionists Association. She and other nutrition experts believe that infant exposure to high amounts of phytoestrogens is associated with early puberty in girls and retarded physical maturation in boys. [5]

A study reported in the British medical journal Lancet found that the "daily exposure of infants to isoflavones in soy infant-formulas is 6-11 fold higher on a bodyweight basis than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults consuming soy foods." (A dose, equivalent to two glasses of soy milk per day, that was enough to change menstrual patterns in women. [6]) In the blood of infants tested, concentrations of isoflavones were 13000-22000 times higher than natural estrogen concentrations in early life. [7]

Thyroid Hormones and Fetal Brain Development

Thyroid alterations are among the most frequently encountered autoimmune conditions in children. Researchers at Cornell University Medical College showed that the "frequency of feedings with soy-based milk formulas in early life was significantly higher in children with autoimmune thyroid disease." [17] In a previous study, they found that twice as many diabetic children had received soy formula in infancy as compared to non-diabetic children. [18]


Recognizing the risk, Swiss health authorities recommend "very restrictive use" of soy for babies. In England and Australia, public health agencies tell parents to first seek advice from a doctor before giving their infants soy formula. The New Zealand Ministry of Health recommends that "Soy formula should only be used under the direction of a health professional for specific medical indications. . . Clinicians who are treating children with a soy-based infant formula for medical conditions should be aware of the potential interaction between soy infant formula and thyroid function." [19]

Thyroid hormones exert their influence during discrete windows of time. Inappropriate hormone levels can have a devastating effect on the developing human brain, especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy when the fetus depends on the mother's thyroid hormones for brain development. After that, both maternal and fetal thyroid hormone levels affect the central nervous system.

A 1999 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that pregnant women with underactive thyroids were four times more likely to have children with low IQs if the disorder is left untreated. The study found that 19% of the children born to mothers with thyroid deficiency had IQ scores of 85 or lower, compared with only 5% of those born to mothers without such problems. [20]

Thyroid, Brain, and Environmental Toxins


Children exposed prenatally and during infancy to common environmental toxins like dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can suffer behavioral, learning, and memory problems because these chemicals may be disrupting the normal action of thyroid hormone. [21]

Combinations of insecticides, weed killers, and artificial fertilizers -- even at low levels -- have measurable detrimental effects on thyroid and other hormones as well as on the brain. [24] EPA scientists now want to upgrade the commonly used herbicide, atrazine, to a "likely carcinogen." In animal tests, atrazine attaches to sites on the hypothalamus, a crucial brain region involved with regulating levels of stress and sex hormones. [25]

Individuals newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease were more than twice as likely to have been exposed to insecticides in their home, compared to those without the disease. [26]

 

Soy formulas for infants can contain other neurotoxins: aluminum, cadmium, and fluoride. Studies found that aluminum concentrations in soy-based formulas were a 100-fold greater compared to human breast milk, while cadmium content was 8-15 times higher than in milk-based formulas. In an Australian study, the fluoride content of soy-based formulas ranged from 1.08 to 2.86 parts per million. The authors concluded that "prolonged consumption (beyond 12 months of age) of infant formula reconstituted with optimally-fluoridated water could result in excessive amounts of fluoride being ingested." A study of Connecticut children revealed that mild-to-moderate fluorosis was strongly associated with soy-based infant formula use. [27-30]

In May 2000, Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility released their report, "The Toxic Threats to Child Development." In the section on neurotoxins, they concluded: "Studies in animals and human populations suggest that fluoride exposure, at levels that are experienced by a significant proportion of the population whose drinking water is fluoridated, may have adverse impacts on the developing brain." [31]

Nutritionist Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, says that as early as 1967, researchers testing soy formula found that it caused negative zinc balance in every infant to whom it was given. Even when the diets were additionally supplemented with zinc, there was a strong correlation between phytate content in formula and poor growth. She warns that "a reduced rate of growth is especially serious in the infant as it causes a delay in the accumulation of lipids in the myelin, and hence jeopardizes the development of the brain and nervous system."

 Relatively high levels of zinc are found in the brain, especially the hippocampus. Zinc plays an important role in the transmission of the nerve impulse between brain cells. Deficiency of zinc during pregnancy and lactation has been shown to be related to many congenital abnormalities of the nervous system in offspring. In children, "insufficient levels of zinc have been associated with lowered learning ability, apathy, lethargy, and mental retardation." [37]

The USDA references a study of 372 Chinese school children with very low levels of zinc in their bodies. The children who received zinc supplements had the most improved performance -- especially in perception, memory, reasoning, and psychomotor skills such as eye-hand coordination. Three earlier studies with adults also showed that changes in zinc intake affected cognitive function. [38]

Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans, as well as the trypsin inhibitors that interfere with enzymes and amino acids. Therefore, fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso (not tofu) provide nourishment that is easily assimilated.

 

 

Another website that was a total eye-opener.   www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/  Some of the articles you'll find...   If soy is so bad for us, how are they getting away with this?  The soy industry is one of the most wealthy and powerful multi-billion dollar industries;  Soy and lower sperm counts;  How to find GOOD soy;  Soy and its link to infertility and thyroid issues.

 

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