Do you read your food labels? You should. That is if you are still consuming processed foods. Soy is now in just about every processed food available. Either soybean oil, or soybean protein extracts are placed into a wide variety of food. Most bread contains soy oil (read your label). I was stunned to discover that soy lecithin was included in my almond milk!! Now I make my own, which is cheaper, easier, fresher and better. This includes organic soy. I would recommend consuming fermented organic soy, such as tempeh only intermittently. In addition to being primarily GMO, soy contains numerous toxins that disrupt the thyroid, normal hormonal balance and the absorption of minerals.
The health detriments of soy consumption are reiterated in a new study out of the University of Connecticut that highlights the importance of avoiding soy at all costs. Researchers from the school found that men who consume soy protein rather than whey protein for muscle recovery and growth experience considerable reductions in their testosterone levels, as well as marked increases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
A group of researchers recently expanded upon the limited prior research examining the effects of soy and whey protein supplementation on testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and cortisol responses to an acute bout of resistance exercise. Their study, “The Effects of Soy and Whey Protein Supplementation on Acute Hormonal Reponses to Resistance Exercise in Men” is now available in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
With protein supplement use by athletes on the rise, a group of researchers recently expanded upon the limited prior research examining the effects of soy and whey protein supplementation on testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and cortisol responses to an acute bout of resistance exercise.
“This study starts to unravel and provide some insights into one of the real urban myths about soy protein and resistance exercise in men,” said Dr. William J. Kraemer, the lead researcher of the study. Using a sample of 10 resistance-trained men in their early 20s, protein supplementation consisted of 3 treatment groups: whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, or a maltrodextrin placebo control. No other supplements were allowed. Vegetarians, vegans, or subjects who consumed high-protein diets were excluded from the study. For 14 days, participants would ingest 20g of their assigned supplement at the same time each morning. The participants would then perform 6 sets of heavy resistance squats at 10 reps each using 80 percent of their maximum lifting weight.
At the end of the 14-day period, the researchers collected hormone profiles from each of the men and made comparisons. They found that, compared to the men who supplemented with whey, those taking soy did not necessarily produce more estrogen. They did, however, experience decreased testosterone levels and elevated cortisol levels, a deadly combination that can leave men at risk of disease and weight gain.
Lowered testosterone levels and elevated cortisol levels are also generally attributed to the feminization phenomenon occurring in men that sometimes leads to disorders like nipple discharge, breast enlargement and hot flashes. It can also lead to inhibited thyroid function, bone loss, sleeping disorders, decreased sex function and reproductive problems.
“Our main findings demonstrate that 14 days of supplementation with soy protein does appear to partially blunt serum testosterone,” wrote the authors. “In addition, whey influences the response of cortisol following an acute bout of resistance exercise by blunting its increase during recovery.”
In other words, men should not take soy protein while working out and training for muscle recovery and growth. Besides the fact that it lacks the right type of amino acid profile for muscle building, soy protein clearly exerts a demasculinization effect in multiple ways, robbing men of their manly essence and characteristics, including their strength and drive for life.
“[O]ver the past few decades, many researchers have found that phytoestrogens have adverse effects on both the production and utilization of hormones in males,” according to r The Weston A. Price Foundation, citing multiple studies looking specifically at soy protein, soy flour and other soy derivatives commonly found in the food supply.
- William J. Kraemer, Glenn Solomon-Hill, Brittanie M. Volk, Brian R. Kupchak, David P. Looney, Courtenay Dunn-Lewis, Brett A. Comstock, Tunde K. Szivak, David R. Hooper, Shawn D. Flanagan, Carl M. Maresh, Jeff S. Volek. The Effects of Soy and Whey Protein Supplementation on Acute Hormonal Reponses to Resistance Exercise in Men. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2013; 32 (1): 66 DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2013.770648