Soy: The Many Dangers

SoybeansA game I often play with my family is to quiz them on different foods by listing the health issues of the food. We get all kinds of guesses! It’s sort of like a verbal game of charades. Here let me run one by you. What food that is commonly labeled as a “health food”… interferes with mineral absorption, inhibits the absorption of protein, is highly estrogenic, almost always GMO, and high in free glutamic acid (MSG)?

Have a guess? I bet you may have eaten it before!

Soy is all the rage in the health-realm where it is marketed as a “super-health-food”. But you may be surprised on the truth of that matter. In truth, it has been found that Soy is actually very dangerous to the body, and one should stay away from it for many reasons. Lets look at the ones we already mentioned.

Soy Interferes with Protein/Mineral Absorption

Soy is high in enzyme inhibitors that block the action of trypsin and other enzymes needed for digestion. Even cooking does not deactivate these inhibitors. What this can mean to you is serious gastric distress! Gastric distress = indigestion, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and/or diarrhea. It is surprising how many people deal with gastric distress and consider it normal! It is important to properly digest your food.

Soy is also high in phytic acid which is found in the hulls of all seeds. Phytic acid can block the absorption of essential minerals – calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and especially zinc. Over time, this can cause a deficiency of these essential minerals in the body. I bet you have heard it is common for people in our country to have a lack of minerals. Guess what? The same issue is present in most commercial breads. Sourdough is a great way to fix these issues. Oops, we got off topic…let’s get back on track.

As a Nutritional Consultant I hear client after client of mine tell me their doctor told them to take calcium and vitamin D supplements since they are low. When questioned if they consumed soy products most all report, Yes! Now I understand I can’t make a completely clear assumption that soy is the issue, but it does make you say hmm…. In every case I can say after they removed soy (or soy containing products) and ate balanced meals, the calcium and vitamin D deficiency went away as reported by their doctor.

Many researchers are now in agreement that improper digestion can be the start of many diseases over time. Our bodies are made up of what we eat, which lends to the saying, “You are what you eat!”

Many of my clients are confused, saying that they heard “Soy is awesome!” and that “In Asia they eat it all the time.” Actually, they eat fermented forms of soy, such as miso, natto, and fermented soy sauce. This fermenting of the soy changes its negative traits to positive. The Chinese have not eaten unfermented soybeans for centuries, somehow this was lost in translation when America started its great soy push.

Soy as Birth Control

Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens that when eaten mimic estradiol (estrogen) in the body and block receptor sites against estrogen. Okay, that is the science, here is how it breaks in application. Our bodies become overloaded with phytoestrogens and the body feels it is flooded with estrogen. Monks in the past knew about these issues and used soy foods to dampen libido. The Swiss health services announced in 1992 that 100 grams of soy protein (about 6 tablespoons of soy) provided the estrogenic equivalent of the common birth control pill. Wow, we don’t need that in our bodies!

Japanese researchers warned the public about the goitrogenic toxins in soy causing issues when consuming only 2 tablespoons a day with issues such as goiter and hypothyroidism, constipation, fatigue and lethargy. The FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research found that goitrogenic compounds in soy were the same as isoflavones. This is where is gets really alarming. Soy isoflavones are in high concentrations in infant soy formula and because of the low body weight of babies compared to an grown adult they easily get 6 to 11 times the amount of soy isoflavones that showed the above issues in adults. And when compared to a cow’s milk formula the soy formula had 13,000 to 22,000 times higher blood plasma estradiol concentrations in the baby. WOW! NOT GOOD! Dr. Fitzpatrick estimated that this would be the equivalent to giving the baby “five birth control pills a day.” This causes many developmental issues in male and female babies.

Soy is Usually GMO

Over 93 percent of soy is genetically modified (GMO). We will not even get into the issues with GMO products as that is a whole other topic. Soy shows up in processed foods all the time with different names such as hydrogenated oils, lecithin, emulsifiers, tocopherol (a vitamin E supplement) and proteins. Soy protein is on many food labels, just look around. Look for products that imitate meat and dairy products.

Soy is High in MSG

Soy is high in free glutamic acid, which we commonly know as MSG. MSG is considered by many researchers and doctors as a very potent neurotoxin. Names that you many want to look for on labels of soy products that contain MSG are, soy protein, soy protein concentrate, and soy protein isolate just to mention the big hitters.

Soy Not Welcome

This article just touched on the high points of the issues with soy, but I think you can now see you may want to look at the foods you are consuming and see if they contain soy in some form. Attached are some videos that help to explain even more details of the issues with soy from experts in the field of health. You will learn about just how dangerous this plant is that we call Soy (Edamame).

Videos on Soy

Dr. Mercola – Why Soy Can Damage Your Health

Dr. Sherrill Sellman – The Soy Myth: Soy is Not a Health Food


Articles on Soy

The following articles are filled with much information on soy, and its many dangers.

Soy Alert! – Confused About Soy? View this summarized article on the dangers of soy from the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Reply to Bill Sardi – Sally Fallon and Mary Enig reply to Bill Sardi’s mis-characterizations of their work and expose soy industry duplicity in their rebuttal in The Townsend Letter, April 2001.
Cruel and Unusual Punishment: Soy Diet for Illinois Prisoners – from the Weston A. Price Foundation web site.
The Evidence Against Soy – article written by Dr. Mercola at
Soy: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite “Health” Food – article by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, PhD on the Weston A. Price Foundation web site.

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

About Jeff

Jeff Pearce is a board certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and has coached hundreds of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth to help them achieve their health goals. If you would like more information about his services view the Health Consultations section. For those not in the physical area Distance Coaching is an option. A 15 minute "No Cost" informational consult is available, by phone, to chat and answer questions about services. To schedule your no cost informational consultation please contact us .


  1. Thank you very much for warning people about soy! I have had a strong sensitivity to soy for more than 40 years that has been quite debilitating. More and more food contains soy, which makes it very challenging for me.

  2. MaryAnn Bradshaw says

    Does this include edanamme beans? I steam them periodically for a side dish and wondering if I need to stop? Thank you for the information in this article.

  3. Would this include the supplement lecithin that comes in a capsule? I am breastfeeding and take it to clear up any clogged ducts that I get. It works immediately! Is this not good?

    • Faith, Soy is soy and yes soy lecithin is raw soy. Do keep in mind balance. How often do you use it, how much at a time, etc. Everyday would definitely be an issue. I would suggest doing the research into another item that could help, maybe there is an alternative. Diet also could be causing the issue with clogged ducts.

  4. Thanks for the information. Does this include soy lecithin? Should we avoid foods that have that on the label? Or are there other tricky ways they put soy on labels?

    • There are many that say soy lecithin is not harmful and many that say it is. Personally it is only found in processed foods which we know of lower quality than unprocessed foods. So really the question is what will they find next that is harmful in processed foods. Maybe it is time to not eat processed foods. After all people for thousands of years did not eat processed foods and we are here today. – Jeff

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