Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Study Review Debunks Soy Health Claims

The Associated Press
Jan. 23, 2006

DALLAS - Veggie burgers and tofu might not be so great at warding off heart disease after all.

An American Heart Association committee reviewed a decade of studies on soy’s benefits and came up with results that are now casting doubt on the health claim that soy-based foods and supplements significantly lower cholesterol.


The panel also found that neither soy nor the soy component isoflavone reduced symptoms of menopause, such as “hot flashes,” and that isoflavones don’t help prevent breast, uterine or prostate cancer. Results were mixed on whether soy prevented postmenopausal bone loss.

Based on its findings, the committee said it would not recommend using isoflavone supplements in food or pills. It concluded that soy-containing foods and supplements did not significantly lower cholesterol, and it said so in a statement recently published in the journal Circulation.


My take:

This news regarding the lack of health benefits for soy, which is a legume, will be no surprise to paleolithic nutrition experts like Dr. Loren Cordain. He stated in his book, The Paleo Diet:

"My research group and I have recently published a paper in the British Journal of Nutrition describing our theory that dairy foods, grains, legumes, and yeast may be partly to blame for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases in genetically susceptible people. Legumes and grains contain substances called "lectins." These substances are a mixture of protein and carbohydrates that plants have evolved to ward off insect predators. Because of the carbohydrate portion of the lectin molecule, lectins can bind with almost any tissue in our bodies and wreak havoc-if they can enter the body, that is."

While there is disagreement over when legumes were first eaten in significant quantities by humans, there is general agreement that they were not a staple food during the Paleolithic era or before. Those who know and understand the history of the human diet know that foods like legumes that were not a major part of that diet for most of human history can predict that these foods will not found to be healthy and are likely to be eventually confirmed by studies to be somewhat or significantly unhealthy.

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