This is another article (like the one on vegan food being non-deficient) that is hard for me to write without sounding annoyed because I have to deal with it so often in life.  So, I apologize for being the grumpy muscle builder that is so cliche.  Which is an interesting cliche because it has to do with the rise in testosterone that we all experience when working out (I’m no exception, I feel a little gruffer, but my husband doesn’t mind because my sex drive is higher too).  And the issue with soy that body builders are so concerned about is—- that soy contains phytoestrogens.  It is SO true that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!  People know the big word “phytoestrogen” but they have no clue what it does.  The simple fact is that plant (or phyto-) estrogens block estrogen receptors in the human body and help keep estrogen levels low.  That is why a diet high in soy helps prevent feminine cancers like in the breast and uterus (women who consume soy regularly have 50% or less risk of those cancers).  It is a shame that I’ve actually heard the opposite from actual doctors on television (really, they should just say “I don’t know” if they don’t know instead of talking out of the side of their neck so they can continue their facade of omniscience).  People are under the misconception that phytoestrogens make your estrogen levels go up because of this sort of misinformation—ridiculous if you know anything at all about phytoestrogen.  You should know that most doctors know nothing about nutrition.  It is not something they teach in medical school (although that is slowly changing, with Harvard leading the way).  Some doctors have studied nutrition apart from getting their medical degree that left them deficient in this area.  The best of those are Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John MacDougall, and Dr. Michael Klapper. I recommend their books as sources for learning the truth about nutrition, including soy.

Oh, and not to change the subject, but meat and dairy products contain actual estrogen from supplements given to dairy cows (who are later slaughtered for their meat).  Estrogen has been found to exist in very high levels in meat and dairy, including whey in many scientific studies.  Think about that the next time you slurp down your whey shake with your spandex in a bunch about phyto-estrogen.

 

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