Soy Protein: Good or Bad?

Soy Protein: Good or Bad?


– Soy is so controversial right now. Some people see it as a
nutritional powerhouse, and other people think
it’s the enemy to health. So what the heck? Is it good or bad for you? Let’s have a look. (chimes) All right, so first, I’m gonna look at the positive health effects of soy consumption that we know of, and then the negative effects, and then hopefully, we’ll be able to look at both and make a conclusion from there. And the first thing to mention is that unlike most of the plant-based proteins, soy protein is a complete protein. That means it contains all the essential amino acids your body cannot make, and then therefore needs
to obtain from food, plus it’s also very nutritious all around. It is a plant food after all. Now, compared to whey and casein protein, soy protein sits somewhere in the middle when it comes to
muscle-building properties. So it’s a very reasonable protein source, and soy protein isolate makes a really good protein powder for vegans and vegetarians. Now looking at heart health now, soy foods appear to have positive effects. So, in a review of 35 studies, soy consumption lowered the so-called bad LDL cholesterol and raised good HDL cholesterol. Now, another review showed that replacing animal protein with 25 grams or more of soy protein resulted in decreased total cholesterol, the so-called bad LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. This is the part where some people argue that cholesterol, total cholesterol doesn’t matter, or it’s LDL particle size that matters. Look, the fact of the matter is that lowering your LDL cholesterol level reduces heart disease risk. All experts agree on that. Maybe total cholesterol
doesn’t really matter, maybe the cholesterol amount in foods doesn’t really matter, but lowering your LDL cholesterol levels reduces heart disease risk. In regards to cancer, the evidence appears mixed. For example, some observational and
case-controlled studies link soy intake to a reduced risk of breast cancer, yet others show no protective benefit. One study even connected soy intake to stimulated rapid cell production in the breasts of premenopausal women, possibly increasing their potential breast cancer risk. It’s the same mixed findings for men’s health and prostate cancer risk. Additionally, the findings of a lot of the studies are further muddled by the fact that some studies use whole soy food sources and others used soy protein isolate or some sort of derivative there. So, they’re not even
comparable in a lot of cases. Possible drawbacks of soy. So, like I said before, some people believe that soy is the enemy, and here are the reasons why. Soy protein contains phytates, also known as anti-nutrients. Now, these interfere
with mineral absorption in your body to a small degree, like it’s not a major issue to think about, though. And a lot of other plant-based foods also contain phytates as well, for example, lentils and legumes. There’s also some concern that soy isoflavones can interfere with thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormone. From the studies available, it seems like soy has little to no effect on thyroid health in humans, in saying that if you have
a thyroid issue already, you’d be better off limiting your intake, but in everyone else, it seems to be a non issue. Some people also stay clear of soy because of its phytoestrogen content, the thought being that phytoestrogens could upset natural levels of hormones in the body. Basically, phytoestrogens
are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants, and they have estrogen-like properties that bind to estrogen
receptors in your body, estrogen, of course, being the female sex hormone. So, soy is a notable source of these. The main concerns, such as those around causing acne or reducing fertility in men and women, they are unsubstantiated. It also does not appear to decrease testosterone in men. Plus, if it’s soy protein powder you take, well, that’s very low in
phytoestrogens anyway, because of how it’s processed. Look, the reason soy is so controversial is because there’s so much mixed evidence. If you wanna find a study that supports your belief or
point of view, you can. One study links high intake with breast cancer risk, and the other finds the opposite. It’s the same with thyroid issues, and testosterone, and the list goes on. What we do know is that
soy is really nutritious, it’s a great plant-based
source of protein, and, quite frankly we should all be eating fewer animal products, if we’re being honest. So eating soy foods like tofu. and tempeh, and miso, and edamame, and even soy protein isolate is a great source if you want a plant-based protein powder. Soy milk is where I’m not so sure, because this is a
concentrated source of soy that’s high in phytoestrogens
and anti-nutrients. If you have a thyroid issue, or a fertility issue, or something else strongly linked with high soy consumption, I would definitely be
steering clear of soy milk. I mean, it might not be a problem and it’s probably not a
problem in small amounts, but is it worth the risk? Do you need to drink soy milk? No. Besides, oat milk tastes way better. Thanks for watching. Make sure to give this video a thumbs up if you found it informative. Don’t forget to subscribe to Healthline’s Authority
Nutrition YouTube channel by clicking the red subscribe button below this video. (calm new age music)