Two Key Reasons that Make Soy Products Unhealthy for Male Hormonal Health
Soy is everywhere by now. Due to its cheap price and easy farming, soybean usage in everyday food products has skyrocketed.
This sucks, because soybeans, soybean oil, and pretty much everything made from these pesky little estrogenic legumes, is extremely unhealthy in terms of male hormonal health.
And here's why:
#2. Soybeans are Fairly Estrogenic
The evidence on soy harming male hormone levels has been somewhat inconclusive...
...But one thing is for certain.
Soy is pretty estrogenic. It contains the isoflavones; genistein, daidzein, and glycitein, which are proven phytoestrogens, sharing similar effects in the receptor sites as the female hormone; estrogen.
In fact, feeding of isoflavones is able to activate the estrogen receptors, while it simultaneously down regulates the androgen receptors. Soy also contains equol, which is a strong anti-androgenic compound associated with lowered testosterone and DHT levels.
Because of the above it's widely claimed that soy lowers testosterone.
But like said, the evidence about this is inconclusive, as several studies show how soy lowers testosterone levels (study, study, study, study, study) with many others claiming it doesn't (study, study).
Considering the fact that soy is estrogenic, goitrogenic, and high in PUFAs (these latter two explained more in detail below), I'd say it's very likely that soy negatively impacts testosterone levels and raises estrogen.
#1. Soy is Anti-Thyroid and High in PUFAs
The biggest problem of soy consumption is related to thyroid and metabolic health.
It's the fact that soy is considered to be highly goitrogenic, meaning that it disrupts the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake at the thyroid gland.
Lowered thyroid hormone levels then result in slower metabolic rate, lower bodily heat and energy production, slowed down hormone synthesis, and multiple other symptoms.
Then there's also the fact that soy is high in polyunsaturated fatty-acids (PUFAs).
These types of fatty-acids have multiple carbon-carbon bonds that become unstable in the body and quickly break down to free-radicals, causing oxidative damage in the cells.
Soy - the legume already rich in equol and phytoestrogens - is also a goitrogen and fairly high in harmful PUFAs.
Seriously, soy doesn't even taste good. So why eat it anyway?