Does Eating Soy Afect Your Hormones?

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Does Eating Soy Afect Your Hormones?

 Health Benefits of Soy

Soy products have a long list of health advantages. Breast cancer, as well as several other types of cancer, fibroid, and even inflammation, may be reduced by eating whole soy foods. Soy is beneficial to bone and heart health, as well as menopausal symptoms.

The healthiest soy foods, like most other plant foods, are the least processed. Edamame, or young soybeans, can be steamed and eaten right from their pods. Other foods made with soy beans include soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and miso, as well as soy meats and cheeses.

Despite the numerous health benefits of soy products, some people are concerned about their safety. Let's take a look at what medical studies have revealed.

Breast Cancer Risk is Reduced

Soy consumption has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer in women. According to one study, women who consume one cup of soy milk or about half a cup of tofu per day have a 30% lower risk of breast cancer than women who consume little or no soy. This could be due to isoflavones, which are protective compounds found in soy foods.

Researchers discovered that Asian women who consumed the most isoflavones (compared to those who consumed the least) had a 32 percent lower risk of breast cancer in a 2013 meta-analysis that analyzed data from 22 studies. Both premenopausal and postmenopausal cancers showed a protective effect. A meta-analysis published in 2014 came to similar conclusions. Because Western women don't eat a lot of soy, it's difficult to compare high and low levels of consumption. However, soy foods may be especially protective during the preteen and teen years, when breast tissue is forming.

Recurrence Risk is Reduced

What about women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis? Women diagnosed with estrogen-negative breast cancer who consumed the most soy isoflavones had a 21% lower risk of dying from the disease than those who consumed the least.

Soy may also protect breast cancer survivors, according to the Women's Healthy Eating and Living Study. Researchers discovered that women who ate the most soy had a 50% lower risk of cancer recurrence or death. Another four-year study followed 5,042 women who had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer. Women who consumed soy products on a regular basis, such as soy milk, tofu, or edamame, fared better. When compared to women who ate little soy, they were about a third less likely to have their cancer come back and 29 percent less likely to die from cancer. These findings are supported by a number of other studies. Women who avoid soy gain no advantage, whereas women who consume soy have a lower risk of cancer recurrence.

What role does soy play in this? Soy isoflavones may help maintain a healthy level of estrogen signaling. Women and, to a lesser extent, men produce estrogens, which are female hormones. Estrogen affects cells by binding to "docking sites," or receptors. When estrogen binds to its receptor, it can stimulate the growth of certain cancer cells. Your cells, on the other hand, have two types of estrogen receptors: alpha and beta. After menopause, the main estrogen in women is estradiol, which binds primarily to the alpha receptor. Beta receptors are preferentially binded by soy isoflavones. This binding appears to aid in the prevention of cancer-related cell growth.

What role does soy play in all of this? 

Soy isoflavones may aid in maintaining normal estrogen signaling. Estrogens are female hormones produced primarily by women, but also by men to a lesser extent. Estrogen works by binding to cell receptors known as "docking sites." Estrogen can cause cancer cells to grow when it binds to its receptor. Your cells, on the other hand, have both alpha and beta estrogen receptors. Estrone, the most common estrogen in postmenopausal women, binds to the alpha receptor primarily. Beta receptors are favored by soy isoflavones. This tethering appears to help stop cancer-related cell growth.

Hormones and Fertility

Can soy have an impact on fertility and reproductive health? Soy has been shown to have no effect in both men and women in studies. Furthermore, there was no difference in reproductive health between adults who were fed soy versus cow's milk formula as infants.

Soy also does not appear to cause early puberty in females. Researchers looked at 327 young and adolescent girls and discovered no link between soy consumption and puberty age.

Hormones in Males

Men have no adverse reactions to soy products. In fact, they may aid in the prevention of cancer. According to a meta-analysis, soy products and soy isoflavone supplements have no effect on testosterone levels in men. Another meta-analysis of 14 studies found that eating more soy reduced the risk of prostate cancer by 26%. Another meta-analysis published in Nutrition and Cancer found the same thing for prostate cancer: men who eat tofu have a protective effect.


In women, soy products may help to reduce the risk of fibroids. Fibroids are knots of muscle tissue that form beneath the uterine lining in the thin muscle layer. According to a study of Japanese women, the more soy they consumed, the less likely they were to require uterine surgery. This indicates that fibroids were less common. Soy did not appear to help or harm women in a study conducted in Washington State. One reason could be that American women consume less soy than their Japanese counterparts. Lignans, a type of phytoestrogen (estrogen found in plants) found in flaxseed and whole grains, had a significant impact in this study. Women who ate the most flaxseed and whole grains were the healthiest.

Thyroid Issues

Soy products have been shown in clinical trials to have no effect on the thyroid in healthy people. Soy isoflavones, on the other hand, may bind to iodine, which the body uses to produce thyroid hormones. People who consume soy, in theory, may require slightly more iodine in their diets. Many plant foods contain iodine, particularly sea vegetables (such as the nori wrapper used in sushi) and iodized salt. It's worth noting that pink Himalayan salt and sea salt aren't typically high in iodine. Iodized salt is the best salt to use at home.

Other Health Advantages

Soy may have anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers looked at the diets of 1,005 middle-aged Chinese women in the Shanghai Women's Health Study. The less inflammation the women had, the more soy products they consumed. Cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease are all linked to inflammation.

Soy products also appear to lower bad cholesterol levels, according to another study. Soy products are also cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat, which can clog arteries. It is possible to improve heart health by substituting soy and other plant proteins for animal protein.

Soy consumption may also lower the risk of osteoporosis-related hip fractures. Women who ate at least a quarter-cup of tofu per day had a 30% lower risk of fracture, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Another three-year study followed 75,000 postmenopausal Chinese women. Researchers discovered that people who ate the most soy foods had a 37% lower risk of breaking a bone.

Whole soy foods are preferred.

While foods made from whole soybeans, such as edamame, tofu, and soy milk, are healthy, highly processed soy products are unlikely to be. Protein has been extracted from whole soybeans and used to make soy protein isolate by some food companies. This isolate has been packed into shakes and turned into meat substitutes. Unfortunately, soy protein isolate could be harmful to your health. In fact, just like cow's milk, it has been shown to increase the amount of insulin-like growth factor in the blood. Insulin-like growth factor has been shown to promote the growth of cancer cells. Soy products such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, and miso are good choices. These foods have the potential to help prevent cancer while also providing health benefits.

Is too much soy bad for your hormones?

Soy consumption has been linked to an increase in serum estrogen in humans, which could lead to thyroid issues, according to a few studies. Soy eating has also been linked to male infertility and breast cancer in animals, according to research.

Is soy good for women's hormones?

Isoflavones are phytoestrogens found naturally in soy that work in the body like a weak estrogen. During menopause, estrogen levels drop, causing symptoms like hot flashes. Soy may help alleviate these symptoms because it is a natural estrogen. Soy may help with menopause, according to research.

Does soy make you more estrogenic?

Soy includes phytoestrogens called isoflavones, which may mimic estrogen's activities in the body. Human estrogen levels are complicated by the actions of soy isoflavones. Soy is safe to eat in moderation by anyone and can have a minor effect on estrogen levels.

Why is soy unsuitable for women?

Plant estrogens called isoflavones are found in soy. High estrogen levels have been related to a higher risk of breast cancer. Food sources of soy, on the other hand, do not contain enough isoflavones to raise the risk of breast cancer.

What are the disadvantages of soy?

Digestion problems, such as constipation and diarrhea, are the most common soy side effects. In persons who are lacking in iodine, soy may affect thyroid function. According to current research, eating soy foods is safe for women who have had breast cancer or are at risk for breast cancer.

Is soy bad for your period?

Soy has no effect on menstruation.

Is it true that soy contains estrogen?

Isoflavones are estrogen-like compounds found in soy. Because they come from plants, they're called phytoestrogens. Because of its estrogen-like properties, many individuals believe that consuming soy causes breast cancer. Our bodies produce a different form of estrogen than other animals.

Is soy a progesterone booster?

When compared to levels during the home diet period, daily consumption of the soya diet reduced circulating levels of 17beta-estradiol by 25% (P0.01, Wilcoxon signed rank test, two-tailed) and progesterone by 45 percent (P0.0001), but had no effect on luteinizing hormone or follicle-stimulating hormone.

How much soy is required to boost estrogen levels?

Isoflavone levels in women's blood can be 500 to 1,000 times greater than estrogen levels when they drink two cups of soymilk or eat one cup of tofu.

Should I stay away from soy?

Soy protein is a complete protein source. It may help develop muscle, but not as effectively as whey protein. Soy is generally safe for most people and may provide health benefits such as weight loss. Give soy protein a try if you like the taste or eat a plant-based diet.

Does soy make your breasts bigger?

Breast size will not be increased by soy-based products. As a result, some women believe consuming soy will help them grow larger breasts. This is a lie, just as it is with dairy milk. Phytoestrogens have not been proven to promote breast augmentation in clinical trials.

Should I stay away from soy?

Soy protein is a complete protein source. It may help develop muscle, but not as effectively as whey protein. Soy is generally safe for most people and may provide health benefits such as weight loss. Give soy protein a try if you like the taste or eat a plant-based diet.

Does soy make your breasts bigger?

Breast size will not be increased by soy-based products. As a result, some women believe consuming soy will help them grow larger breasts. This is a lie, just as it is with dairy milk. There are no clinical trials or proof that phytoestrogens cause breast enlargement.

Is tofu a good source of estrogen?

Can soy consumption affect your hormones? According to research, eating soy products may lower FSH and LH levels in premenopausal women, affecting fertility. It may also enhance estrogen in menopausal women, resulting in a reduction in menopausal symptoms.

Is soy bad for your fertility?

You have nothing to be concerned about until you consume more than 60 grams of soy protein every day for more than a month. As with any other food, if you eat tofu in moderation and incorporate it into a balanced (nutrient-dense) diet, you won't have any problems with infertility.

Does soy cause weight gain?

Soy foods are relatively high in calories, so they can help you gain weight while also fitting within a calorie-restricted weight-loss diet. For example, a cup of tempeh contains 320 calories.

Is soy harmful to men's hormones?

No. Soy consumption has no effect on a man's testosterone levels. Soy is a high-protein material derived from soybeans that can be found in a variety of foods, including edamame, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy flour, and soy milk.

Is it okay to eat soy during your period?

Soy includes phytoestrogens, or "plant-estrogens," which seem awful, but phytoestrogens can have a beneficial anti-estrogen impact in women of reproductive age by out-competing estradiol. As a result, soy and other phytoestrogens can help lighten periods and alleviate estrogen excess symptoms including PMS and heavy periods.

Can soy aggravate PMS symptoms?

Because hormones play such a vital role in our mood and reproductive system, it's crucial to know how soy impacts them. Although there have been mild estrogenic effects identified in the breast, research suggests that ingesting soy products has no deleterious impact on premenopausal women.

Does soy lower estrogen levels?

Soy consumption has been linked to increased menstrual cycle length, sex hormone-binding globulin levels, and lower estrogen levels in premenopausal women, all of which have been linked to cancer prevention.

Is soy beneficial for PCOS?

While there is minimal study on soy intake for women with PCOS, the results demonstrate that soy can help with many metabolic components of PCOS. Total and LDL (the "bad") cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory indicators, blood pressure, and insulin are among them.

Is soy bad for your thyroid?

Overall, the findings show that soy diets and isoflavones have no effect on thyroid function in euthyroid, iodine-depleted individuals. In contrast, some data suggests that soy meals may increase the dose of thyroid hormone required by hypothyroid patients by decreasing absorption.

Does soy affect female testosterone levels?

Phytoestrogens, which are plant-based chemicals that mimic the actions of estrogen in the body by modifying hormone levels and potentially lowering testosterone, are abundant in soy diets.

Is soy an inflammatory food?

Overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids can cause the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. Corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut, and vegetable oils; mayonnaise; and many salad dressings include these fatty acids.

Is soy consumption beneficial during menopause?

In terms of lowering hot flashes, soy isoflavones are about a third as efficient as estrogen. Daily soy eating, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to lower essential menopause-related inflammatory proteins.

What causes an excess of estrogen?

Estrogen is secreted by fat tissue (adipose tissue). Large estrogen levels can be caused by a high percentage of body fat. In response to stress, your body creates the hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol produced in response to stress can reduce your body's progesterone production.

What are the symptoms of progesterone deficiency?

Low progesterone levels are most visible in irregular periods and short cycles, although other symptoms such as premenstrual spotting can also develop. Mood swings, sleep difficulties, anxiety, and depression are all possible symptoms. Progesterone has an effect on the body's fluid regulation.

Last Word

Soy products have a long list of health advantages. Breast cancer, as well as several other types of cancer, fibroid, and even inflammation, may be reduced by eating whole soy foods. Soy is beneficial to bone and heart health, as well as menopausal symptoms. The benefits of soy, on the other hand, appear to come from foods made from whole soy. As part of a balanced, plant-based diet, eat tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk, and miss.

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