Home Nutrition Soy: Side Effects and Alternatives

Soy: Side Effects and Alternatives

When you do a search on soy, you’re going to find a lot of positive things about it. But, in reality, there are a lot of negative things about soy products. So there is conflicting information. When two facts appear to oppose each other, creating conflicting information, one of the supposed facts is not true.


This post will include the other side of soy so you can make a better decision on if you want to still consume soy. The reason for stating this is because soy is in 60% of our foods and it is just widespread all over the place.

The soy eaten in Asia is very different from the soy eaten in other parts of the world like America. Asians do not consume a lot of soy protein isolates, soy oil, or vegetable textured protein or even consume the amount of soy milk that Americans drink. They typically tend to eat more fermented soy.

The Dangers of Soy

Most of the soy is GMO which means it has traces of glyphosate which is a herbicide and the soy is processed with a solvent called hexane which is very toxic. Soy is also very high in omega-6.

In 25 trials involving soy for menopausal women with hot flashes, it was demonstrated that there was no improvement in hot flashes yet there are many millions of women taking soy for hot flashes.

The other thing that’s interesting about soy is that out of all the soy produced 85% of it is split between soy meal and oil. Out of the 80% that is soy meal, 98% of soy meal is used for animal feeds, including cattle, pigs, and definitely chickens which you eat and there are not a lot of safety studies. The type of soy meal the animals are getting is not the fermented type of soy that Asians consume. It is usually the byproducts of soy gotten when making soy oil. The remaining 2% of soy meal goes to humans.

Out of the 20% that makes up soy oil, 95% of this is sold to humans and 5% is used in industrial production. So it is in our dressings and all the processed foods. If you go to any fast food restaurant, they are typically going to use soy oil to fry your food in.

So we have a very refined processed rancid highly omega-6 inflammatory oil which has some slight minor complications like disrupting your intestinal border that is made up of the little villi that are supposed to absorb nutrients. There is a report that shows that it creates the atrophy of those little villi.

There is a series of compounds in soy. One of these compounds in soy shows a lot of conflicting information. In some studies, it is shown to decrease the risk of cancer, in other studies, it shows no change, yet in other studies, it shows that it increases the risk of getting cancer and increasing the tumor size which would make sense because it’s very estrogenic.

The same compound shows:

  • hepatotoxicity (toxicity to your liver)
  • anti-thyroid activity: it shows the effect of blocking the conversion of T4 to T3 the active form of thyroid hormone. It even shows that it can block iodine.
  • reproductive toxicity
  • endocrine disruptions
  • infertility
  • allergies
  • nephrotoxicity (toxicity to your kidneys)
  • pancreatic hypertrophy (pancreas enlarges)

Why soy is in many of our foods

Soy is one of the foods that is subsidized. The government pays farmers to grow subsidized products including corn, wheat, and many other products. But soy being a subsidized product is at the top of the list.

So the very reason why we started subsidizing crops is to help farmers during times of need but now it is used as a regular thing for farmers. Do you realize that 85% of subsidized products go to 50 multi-billionaires? So taxpayers fund the government which then pays these farmers to grow this food that we really shouldn’t be eating.

Obviously, if you had a business where you could get the government to pay you for the raw material that you can sell and make a profit, that would be a very profitable type of venture. So it is very obvious why there is a huge push to get people to consume some of these products that are subsidized like corn products, soy products, and grains, and really turn these products into healthy things to consume.

What you can do

There are some things you can do about this as a consumer.

1. Be highly selective of what you order at a restaurant

Do not order the fried foods or foods with soy but start asking restaurants what they use as cooking oils and if they have other oils that are not corn, canola, soy, or cottonseed oil, and start suggesting that they use olive oil and coconut oil.

2. Read labels

Put more attention to reading labels. Don’t just buy any products that have soy ingredients.

3. Eat at home

This is one of those really obvious things that might sound really simple but start eating at home. You would be surprised how many people have digestive problems and bloating but routinely go out to dinner. They do not realize that the food that is served in restaurants is very high in these omega-6 fatty acids and it’s really hard to control your food. So just eating at home could be a therapy for your digestive system.

4. Eat more omega-3 fats

You want to balance out these fatty acids by eating more omega-3 fats versus omega-6.


Institute TC. Soy Report and Scorecard [Internet]. Cornucopia Institute. [cited 2022 Jul 3]. Available from: https://www.cornucopia.org/research/soy-report-and-scorecard/
Csáky I, Fekete S. Soybean: feed quality and safety. Part 2: Pathology of soybean feeding in animals. A review. Acta Veterinaria Hungarica [Internet]. 2005 Jul 22 [cited 2022 Jul 3];52(3):315–26. Available from: https://akjournals.com/view/journals/004/52/3/article-p315.xml


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