Thursday, January 3, 2008

No my Children are not Malnurished

So you tell someone your vegan and that you've started using soy milk and eating tofu...many people immediately say "Oh, did you hear the study that soy is bad for you/causes cancer/makes men grow boobs?" My friends are fantastic that they care enough about me and my children to warn me about anything that could negatively affect my health. I really appreciate their forewarning. However, because I have children whom my lifestyle rubs off on, I have been researching soy's nutritional pit falls myself.

What I've concluded is there is no clear evidence against soy. Most of the studies that "label" soy as a bad food were funded by the dairy community. Further all foods should be consumed in moderation, soy should too. Nothing is good in mass quantities.

I found this blog post interesting:

"According to Christiane Northrup, MD, phytoestrogens have nothing to do with the sort of estrogens the human body produces, they are NOT estrogen. She said that there are SOME components of soy phytoestrogens which connect with human estrogen receptors, but definitely not the way that human estrogens does.
What intrigues me about this soy argument is the lack of thought behind it. When one eats dead cow, they consume a LOT of estrogen and of a type much closer to that of the human body. Consider the hormone replacement drug Premarin (it derives its name from PREgnant MARe urINe). It is horse urine collected under truly cruel conditions and given to women to replace their own estrogen. Cattle are not that far off of horses and I can't see why eating their flesh which contains estrogen would be beneficial over a phytoestrogen, as it IS the real thing. Estrogen from cows is present in dairy products too. And pig meats and even chickens. Anymore, many farms routinely give cows hormones to stimulate milk production and I don't care what they say, these are also present in cow's milk.
When I started to think about soy versus animal protein, phytoestrogen versus actual mammalian estrogen, I laughed at the ignorance of this soy-estrogen argument!
There are a couple of things a woman gains from going vegan. One, because she CONSUMES less estrogen, she is reliant on what her body produces. Often, this leads to a lengthening of the menstrual cycle, which means fewer cycles over her reproductive life and thus less of the ebb and flow of estrogen and other hormones that happens over the course of her cycle. This is known to DECREASE breast cancer. Because, overall (though not true for many of us) vegans tend to carry less body fat, and women's bodies store estrogen in fat, they have fewer estrogen-related problems. More body fat, more estrogen storage and more effects from that estrogen. Weigh less, store less, another known influence over breast cancer."

So I am going to believe that the pros out way the cons, and you know what...I feel better on this meat less diet. I have energy and I'm not hungry, so I'm not eating as much. If I felt worse, I would stop it immediately and go back to eating steak and cheese, two foods I adore.

If you find articles about veganism and health please pass them along.

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