Soy is one of the hottest topics of debate in the health food world today. Why all the differing opinions? Is soy healthy and should we be consuming it like the next magical panacea? And, how important is it in relation to fertility and getting pregnant?
Soy beans have been used to make everything from milk, cereal, and baby formula to burgers and butter. I wonder if most people even know what a real soy bean looks like.
When soy beans are made into these wide range of products it becomes a denatured, processed food. But that is not even the worst of it. There are so many studies out (bottom of article) that show soy is not a healthy food; they show it may in fact be dangerous...AND that it could negatively affect fertility.
I used to eat soy every day!
To give you a little background on my relationship with soy, I have to let you know, I drank soy milk daily for four or five years. I ate veggie patties, cheese, yogurts, cereals, “food” bars, and protein powder! Whew, what else is there for a lazy vegetarian to eat?
I thought it was the best and healthiest thing I could eat. That is until I started to realize how processed those products were. I than began more research (yes, I do this for fun!) and I then began to learn about hormones and the possible problems soy could cause. I immediately took our family off of soy; me, husband and dog.
Study: Exposure to genistein during gestation and lactation demasculinizes the reproductive system in rats.
The male offspring were thus exposed to genistein indirectly through maternal consumption during pregnancy and lactation. Male offspring of mothers on the high-genistein diet exhibited reproductive abnormalities and rats exposed to both the low- and high-genistein diets had shorter testes length, larger prostate mass, and lower testosterone concentrations.
The researchers also looked at adult sexual behavior of male offspring. Those exposed to both low and high doses of genistein were less likely to ejaculate after mounting female rats. What this means is that pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid all soy as even a low-dose exposure to genistein caused subtle but significant changes in sexual behavior in male offspring.
Journal of Urology, April 2003 169:1582-1586.
There are so many systems that are affected by consuming soy, especially when we are pregnant.
The phytoestrogens found in soy have been shown to interfere with:
- Endocrine function (potential to cause fertility problems)
- Reproductive issues (article above)
- Reducing the assimilation of important minerals
- Premature puberty
Processed soy foods also have large amounts of aluminum from the high-pressure processing system, which is toxic to the nervous system and has been questioned in harming fertility. Well, I could go on and on with more studies and negative results of ingesting soy during pregnancy or any other time in life, but I support you doing your own research to come to your own conclusions. As I am biased, I want everyone to be as healthy and happy as they can, so all of my studies and research will lean that direction.
What would be good to eat to boost fertility that does not include soy products or any other products that are harmful to my reproductive system?
The Natural Fertility Diet.
- Dr. Mercola’s Soy Articles Huge amount of important soy info.
- Soy Studies Another great source of studies done on soy.
- Whole Soy Story Article from Mothering magazine.
- WISNIEWSKI, A.B., KLEIN, S.L., LAKSHMANAN, L. and GEARHART, J.P. (April 2003,). Exposure to Genistein During Gestation and Lactation Demasculinizes the Reproductive System in Rats. The Journal of Urology. Volume 169, Issue 4, Pages 1582-1586. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ju.0000046780.23389.e0. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022534705638244