Does Soy really cause problems for men?
- 05-12-2008, 10:35 AM
Does Soy really cause problems for men?
I have been eating one energy bar per day for breakfast. They are organic, and only 240 calories. They are called Cliff Bars. Last week a friend told me with my low testosterone problem I should not eat these products. He also said it could raise estrogen levels in men. Does he know what he is talking about? Thanks
- 05-12-2008, 10:45 AM
- 05-12-2008, 12:57 PM
Thanks OCCfan, but I still do not have an answer
I have low test. 3 tests, 266, 284, & 289. I am 44 yrs old.
Have worked out with free weights for about 18 years. I have retained my muscle mass, but gained fat around waist. I have been put on AndroGel for the last 2 weeks. I really do not want to keep putting soy in my body if there is proof that it really does reduce your testosterone levels. I feel tired most all the time, libido is poor and depressed. I also am on meds for high BP, and hypothyroidism.
Soy (or any number of its constituents) has estrogenic properties. It has been termed a phyto-estrogen - a plant derived estrogen analog.
I have never heard that it causes any sort of hypogonadism though.
Sorry, I just saw low test in your original post and thought it was another can soy lower test questions.
How many grams of soy are in the cliff bar? The above thread will answer your questions regarding soy lowering test. However since you are already predisposed and have low test levels it may be in your benefit to avoid soy all together.
AndroGel is made from Soy
A product called AndroGel is made from soy. That is really strange considering soy is supposed to lower your test.
Soy: The New Anabolic Protein?
by Douglas R. Kalman PhD(c) RD
It is without doubt that whey protein should be considered numero uno for any MRP or part of any protein supplementation plan. However, soy protein isolate is truly under and unappreciated by those into health, fitness and bodybuilding. There is a wrongful male fear (irrational belief) that since soy contains phytoestrogens (plant sourced estrogen) that it will have an anti-testosterone effect in men. The data simply prove that to be wholly without merit and in fact, false. Did you know that a recent study found that soy was just as effective as whey for inducing (aiding) in muscle gains when combined with weight-training? This study found that for people who weight lifted four times per week (split body-type routine) and supplemented daily with a total of 50 grams of protein (whey, soy or a combination of the two), that the gains in muscle mass over a 12-week period were significant irrespective of what group the subjects fell into. Better yet, there were no negative changes in any of the male or female hormone levels from soy supplementation. Interestingly enough, the group that received the whey plus soy actually had a significant increase in the testosterone to estradiol ratio (meaning that more bioavailable testosterone was the result). The take home is simple, whey plus soy delivers greater biochemical benefit while having at least equal physiological benefit to the person who lifts weights. You may already know that whey protein contains agents (micromolecules) which are immunoenhancing, support healthy cholesterol levels, support thyroid function, enhance vascular tone, reduce the risk of heart disease and most importantly support the accretion of lean body mass (muscle). So, the point is that any well thought out, smartly designed MRP would, should contain whey protein and in fact, Lean Body does.
The science also tells us that soy protein reduces the risk of heart disease, enhances bone density (especially important for women), supports muscular growth, aids in dieting and is a satiating protein (helps to keep you feeling full). We know from more than one well-designed study that when soy protein isolate is combined with whey, the benefits become additive (synergistic): muscle reacts positively to the exercise plus supplementation, health is promoted throughout the body, and the user feels satisfied so he doesn’t overeat.
Additionally, soy protein is rich in branched chain amino acids (of which leucine is a key regulatory for enhancing muscular growth), arginine (may bolster growth hormone levels) and glutamine, which is great for the immune system and for athletic recovery.
The Take Home
Whey protein is a great healthy ingredient in a protein supplement and certainly in any MRP. Adding soy protein isolate enhances whey protein, especially for increasing the testosterone to estradiol ratio in men. If gaining or maintaining muscle mass is important to you, the combination of whey and soy is one proven protein combination for supporting this goal. In addition, numerous weight control (weight loss or satiety) studies have found that whey or soy can be beneficial for helping to maintain blood sugar, enhancing the feeling of fullness, supporting the hormones that regulate appetite and most importantly, maintaining muscle. In short, since soy protein isolate also imparts an improved mouth feel when combined with other proteins and since there is synergy between whey and soy, it would be a disservice to all the hard work that you do in and out of the gym for you not to use and enjoy a product that has both of these proteins as key ingredients.
Douglas S. Kalman MS, RD is a Director at Miami Research Associates (www.miamiresearch.com). He is also active with www.sportsnutritionsociety.org and a consultant to NIKE Inc. He can be contacted through either website.
i thought it was an interesting read ------^^
however, i do not use soy since it does contain estrogen-like compounds. and i'm a estro-phobic.
although plant estrogen sources are very weak being approximately 1/1000th the activity of synthetic estrogen.
if you use soy in moderation and combined with other protein sources you should be fine.
Hey AnonyMoose! Thanks 4 the input
I had ate those Cliffbars for about 18months for breakfast. Do they not all contain soy?
As you say, you are 44, you have put on fat around the middle (and possibly some in the gut?), you have low libido and a low test count, and are on Androgel.
At 44, your natural test is in decline (but probably not as much as you think; around your age, your body's balance between test & est is shifting; the fat you've put on releases aromatase, which converts test to est. Est encourages fat deposition; that fat releases more aromatase, which converts more test, which deposits more fat....
Once this cycle starts, it's hard to break: I doubt ditching soy will make the whole difference, but I see no reason to keep it.
Not trying to sell you, just my own thought process.
soy i believe will aggravate thyroid disorders so for that you should avoid it totally... and in larger doses will cause problems with men, so it should be avoided on a daily basis. i'm a vegetarian btw, and i def do NOT consume soy on a regular basis... once in a while i dont see it being a problem.
Urology. 2007 Sep;70(3):618-21.
Endocrine disruptors and hypospadias: role of genistein and the fungicide vinclozolin.
Vilela ML, Willingham E, Buckley J, Liu BC, Agras K, Shiroyanagi Y, Baskin LS.
Institute for the Study and Treatment of Hypospadias, Department of Urology, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.
OBJECTIVES: The phytoestrogen (plant estrogen) genistein, present in soy products, is of interest because in utero exposure to genistein can cause hypospadias in our mouse model and maternal consumption of soy is prevalent in human populations. Another compound of interest is the fungicide vinclozolin, which also causes hypospadias in the mouse and rat and can occur concurrently with genistein in the diet as a residue on exposed foods. A study in the United Kingdom found no relationship between a maternal organic vegetarian diet and hypospadias frequency, but women who consumed nonorganic vegetarian diets had a greater percentage of sons with hypospadias. Because nonorganic diets can include residues of pesticides such as vinclozolin, we sought to assess the interaction of realistic daily exposures to genistein and vinclozolin and their effects on the incidence of hypospadias. METHODS: Pregnant mice were fed a soy-free diet and orally gavaged from gestational days 13 to 17 with 0.17 mg/kg/day of genistein, 10 mg/kg/day of vinclozolin, or genistein and vinclozolin together at the same doses, all in 100 microL of corn oil. The controls received the corn oil vehicle. The male fetuses were examined at gestational day 19 for hypospadias, both macroscopically and histologically. RESULTS: We identified no hypospadias in the corn oil group. The incidence of hypospadias was 25% with genistein alone, 42% with vinclozolin alone, and 41% with genistein and vinclozolin together. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the idea that exposure to these compounds during gestation could contribute to the development of hypospadias.
BJU Int. 2000 Jan;85(1):107-13.
A maternal vegetarian diet in pregnancy is associated with hypospadias. The ALSPAC Study Team. Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood.
North K, Golding J.
Unit of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, Division of Child Health, University of Bristol, UK.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the possible role of the maternal diet, particularly vegetarianism and consumption of phytoestrogens, in the origin of hypospadias, which is reported to be increasing in prevalence. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Detailed information was obtained prospectively from mothers, including previous obstetric history, lifestyle and dietary practices, using structured self-completed questionnaires during pregnancy. Previously recognized associations with environmental and parental factors were examined, focusing particularly on the hypothesized hormonal link. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent associations. RESULTS: Of 7928 boys born to mothers taking part in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood, 51 hypospadias cases were identified. There were no significant differences in the proportion of hypospadias cases among mothers who smoked, consumed alcohol or for any aspect of their previous reproductive history (including the number of previous pregnancies, number of miscarriages, use of the contraceptive pill, time to conception and age at menarche). Significant differences were detected for some aspects of the maternal diet, i.e. vegetarianism and iron supplementation in the first half of pregnancy. Mothers who were vegetarian in pregnancy had an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 4.99 (95% confidence interval, CI, 2.10-11.88) of giving birth to a boy with hypospadias, compared with omnivores who did not supplement their diet with iron. Omnivores who supplemented their diet with iron had an adjusted OR of 2.07 (95% CI, 1.00-4.32). The only other statistically significant association for hypospadias was with influenza in the first 3 months of pregnancy (adjusted OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.50-6.78). CONCLUSION: As vegetarians have a greater exposure to phytoestrogens than do omnivores, these results support the possibility that phytoestrogens have a deleterious effect on the developing male reproductive system.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Apr;19(2):242-55.
Brain aging and midlife tofu consumption.
White LR, Petrovitch H, Ross GW, Masaki K, Hardman J, Nelson J, Davis D, Markesbery W.
National Institute on Aging, NIH, USA.
OBJECTIVE: To examine associations of midlife tofu consumption with brain function and structural changes in late life. METHODS: The design utilized surviving participants of a longitudinal study established in 1965 for research on heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Information on consumption of selected foods was available from standardized interviews conducted 1965-1967 and 1971-1974. A 4-level composite intake index defined "low-low" consumption as fewer than two servings of tofu per week in 1965 and no tofu in the prior week in 1971. Men who reported two or more servings per week at both interviews were defined as "high-high" consumers. Intermediate or less consistent "low" and "high" consumption levels were also defined. Cognitive functioning was tested at the 1991-1993 examination, when participants were aged 71 to 93 years (n = 3734). Brain atrophy was assessed using neuroimage (n = 574) and autopsy (n = 290) information. Cognitive function data were also analyzed for wives of a sample of study participants (n = 502) who had been living with the participants at the time of their dietary interviews. RESULTS: Poor cognitive test performance, enlargement of ventricles and low brain weight were each significantly and independently associated with higher midlife tofu consumption. A similar association of midlife tofu intake with poor late life cognitive test scores was also observed among wives of cohort members, using the husband's answers to food frequency questions as proxy for the wife's consumption. Statistically significant associations were consistently demonstrated in linear and logistic multivariate regression models. Odds ratios comparing endpoints among "high-high" with "low-low" consumers were mostly in the range of 1.6 to 2.0. CONCLUSIONS: In this population, higher midlife tofu consumption was independently associated with indicators of cognitive impairment and brain atrophy in late life.
BMC Neurosci. 2001;2:20. Epub 2001 Dec 17.
Visual spatial memory is enhanced in female rats (but inhibited in males) by dietary soy phytoestrogens.
Lund TD, West TW, Tian LY, Bu LH, Simmons DL, Setchell KD, Adlercreutz H, Lephart ED.
The Neuroscience Center Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA. [email protected]
BACKGROUND: In learning and memory tasks, requiring visual spatial memory (VSM), males exhibit superior performance to females (a difference attributed to the hormonal influence of estrogen). This study examined the influence of phytoestrogens (estrogen-like plant compounds) on VSM, utilizing radial arm-maze methods to examine varying aspects of memory. Additionally, brain phytoestrogen, calbindin (CALB), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) levels were determined. RESULTS: Female rats receiving lifelong exposure to a high-phytoestrogen containing diet (Phyto-600) acquired the maze faster than females fed a phytoestrogen-free diet (Phyto-free); in males the opposite diet effect was identified. In a separate experiment, at 80 days-of-age, animals fed the Phyto-600 diet lifelong either remained on the Phyto-600 or were changed to the Phyto-free diet until 120 days-of-age. Following the diet change Phyto-600 females outperformed females switched to the Phyto-free diet, while in males the opposite diet effect was identified.Furthermore, males fed the Phyto-600 diet had significantly higher phytoestrogen concentrations in a number of brain regions (frontal cortex, amygdala & cerebellum); in frontal cortex, expression of CALB (a neuroprotective calcium-binding protein) decreased while COX-2 (an inducible inflammatory factor prevalent in Alzheimer's disease) increased. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that dietary phytoestrogens significantly sex-reversed the normal sexually dimorphic expression of VSM. Specifically, in tasks requiring the use of reference, but not working, memory, VSM was enhanced in females fed the Phyto-600 diet, whereas, in males VSM was inhibited by the same diet. These findings suggest that dietary soy derived phytoestrogens can influence learning and memory and alter the expression of proteins involved in neural protection and inflammation in rats.PMID: 11801187
Brain Res. 2000 Mar 17;859(1):123-31.
Phytoestrogens decrease brain calcium-binding proteins but do not alter hypothalamic androgen metabolizing enzymes in adult male rats.
Lephart ED, Thompson JM, Setchell KD, Adlercreutz H, Weber KS.
Neuroscience Center, 633 WIDB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA. [email protected]
Phytoestrogen [plant estrogenic-like molecule(s)] research has grown rapidly in recent years due to their potential health benefits. However, little is known about phytoestrogen's effects on the CNS. Androgen metabolizing enzymes are known to regulate neuroendocrine functions and reproductive behaviors, while calcium-binding proteins are associated with protecting against neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, we examined aromatase and 5alpha-reductase enzyme activities in the medial basal hypothalamic and preoptic area (mbh-poa) and characterized mbh-poa and amygdala (amy) calbindin and calretinin levels (via Western analysis) from animals fed a phytoestrogen-free (P-free) vs. a phytoestrogen-containing diet [(P-600); that had 600 microg/g of phytoestrogens]. After approximately 5 weeks on the diets, the male rats were killed at 105 days. P-600 plasma phytoestrogen levels were 78-fold higher than the P-free values and the mbh-poa phytoestrogen content was 8-fold higher than the P-free group, demonstrating the passage of phytoestrogens into brain. In general, brain aromatase or 5alpha-reductase activity levels were not significantly altered by the experimental diets. However, independent of brain site (i.e., mbh-poa or amy) the abundance of calbindin from male P-600 rats was significantly lower than P-free animals. Conversely, for calretinin there were no significant alterations in the mbh-poa tissue site, while in the amy a similar pattern of expression was seen to that of the calbindin results. These data suggest that consumption of phytoestrogens via a soy diet for a relatively short interval can significantly: (1) elevate plasma and brain phytoestrogens levels and (2) decrease brain calcium-binding proteins without altering brain androgen metabolizing enzymes.
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