Soy has been incorrectly passed off as a health food for a long time. Soybean oil, soy milk, and even tofu are a staple in the lives of many people, especially vegetarians. However, most soy products are not real food — most are highly processed and genetically modified. In my opinion, the marketing of soy as a health food is probably one of the greatest bamboozles of all time.
5 Ways Soy Upsets Hormone Balance
One of the issues concerning soy is its high level of phytoestrogens — compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. Soy contains two primary phytoestrogens, sometimes called xenoestrogens, genistein and daidzein. Both compounds are known to disrupt the endocrine system in males and females.  These, and all, estrogen compounds are classified as isoflavones.
Isoflavones are estrogen mimickers that increase estrogenic activity. This may be helpful at times for relieving symptoms in menopausal women.  However, more often than not, isoflavones block and replace naturally-produced estrogen, an action that many experts believe is cause for concern. So what happens when things get out of balance?
1. Causes Premature Menstruation
Girls are reaching their first menstruation at earlier ages, now more than ever. Fifty years ago, it was common around a girl’s 13th birthday. Now it’s hitting girls under 10. Studies on young female rats suggest soy is a contributing factor.
2. Leads to Gynecomastia
3. Kills Libido
4. May Cause Infertility
5. Linked to Breast Cancer
There’s no denying the connection between xenoestrogens and breast cancer. Considering that breast cancer cells require stimulation via estrogen, it may be a wise idea to keep your consumption of estrogen and estrogen-like compounds in check, from all sources, including soy. 
Soy: A Toxin in Disguise
Perhaps the biggest problem with soy is we’re not fed this product in small amounts. Soy is a cheap, subsidized ingredient used in processed foods in the form of oil, thickeners, flavor enhancers, stabilizers, preservatives, and nutritive fillers. Check the ingredients, if you’re eating processed food, you’re probably eating soy.
Is Any Soy Good?
Fermented soy, like tempeh and natto, can be really healthy since the goitrogens and nutritive inhibitors are significantly reduced. Regardless, keep in mind that most soy, even fermented, is likely to be GMO. When it comes to non-organic and unfermented soy, I’ve personally added it to my “avoid” list.
What are your thoughts on soy? Do you eat it? If so, what types of soy foods do you use? Please share with us your thoughts in the comments!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
This article first appeared at GlobalHealingCenter.com.