Speculation has it that soy-based foods have a negative influence on men’s hormones, causing difficulties such as hot flashes and even the emergence of male breasts in particularly drastic cases.
We have definitive evidence drawn from scientific studies that can answer the question of whether the consumption of soy is beneficial or detrimental to a man’s health.
Does Soy Affect Testosterone in Men?
Soy does not negatively affect testosterone in men. Many different studies have been conducted that demonstrate that soy items and soy protein do not have any impact on the hormones found in males.
Research has displayed that moderate amounts of soy can significantly improve the health of both men and women, as well as kids, thus, there is not a convincing reason for the majority of people to reject soy.
A few studies done in a clinical setting suggest that soy may have an influence on hormones, and these studies were typically done on animals such as rats and mice.
An investigation on human subjects sparked hormonal imbalances. The participants in the study ate an abnormally high quantity of soy, which was nine times more than regular adult males would usually eat, all while on a nutrient-lean diet.
There are particular eatables that will decrease a person’s testosterone levels, and also foods that will raise testosterone. Soybeans and other soy-based products will neither raise nor reduce testosterone levels. Soy does not possess any negative qualities or be hazardous to male health.
The Effect Of Soy On Testosterone And Estrogen Levels In Men
Different clinical studies have been conducted to examine how soy affects testosterone and estrogen levels in males, both young and old, and in some animals. The results of these studies have varied, which might be one of the reasons why people are uncertain about the topic.
In 2010, a paper was presented in the journal infertility and sterility that measured nine clinical studies to gauge whether soy isoflavones could raise estrogen levels in men. Surprisingly, only two of them revealed statistically noteworthy rises in estrogen, but they were still within the normal range for males.
The author declared that the jump in estrogen level may have happened randomly since there was not an increase in estrogen in the group with the higher dose of isoflavone (107 mg) compared to the lower dose group (62 mg).
In summary, despite the men in Japan who ingest a lot of soy showing a rather insignificant relationship with their estrogen levels, eating soy on a frequent basis probably won’t affect estrogen concentrations.
It’s possible that reports of adverse reactions such as gynecomastia from soy isoflavones could be caused by an excessive intake of these isoflavones, heightened sensitivity, and/or a reduction in testosterone and DHT levels from medication or other reasons.
First reports of possible reductions in testosterone levels in males due to soy emerged from experiments with animals that exhibited a considerable decrease in testosterone when exposed to soy. Studies have revealed that the reaction to soy isoflavones between creatures and humans varies significantly because of the manner in which these substances are processed.
In many species, a higher proportion of isoflavones can be detected in the blood even when isoflavone intake is lower because their metabolism of isoflavones through glucuronidation is much more sluggish than in humans.
The differences in gut bacteria can also cause some individuals to produce more equol (which connects to the Estrogen Receptor Alpha with a higher affinity) than others or even none at all. This is due to the bacteria’s capability of transforming daidzein into equol.
However, it would still require a much larger quantity of daidzein than a person typically eats in their meals.
A review paper studying the impact of either soy protein or isoflavones upon androgens in males was assessed, encompassing a total of 15 investigations with a placebo control and 32 reports. It was found that soy had no major consequence on testosterone, SHBG or free testosterone levels.
In a 2-year study that monitored people while they took 43 mg of isoflavones each day, researchers did not observe any changes in testosterone levels.
A study published in 2018 concluded that soy protein supplementation had no impact on the testosterone or estrogen levels of college-aged males.
Does Soy Increase The Risk Of Cancer In Men?
Given the phytoestrogens found in soy and the biological implications they have on humans, there has been worry that soy could increase the odds of hormone-related cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. A 2017 study indicated that consuming soy may elevate the chances of developing advanced prostate cancer in males, which is the opposite of several other research projects.
Despite the research involving individuals with a day-by-day soy isoflavones intake of 0.42 mg, it is unclear if this amount is enough to cause significant consequences for prostate cancer.
In Asian cultures such as Okinawan, where people consume considerable amounts of soy, there are considerably fewer cases of prostate and breast cancer, particularly because soy isoflavones are ingested on a daily basis at over 40 mg. This is considerably higher than in this study!
A recent study that checked 30 studies found that consuming soy goods, specifically the components genistein, daidzein, and unfermented soy goods, had a considerable positive effect in decreasing the danger of prostate cancer.
How Much Is Too Much Soy?
The FDA suggests that a nutritious diet should involve having two to four servings of 25 grams of soy every day. Consuming surplus quantities of anything, even if it is beneficial for health, can bring about unfavorable outcomes and result in medical issues.
That being said, it’s very difficult to overeat soy. Men located in Asian nations, specifically Japanese males, are the biggest global consumers of soybeans, with some eating between 60-120 grams per day without any negative reactions.
It would be wise to stay away from overly processed foods that contain soy, like soy protein bars, soy powders, and fake meats made from soy. These often contain superfluous components such as sugar and salt, and if ingested in large quantities, can cause health conditions like cardiac issues.
So How Much Soy Is Safe To Eat?
The amount of isoflavones in the typical soy-based meal is about 25 mg, and elderly Asians eat about 40 milligrams of it daily. There have been no widespread accounts of adverse health results.
Researchers have studied the number of soy isoflavones in the blood of adults who were healthy, who were taking either a low dosage (48 mg per tablet to be taken 3 times daily) or a high dose (96 mg a day in 3 meals) of isoflavone supplement.
In the conclusion of the examination, it was established that every isoflavone pill held 48 mg as opposed to 32 mg.
Unexpectedly, even though only 96 milligrams of genistein were taken from food each day, the blood concentration was greater than both the small and large amounts of isoflavone supplements taken daily (144 and 288 milligrams, respectively). For daidzein, the greatest quantity was attained through high-dose tablets, succeeding that was foods containing soy than the low-dose tablets.
In general, the sum of isoflavone levels was approximately>4 μmol/L for participants consuming soy-based dishes and high-dosage dietary supplements.
Hence, it seems that when soy is consumed frequently, there are no dangerous hormonal impacts that would adversely affect a man’s wellbeing.
If you incorporated soy into all of your meals throughout the day, it would still only amount to approximately 75 mg of soy isoflavones, which is within the safe parameters for such a small quantity.
However, the risk of soy is not zero. Research into prostate cancer patients has shown that taking daily doses of isoflavones between 450 to 900 mg can cause breasts to become tender and for them to increase in size. It may not be a good idea to take doses greater than these.
Where Did the Soy Estrogen Myth Start?
The idea that soy had some special power has been present since animal experiments on the food began in the 1950s, but since then, scientific evidence has proved it wrong on multiple occasions.
The initial evidence suggested that consuming soy had a negative impact on male rats and mice, including a reduction of testosterone, a decrease in sperm count, and a negative effect on the number of offspring. For a period of eighty-three days, a following investigation monitored the consequences of soy on 20 men; afterward, two of the men revealed feminizing changes in their bodies.
Before discarding the tofu, let us carefully analyze these studies.
At the onset, it must be remarked that rats and mice cannot be equated with humans as their dietary processing differs. The rats and mice in these experiments ate soy predominantly in great quantities. It would be nearly impossible for people to ingest the same amount of soy as the researchers gave to the animals in the study.
Some people hastily assumed that if eating soy has negative effects on lab rats, then it would also have similar effects on humans.
One study found that two men had feminized chests. Again, dosing is an important factor here. The administrators provided the men with 18-36 portions of soy every day, but they administered it in supplement form rather than as part of a meal.
Using isoflavone supplements would lead to an unusually high intake of soy. Research involving people has found that consuming soy products is safe and advantageous for any nutritional regimen.
Is Soy Healthy?
Yes. Soybeans are a nutritious plant-based food providing all of the vital amino acids as well as being full of beneficial ingredients such as fiber, iron, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This protein-rich food is beneficial to your health.
Health Benefits of Soy
Incorporating soybeans and soy protein into a balanced diet can offer positive impacts on one’s health. Medical practitioners and health experts have discovered that vegetable proteins such as soy can be beneficial in alleviating a variety of longstanding health issues.
Promotes Heart Health
The majority of fat from soy is unsaturated, which helps reduce the possibility of coronary illness. Soybeans boast essential omega 6, omega 3, and polyunsaturated fats, which work to reduce cholesterol levels and benefit the heart’s wellness.
The isoflavone contained in soy may lessen the degree of inflammation in the bloodstream, which can be beneficial to the general health of one’s heart.
Soy isoflavone has the potential to decrease LDL, or bad cholesterol levels, by a small amount of 3% – 6%, which might not appear to be significant, yet even a minor modification can have a positive outcome in terms of altering one’s behavior.
A single cup of soybeans contains around 10g of fiber, aiding in the reduction of cholesterol levels in other foods. The level of saturated fats in poultry is lower than it is found in beef and pork. Therefore, it should be taken into consideration when controlling cholesterol.
High in Iron
Soybeans contain a significant quantity of iron, about 9 mg per cup, which is almost half of the suggested daily intake of iron. 83% of a cup of fermented soy protein makes for an excellent addition to any diet or workout regimen, particularly for those looking to build muscle strength or increase muscle mass.
Those who experience somewhat low levels of iron can benefit from getting iron through foods such as soy on an everyday basis. Those eating a vegetarian or vegan diet run the risk of becoming anemic, as most iron would usually be derived from animal protein in a typical eating plan.
Eating soy protein supplies an extra dose of iron. Another form of iron-rich food which should be avoided when you’re lactose illiberal is whey protein.
Reduces High Blood Pressure
Soybeans are known for being a high-in-protein and low-in-carbohydrate food, which can be beneficial for people struggling with high blood pressure . In addition to the isoflavones found in soy, it is full of amino acids such as Arginine, which assists in maintaining consistent blood flow, as well as regulating blood pressure, and potentially defending against heart issues.
Studies do not show whether increased isoflavone consumption has a beneficial effect on either people with high blood pressure or healthy adults.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Soybeans are not only capable of reducing blood sugar levels, but the isoflavone component can improve the body’s capacity to manage glucose, as well as its awareness to insulin. This is something that can be found in both items made from soy as well as soy-based supplements.
Further research is needed to back up the findings of this study on the effects and benefits of soy.
May Reduce the Risks of Some Cancers
In the past, soy protein was believed to be a potential cancer risk; however, with further research, it has been proven that it can actually decrease cancer risk over time. Studies have reported that isoflavones may reduce the danger of cancer of the colon/colorectal and gastrointestinal area and could protect against cancer in the large intestine, stomach, and lungs.
Studies show that consuming a lot of soy may help decrease the odds of some males getting prostate cancer, which is the second most widespread type of cancer affecting men worldwide.
It appears that consuming soy on a daily basis is safe, and there is no compelling proof that it can decrease testosterone levels or encourage feminization in males.
Some research effects that consuming large quantities of soy isoflavones (between 450-900 mg) can cause adverse reactions; however, if you regularly incorporate soy in your diet, the number of isoflavones (25 mg on average) should still be safe.
Millions of people throughout the world ingest soy without any harm, and it’s notably enjoyed in Asian nations famous for their long-living inhabitants, like Japan.
It is unequivocally clear that soy will not cause someone to change genders, and it can provide an essential source of nutrition for males.
It is an ideal choice for those who are working to grow their muscles and need either a food item or supplement which is jam-packed with proteins plus all the essential amino acids along with other vital micronutrients.