Monday, April 7, 2008

How much impact does eating SOY products have on Female Hormones?

This was a question discussed over the weekend between myself and a few female friends. We brought up the idea in a discussion over hormone replacement, irregular menstrual periods and the abundance of soy in healthy, natural and organic products.

I was curious if eating too much soy had any adverse effects on the regularity of menstrual periods or even women going through menopause. Are we exposing our bodies to too much plant derived hormones? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

I remember that my mother had very positive results by eating soy products and drinking soy milk while she was going through the change of her life. Prior to introducing soy- her symptoms of menopause were challenging for her and those around her. As soon as she starting her soy routine the hot flashes, crazy mood swings and other symptoms subsided.

But my question revolves around those of us who are still fertile. Does soy impact or change the regularity of one's periods?

So I did a little research about what is the best limit of soy to consume each day.

How much is too much soy?

In 1991, Japanese researchers reported that consumption of as little as 30 grams or two tablespoons of soybeans per day for only one month resulted in a significant increase in thyroid-stimulating hormone, and 100 grams of soy protein, (promoted for its bone-building isoflavones and cholesterol-lowering effects) contains the estrogenic equivalent of the Pill. In vitro studies suggest that isoflavones inhibit synthesis of estradiol and other steroid hormones.

Here are the side-effects of too much soy?

•Bloating
•Breast cancer (Soy isoflavones mimic estrogen)
•Calcium deficiencies (soy blocks calcium absorption)
•Cognitive decline (esp. in post menopausal women that have increased levels of estrogen in their blood)
•Constipation
•Depression
•Endocrine disruption
•Fatigue
•Goiter
Hair loss
•Hot flashes
•Hypothyroidism
•Infertility
•Irregular periods
•Lethargy
•Loss of muscle tone
•Painful periods
•Premature aging
•Thyroid cancer
•Thyroid disease
•Thyroid Stimulating Hormone increase
•Uterine cysts
•Vitamin D deficiencies
•Weight gain despite workouts and dieting



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