Oy Soy Veh–Confession from the NIH

We  have a major confession from the National Institutes of Health! The agency actually admits it’s been supporting research on soy and health for many years but is clueless about if and when soy prevents or cures much of anything. Or has even been proven safe! After commissioning a thorough review of the literature (http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/tp/soytp.htm), NIH found a “large but weak literature with equivocal findings” and “some troubling data about soy products used in research, which included confounding produced by unanticipated levels of phytoestrogens in animal feed” (Heindel et al. Environmental Health Perspectives 2008:116(3);389-393). In other words, to ascertain the benefits of soy, scientists compared its effects in animals to animals fed a control diet full of soy, a poor way to design any study but a great way to hide the negative effects caused by soy feeding.
The official conclusion of the review, written in the finest scientese: “Given the large amount of heterogeneity and inadequate reporting, particularly related to soy protein and isoflavone dose, many questions remain as to whether specific soy products in adequate doses may be of benefit in specific populations. Further, well-conducted studies are needed to clarify the effect of soy dose on lipid parameters and to determine whether soy components other than protein or isoflavones may be responsible for the lipid effects seen.”
To help sort things out, the NIH plans a workshop for nutritionists, scientists, MDs, epidemiologists, biochemists and clinical trialists from academia, industry and government. Their job will be to figure out how to guide “the next generation of soy protein and isoflavone human research.” A key task is to identify methodological issues relative to exposures and interventions that may confound study results and interpretation and to find ways to deal effectively with these issues in the design, completion, reporting and interpretation of studies. NIH also hopes this group will address issues related to exposure to soy and other phytoestrogens, factors influencing variability of response and negative consequences of exposure. Sounds to us like a belated admission that soy might have a “dark side.”    Interesting that I haven’t been invited.

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, is The Naughty NutritionistTM because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths. A popular guest on radio and television, she has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, ABC's View from the Bay, NPR's People's Pharmacy and numerous other shows. Her own radio show, "Naughty Nutrition with Dr. Kaayla Daniel," launches April 2011 on World of Women Radio. Dr. Daniel is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food, a popular speaker at Wise Traditions and other conferences, and recipient of its 2005 Integrity in Science Award. Her website is www.naughtynutritionist.com and she can be reached at Kaayla@DrKaaylaDaniel.com.

7 Responses to Oy Soy Veh–Confession from the NIH

  1. andrew says:

    Wise Traditions recommends 20,000 IU A and 1000 IU D per day which is 20/1 ratio. Carlson cod live oil contains 850 IU vitamin A and 400 IU vitamin D per dose. I consume 6 organic eggs daily and supplement 4,000IU vitamin A daily. I am a new member and have not fully researched the available information and wonder if someone can clarify the nutrients in eggs and clear this up.

  2. whitney says:

    Dr. Daniel,
    I came across your contact information on the Weston A Price website in an article regarding soy. I strive to fuel my body (and my family’s) with the most healthy and natural food possible, with that said I am confused about the controversy regarding soy. I do not serve anything soy-based to my family but I, myself consume a Shaklee Cinch soy shake each morning. I have only been doing this for a few months and have been feeling great, but am now concerned after reading some of your articles. The woman that “sold” me on the shakes absolutely loves the way the soy protein shakes have made her feel for years and tells me that it is manufactured in a way that is safe and is not genetically modified as most soy products are. In your “nutritionally” educated opinion, does the soy used in these shake drinks carry the same risks as you discuss in your articles or is it truly different somehow because of the way they grow it and manufacture it?

    Thank you for your time and expertise in this area. I do appreciate your attention to this question.

    Best regards,

  3. Paul Matzek says:

    I have been following the Weston A Price philosophy for food for 3-4 months now. I just had my annual physical and everything is great. Primarily, my blood serum cholesterol has gone through the roof.

  4. This is typical for anything the government gets involved in – poor results or no results.

  5. Angela says:

    I too just started using a soy product by Shaklee (Energizing Soy)b/c of the same information given to me. I have always loved and trusted the advice of Weston A . Price Foundation and Dr. Mercola, but started to question that maybe, just maybe (since Shaklee has been around for 50 some years) if Shaklees soy is not a product of GMO and said to be produced in such a way to make it healthier for the body then there could just be something true to it?? I have been struggling with Fatigue for several months and was desperate to try something that could possibly work. I feel great, but am I just being duped too? Please, please respond. I have PKD and do not want to do something that could actually be detrimental to my health (or even the health of my family) in the long run. Thank you.

  6. Kristine says:

    I too am looking for someone to let me know if the way Shaklee processes their non GMO soy (using water and lower temperatures) makes it as safe and healthful as they claim. My dad has been using Shaklee’s soy protein drink for at least 30 years and loves it.

  7. Andrew Hodge says:

    Hi. I am a follower of a traditional diet, as best i can, eatings daily all the good stuff recomended by WAF etc. I have had high Triglycerides for many years and choose to ignore the results, how ever as I have a new, young doctor who is insisting I am at risk of heart disease can you shed any light on the truth of high triglycerides in the blood. I have done a search on this web site with no specific results. As a side note my mother had excellent cholesterol levels and died at 59 of cancer, my father had veery high cholesterol and has been on medication in his 70’s and is nearly 80, so I favour the high triglycerieds at this time. I would vallue your imput or if you could refer me to some research so I can make an informed decision regards to medication. Thanks

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