|Dangers of Dietary Isoflavones At Levels Above Those Found In Traditional Diets|
|Written by Sally Fallon|
|Monday, 02 March 2009 17:36|
Cargill has received "self-determined" GRAS status for its AdvantaSoyTMClearTM isoflavone supplement to be used as an additive for beverages, nutrition bars, yoghurt, meal replacements and confections. See our summary of Studies Showing Adverse Effects of Isoflavones for ample proof of the dangers of adding phytoestrogens (isoflavones) to common foods. Deleterious effects include endocrine disruption, thyroid suppression, immune system suppresion, suppression of sperm production, DNA breakage and increased incidence of leukemia, breast cancer, colon cancer, infertility, growth problems and subtle changes in sexually dimorphic behaviors.
Dangers of Isoflavones
It has been argued that high levels of soy isoflavones such as genistein, daidzein and genistin in Asian diets protect the inhabitants of Japan and China from certain degenerative diseases, especially breast and prostate cancer. Actually, consumption of soy in traditional Asian diets is low. A 1975 report lists soyfoods as minor sources of protein in Japan and China.1 Major sources of protein listed were meat including organ meats, poultry, fish and eggs. Average isoflavone consumption in Asian diets ranges from 3-28 mg/day, as shown in the table below.
Studies indicate that isoflavone consumption at levels slightly exceeding those found in tradition diets results in thyroid suppression and endocrine disruption. The AdvantaSoyTMClearTM supplement would add 30-50 mg of isoflavones to a 100-gram serving of various common western foods, levels that exceed the amounts found in traditional diets and that are in the range of levels shown to cause problems, especially for sensitive individuals. Note that this level is also greater than the amount provided by 25 mg soy protein isolate, the amount determined by the FDA to warrant a health claim. It is not only possible but likely that many individuals will consume two or more servings of foods to which the Cargill isoflavones have been added, especially as these foods will be promoted with much advertising touting their health benefits. Two or more servings of such foods would provide 60-100 mg isoflavones per day, an amount that provides the estrogen equivalent of the contraceptive pill2 and one that clearly poses dangers after only a brief period of daily intake.
As evidence on the toxicity of soy isoflavones accumulates, warnings have begun to appear in the popular press. An article appearing in the Washington Post Health Section was entitled: "You have to be soy careful: tofu and similar foods may be beneficial, but some experts fear that too much could be unsafe."11 Writing for the New York Times, health columnist Marian Burros published the following comment on isoflavone supplements, which provide 50-100 mg isoflavones per capsule: "Against the backdrop of widespread praise. . . there is growing suspicion that soy--despite its undisputed benefits--may pose some health hazards. . . . Not one of the 18 scientists interviewed for this column was willing to say that taking isoflavones was risk free."12
The addition of isoflavones to common foods poses a clear danger to the public and should not be allowed.
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|Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2009 15:27|