Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Soy Protein Isolate: Processed Soy

I have always heard mixed things about soy. That it can prevent cancer or that it can increase the risk of cancer due to it's estrogen like plant chemicals. Being a vegetarian, I prefer to use soy milk instead of milk. I eat edamame and tofu. According to the American Cancer Society  "In laboratory studies, animal studies, and research looking at groups of people and what they eat, certain chemical components of soy have been linked to a lower risk of breast and prostate cancer. Randomized clinical trials are needed to understand how these findings apply to cancer prevention in humans. Most studies that have shown benefit have used whole soy protein rather than soy components and extracts."

This brings me to an interesting tidbit I read in Good Houskeeping's October issue regarding soy protein bars.  I know a lot of people eat them for the protein benefits . The soy in them is usually in the form of soy protein isolates. This is processed soy. It is a dry powder protein ingredient that has been separated from the other components of the soybean. This processed soy and has been shown to increase breast cancer growth in lab studies. The effect on humans is not known yet. Check the ingredient list on your protein bar for soy protein isolates. You may want to eat a bar that does not contain this ingredient to be on the safe side.

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