The soy debate… it’s a heated one. Now remember that I as a Paleo Vegan supporter, fermented soy is allowed. But as someone that is allergic to soy, it’s not something I can use.
Menopausal women searching for safe and effective alternatives to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) almost always at some point are offered something containing “phytoestrogens”, either in their whole food form or as a concentrated extract in a supplement or cream. So, what exactly are phytoestrogens and how do they work in the human body? Are they even safe? You never see they may be, or they may not be. It’s always listed as a NO or a YES on the research that you will find. So I want to share both sides of the fence.
When you read the term “phytoestrogen” what it means is “plant estrogen”. In the 1950’s, this estrogenic activity was discovered in plants when researchers investigated the cause of infertility in a specific group of Australian sheep. Researchers noticed that these sheep were grazing in pastures of clover, subsequently labeling genistein as the active ingredient responsible in clover for having estrogen-like activity.
When we look at the fermentation process, it alters the chemical makeup of soy, which reduces the level of isoflavones by as much as 300% which is why the paleo Whole 30 for vegans allows fermented soy. Still research has raised concerns surrounding the use of soy and its possible negative effects on thyroid health. Research has only shown that genistein from soy can exacerbate some functions in the systems in individuals with preexisting conditions (specifically deficient in iodine). Other research points to issues with fertility, so generally soy products are not recommended for women with fertility issues.
Some studies have found that post-menopausal women consuming high quantities of soy foods have better femoral and/or lumbar spine density compared to women who consume less soy. They also have less symptoms going through changes in the body. Soy has also been shown to protect against some disease, rather than cause them. But what about the high amount of soy in our diets starting from birth and formula feeding, and all of the processed foods containing GMO soy products?
So what is best? I suggest speaking with your physician to determine the best approach for you before getting started with the any program. Here is the information on her feelings on the use of soy in the Transformation program so that you can take that along with you to talk to your doctor.
The goal for survivorship after your body has gone through something serious is to eat 8-13 servings of whole fruits and vegetables per day. And so even without a final conclusion on if you should drink the whole foods meal replacement shake, I believe that supplementing with the whole foods capsules is a fantastic way to support a healthy lifestyle, and get those extra nutrients that your body needs. As the companies continues to change their packaging, the bottles will read only FOLATE starting with the chewables. So keep your eyes out.