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How Soy Can Kill You AND Save Your Life
10/12/2006
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Dr. Mark Hyman on soy and health: informed opinions from the best-selling author of UltraMetabolism
by Mark Hyman, MD


We’ve never addressed the subject of soy foods before, so we’re pleased to be able to present this thought-provoking guest column from New York Times bestselling author, lecturer, and practicing physician Mark Hyman, M.D.

Dr. Hyman is Editor-in-Chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Medical Editor of "Alternative Medicine" magazine.

How Soy Can Kill You AND Save Your Life
"Eating soy will kill you!"

True?

Well, yes... but only if you're a mouse with no ovaries and no immune system, eating highly processed soy extracts in mega doses that humans were never meant to eat.

Scan some media reports and surf the Internet, however, and you're bound to come across scary claims like:

  • Soy will give you breast cancer...
  • Soy formula is dangerous to babies...
  • Genetically modified soy foods may modify you...
  • Soy foods block your thyroid function...
  • Soy prevents the absorption of minerals and blocks digestion...
  • Tofu causes Alzheimer's disease...

On the other hand, you may also have heard:
  • Broccoli has natural pesticides that will kill you...
  • Grapefruit contains naringenin, a potent compound that can have toxic interactions with medications...
  • Celery contains toxins that damage the immune system...
  • Spinach contains oxalates that bind calcium and prevent calcium absorption...
  • Mushrooms contain toxic compounds that cause cancer...
With mixed messages like these, no wonder so many of us are confused!

Let me clear things up for you.

I have reviewed reams of research and many claims for and against soy foods. What have I discovered?

Well, there's some good news and some bad news.

From the studies available, I can tell you that soy is neither as good as the proponents say, nor as evil as the critics claim.  I wish we had more convincing science to report, but we don't. The key is to take all the available evidence together and see what shakes out. I have done that for you.

If you want an excellent, unbiased, scientifically sound review of all the relevant human data on soy, I recommend reading the 100-page report from the Agency for HealthCare Research and Quality entitled, "The Effects of Soy on Health Outcomes" (www.ahrq.gov), which reviewed thousands of studies based on rigorous criteria for scientific validity.

Its conclusion was this: There is no evidence of significant benefit or harm based on the quality of evidence that exists today.

So what's a confused consumer to do?  Give up on soy until we know for sure? Or chow down on soy nuts?

Don't panic.

To me, there ARE some things we do know about soy, both good and bad.

First, you should know that the amount of soy used in many of these studies was much higher than what we normally consume
the average dose of soy was equivalent to 1 pound of tofu or 3 soy protein shakes a day.

That's a lot of soy!

Dr. Hyman on Weight Loss

In his recently published book, UltraMetabolism

—the Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss, Dr. Mark Hyman challenges several myths about weight loss.


As he says, “Did you know that exercising less and eating more can actually trigger your body to automatically lose weight or that eating carbs is the single most important thing you can do for long-term health?”

In UltraMetabolism, he acknowledges that it sounds unbelievable but explains why it's true, and why it’s the reason most people fail to lose weight.

To find out more, grab your exclusive free sneak preview of UltraMetabolism by clicking here.

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