the science of soy: part 1

Over the years I have heard conflicting information from “established, reputable professionals” about the health benefits of soy protein.  I happen to love soy protein.  In 2003 when I found the highest quality soy protein on the market, from Shaklee, it changed my life.  My energy levels increased, my weight stabilized, my hypoglycemia episodes decreased dramatically, and my mood improved.  Because quality makes all the difference when it comes to “food”, I encourage you to take the time to read this excerpt on the Science of Soy from Dr. Jamie McManus, M.D.
Chair, Medical Affairs, Health Sciences & Education, Shaklee Corporation.

“Soy is a natural and traditional Asian food that nutrition scientists are continuing to study with renewed interest today. Long valued as a healthy vegetarian protein source, recent research has discovered vital compounds in soy called isoflavones, which provide potentially powerful health benefits of their own beyond the simple delivery of healthy nutrients in soy, from protein to minerals.

Science never stands still nor is complete. The findings of newer studies may provide conflicting results as compared to earlier studies or visa versa. This is true even in the case of a super food like soy. For example, there have been a few very limited studies on soy that have received much attention on the internet resulting in great confusion amongst consumers and even healthcare professionals. Certain websites have misrepresented the overall data on soy protein and I am quite concerned about this because when consumed as part of an overall well balanced diet, soy protein has great potential to help improve lives by reducing the risk of the leading causes of death and disability – heart disease, stroke and several types of cancer.

We (at Shaklee) are committed to monitoring the latest research and applying the very best nutrition research available to address people’s health concerns and support their overall health. Soy protein has been an important cornerstone of our nutritional programs and our consensus is that there are decades of favorable and positive epidemiologic and clinical evidence to support our perspective. Because we pride ourselves on having the highest standards for scientific research, we decided to engage an independent scientific expert to thoroughly review all of the soy research and write a complete scientific review.

Mark Messina, PhD is an adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University and the Executive Director of the Soy Nutrition Institute.  A renowned soy expert, Dr. Messina has been studying the health effects of soy for more than 20 years and has published more than 60 scientific papers and given more than 500 presentations on soy foods to health professionals around the world. From his extensive scientific white paper, Dr. Messina has prepared a two-part update on Soy. Part 1, linked from this letter, provides the latest science on the health benefits of soy consumption. Dr. Messina’s detailed investigation cites published scientific research studies he analyzed to reach his conclusions and includes specific references to these studies at the end of each of the two parts of his report.

The first part of this series, Soy and Your Health: An Update on the Benefits, gives you the latest information on favorable findings on soy.  Here you’ll learn about new research evidence for the numerous health benefits of soy – how a daily moderate intake of soy can protect against heart disease and stroke, may help prevent certain types of cancer, potentially alleviate menopause symptoms, support bone health and possibly even exert favorable effects on aging skin. To read the Part One of the series click here.

Then stay tuned next month for Part Two, Soy and Your Health: Dispelling the Myths.  Learn the truth about the so-called “anti-nutrients” in soy, why soy isoflavones do not elevate breast cancer risk, how soy really affects thyroid and brain function, the real difference between unfermented and fermented soy and much more.”