How beneficial is soy? Soy derived from soy bean, contains a number of isoflavones, which are plant-derived estrogenic compounds; however the estrogenic potency of soy is much less than that of estradiol (a form of estrogen in the human body). Studies have shown that the oil from soybeans have the capability of lowering cholesterol in some individuals, potentially decreasing the risk of heart disease. The FDA has approved the use of soy protein, about 25 g/day in conjunction with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.
Additionally, soy has been reported to inhibit bone resorption in postmenopausal women, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis (bone loss). It decreases LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increases HDL cholesterol. It has also been reported that soy may have some antitumor effects, which are not related to its estrogenic activity.
If you are taking estrogen-containing medications or you have a current or history of estrogen-dependent tumors (including breast cancer), decreased thyroid function, or any gastrointestinal problem, consult your physician before use.