Soy Quality Control Checklist
Do not purchase soy powders and expect them to produce positive health results unless you know that the following "ESSENTIAL SEVEN" quality controls have been met by the manufacturer:
1. ___ The beans must be organically grown
2. ___ The beans must NOT be genetically engineered
3. ___ Each batch must be checked to confirm that it contains the 9 essential
4. ___ In the manufacturing process to produce the soy isolate, the crushed
soy flakes must be water washed (not alcohol washed)
5. ___ The anti-thyroid/anti-growth substance MUST be removed
6. ___ The process must be without heat
7. ___ The soy isolate must have calcium added (when the oil is removed it becomes
an acidic food - when calcium is added it makes it neutral again)
The attached explanations will help you to clear up confusion.
a) Were the soybeans ORGANICALLY GROWN? ..... studies have shown decreased levels of food nutrients and increased levels of nitrates in chemically fertilized crops, when compared with their organic counterparts. There is a connection between the ingestion of nitrates & CANCER! Therefore, it is important to know that pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides have not been used during the growing process. In particular, with soy beans, since they are such a hardy plant, a powerful and DEADLY weed spray called Round-up is usually used. For your safety, you must know that your soy products are organically grown.
b) Were the soy beans GENETICALLY ENGINEERED? ..... genetically engineered soybeans are much cheaper to purchase, and most companies producing soy products look for ways to save money.
c) Does your soybean powder contain ALL of the nine essential amino acids? ...... One of the most valuable features of the soybean is that it is a complete protein and provides ALL nine of the essential amino acids. The body requires these daily to produce hormones, digestive juices, antibodies, and enzymes. HOWEVER, not all soybeans are created equal ..... quality and amino acid content will vary based on soil conditions, and variable growing and harvest conditions. If one essential amino acid is missing, the immune system can be depressed 30%, and many important body functions are delayed or stopped. Therefore, it is essential that each batch of soybeans be checked for amino acid content if we want to depend on the soy isolate to provide a GUARANTEED supply of the nine essential amino acids.
d) Were the crushed soy flakes washed in alcohol or water? ....... Alcohol washing destroys isoflavone content ..... up to 88%! It is the isoflavones that reduce the risk of breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancer! As well, it is the isoflavones that are so beneficial in hormone balancing and increasing bone mass.
e) Was the "anti-thyroid", "anti-growth" substance in the raw soy removed? ...... Orientals, who have consumed large amounts of soy for years, have known that RAW soy contains an "anti-growth", "anti-tyrosine" substance. Tyrosine deficiency will cause low blood pressure, low body temperature, and restless leg syndrome. Therefore, Orientals always lightly cook their soy foods to deactivate the "anti-tyrosine/anti-growth" substance. Shaklee has designed an extracting process that removes this substance, yet keeps the soy in a raw form in order to maintain the HIGHEST LEVEL OF AMINO ACIDS and ISOFLAVONES which are very sensitive to heat.
f) Is your soybean food RAW or heated? ..... Amino acids are very sensitive to heat. In some studies, cooking protein has been shown to destroy up to 50% of some ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS. If an individual consistently consumes a diet that is lacking in all of the essential amino acids, inadequate brain development and hormones, or other body tissue development can be the result.
g) Has CALCIUM been added to your soy powder? .... Some negative reports about soy say that soy powders are VERY ACIDIC and cause bone loss because it causes calcium to be drawn from the bones!!!! The raw soy bean is a NEUTRAL food ..... neither acidic or alkaline. However, the removal of the soybean oil (which is essential so the soy powder will not go rancid very quickly), makes the powder very acidic. Therefore, adequate calcium (which is very alkaline) must be added to cause the powder to be neutral again, or it can cause the above stated problem. Many protein powder manufactureres do not add any or enough calcium.
h) Do soybeans cause cancer? ...... It is true that "overcooked" soy does contain "carcinogenic" compounds. When soy is extruded through high temperature, high pressure steam nozzles to form what is called "textured vegetable protein - TVP for short", this form of processing renders the soy "meat substitute" carcinogenic or cancer-causing. TVP is what is used in soy dogs and soy burgers, and should be avoided.
i) What about roasted soybeans? .... Whole soy beans are high in plant fat. If soybeans are roasted to eat as soy nuts, the heat alters the fat and makes it a trans-fatty acid, which causes both cancer and heart disease. As roasted soy nuts sit on the shelf or in the cupboard in storage, the oils are becoming more and more rancid and carcinogenic. AVOID roasted soy beans.
j) But I've heard that soy protein is hard on the kidneys! ..... Animal protein is much harder to digest than vegetable protein. Since many people have digestive difficulties, protein that is not thoroughly digested is very challenging to the kidneys. Powdered protein is in a predigested state, and the BEST protein source to choose! Protein is not the enemy - it is essential for life. It is true, however, that EXCESSIVE protein is hard on the kidneys, so if a person consumes more than 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily, AND does not consume adequate carbohydrates with it, this could cause kidney damage.
k) But I have breast cancer, and I've been told I cannot have soy! ....... It is true that soy is a "phyto-estrogen" food, which means it contains substances that have hormone-like components. However, their estrogen strength is 1/1000th that of the body's own stronger estrogens. Therefore, you want to load your digestive system with quality controlled raw soy powder, because these weaker estrogens will block the estrogen receptor sites from receiving your body's own stronger estrogens and therefore be very protective against estrogen fed cancer.
So far, in almost 39 years, I have not found any other brand that meets all of these very stringent requirements so I have stayed with Shaklee.
This article can help to further clarify the issue of soy and thyroid.
From Virginia Messina, MPH, RD & Mark Messina, PhD:
Soyfoods and the Thyroid
Many foods contain goitrogens, compounds that interfere with thyroid function (and in extreme cases can cause an enlarged thyroid, called a goiter). Along with soyfoods, millet, cruciferous vegetables and other foods contain goitrogens. Generally, these foods cause problems only in areas where iodine intake is low since this mineral is important for thyroid function. The effects of iodine deficiency can be made worse if the diet is high in goitrogens.
Although a concern about soy and thyroid function may be news to many vegans, it has actually been a focus of research for more than 70 years. Between 1951 and 1961, this research took on a special importance when about 10 cases of goiter were diagnosed in infants who had been fed infant formula made from soy flour. These old studies form some of the basis for arguments that soy is dangerous for infants. However, the situation for today's soy formula-fed infant is very different. Since the 1960's, soy-based infant formula has been made from soy protein isolate (which does not contain the goitrogens component; soy flour formulas did) and it is fortified with iodine. No cases of goiter have been diagnosed in infants fed this formula in the past 40 years.
Nor is there any evidence that consuming soy causes thyroid problems in healthy, well-nourished people who have adequate iodine in their diet. However, it is possible that eating a diet with generous amounts of soyfoods could be a problem for people whose iodine intake is marginal. And that might just include some vegans, since the main sources of iodine in western diets are fish and milk. But the appropriate response to this is not to limit healthful soyfoods; it's to get enough iodine. Vegetables have varying amounts of iodine depending on where they are grown. In some parts of the world--specifically northern Europe--vegans may have low intakes of iodine. Foods that can supply iodine to vegan diets are sea vegetables, although contents vary quite a bit. Fortified foods are also a good source. Iodized salt is about the most reliable source. Vegans should be sure that, when they season foods with salt, it is iodized. If this isn't a regular part of your diet, use an iodine supplement.
CONCLUSION: Soyfoods may contain goitrogenic compounds as do other foods. There is no evidence that regularly eating soyfoods causes thyroid problems in people who eat a balanced diet. Vegans should make an effort to include adequate sources of iodine in their diet.