View Full Version : soy (again!)
03-10-2006, 01:28 AM
I read a few scary things yesterday night on soy. I went through the posts and read Christa's article, but it didn't answer a recent concerned about soy and fetal development and specifically sexual maturation. I read hypospadias could be linked to soy consumption. And it does freak me out, I do not eat soy in moderation at all. I have lots soy milk everyday and eat soy products on a daily basis. There are lots of alegations on soy, and so far they only had me laughing (like the fertility one), but I beleive soy may have an impact on hormones (supposed to inhibit estrogens by sticking to them or something and therefore help menstrual problems). But if it does interact with hormones at a time like pregnancy, couldn't it be dangerous to eat too much? The sexual development happens between week 6 and 9 said one article, and that's behind... Here I am worried again, it's my first preg, my enviro is not veg friendly and I couldn't handle a problem. I mean after all I know nobody who had a soy powered veg pregnancy and delivered a healthy baby (let alone a baby guy, fully "formed"). I really have loads of soy milk (fruits and cold cereals with soy milk are hits when I have nauseas), and I am not sure vegans eat that much. I was raised on dairy and I guess I just did the switch when I turned vegan, soy milk is comforting to me.
So of course nothing is sure, my soy milk is often organic, the most quoted study said vegetarians had a greater risk by 5 times, but then were unsure of how much soy they had and it could be that they tend to eat too much dairy or eggs...but I am scared!!! Like I said I have realised that I had no example of personns drinking a liter a day of soymilk and with a healthy pregnancy... I feel I am less informed since out of the norm. Anyways, please is there any veg mama out there who had a healthy preg having lots of soymilk in her first trimester?Even with nauseas soymilk went down in quantity (and I forced it a bit sometimes), I guess many women probably didn't have much of it during the first trimester because of nauseas...If someone did please speak!!! Does anyone know somebody who had a child with hypospadias? Is there ways of praying or casting spells for everything to be fine?:rolleyes:
03-10-2006, 07:27 AM
If you're concerned, switch to rice milk.
Easy solution. :)
03-10-2006, 09:56 AM
My wife is Japanese, and grew up eating lots and lots of soy. My sister-in-law is now pregnant, and is having a normal pregnancy eating lots of soy. I think that taking an isoflavone or soy extract supplement in excess is overdoing things by far, and where most of these bad effects may start. I'd tend to believe some of this hype if it was about something that humans haven't been using for thousands of years. We eat tofu, drink soymilk, and use tvp and other soy products. I'm not worried a bit, and refuse to be swayed by some of the fearmongering going on. Next week they'll be onto rice being bad for you, or maybe carrots. Take what you read on the 'net with a grain of salt, even if it is from an "expert".
03-10-2006, 09:57 AM
I suspect that the study regarding hypospadias was the British study that I did mention in my article. Look at the part subtitled, Infertility and reproductive health. I'll paste it here for your convenience:
A few studies of the offspring of rodents who were fed soy isolates during pregnancy and lactation and rodents who were injected with soy isoflavones in infancy have found evidence of negative reproductive outcomes. However, there is a significant difference in the amount of estrogen to which fetal rats and fetal humans are normally exposed. Fetal rats are normally exposed to very small quantities of estrogen in utero whereas human fetuses are normally exposed to large quantities of estrogen in utero – this is without any soy consumption on the mother’s part. It has been suggested that rats, unlike humans, are not meant to be exposed to significant quantities of estrogen in utero and their reproductive organs are, therefore, more biologically sensitive to the effects of isoflavones. 
Whatever the mechanism for the poor outcomes for the rodents, these results have not been replicated in humans. In fact, research on human infants exposed to soy in utero and during infancy has found no statistically significant differences in sexual development or reproductive health other than one study that found slightly longer menstrual periods in women who were fed soy formula as infants . Clinical studies of infants fed soy formula, arguably the infants with the highest exposure to soy, have found no hormonal defects, no increase in infertility and normal sexual maturation.    
The one human study that implicated a vegetarian diet during pregnancy as a cause of hypospadias  (a congenital defect of the male genitalia in which the opening is not at the tip of the penis) should not be entirely dismissed, but is certainly not conclusive either. The researchers followed a large cohort of pregnant women in Britain and looked at many factors that could influence the development of hypospadias, including maternal diet. They then followed up to determine which factors were associated with a greater instance of hypospadias. Among those factors considered, the only ones that increased the risk of having a male child born with this defect were iron supplementation during pregnancy, being vegetarian during the pregnancy, and/or influenza during the first trimester.
Without looking any further, these findings may be alarming. However, we need to consider what aspect of their environment may have increased the instance of hypospadias among the boys born to the vegetarian mothers – soy is certainly not the only possibility and perhaps not even the most logical suspect once the remainder of the findings are considered. The researchers do hypothesize in the abstract of their article that “vegetarians have greater exposure to phytoestrogens than do omnivores, these results support the possibility that phytoestrogens have a deleterious effect on the developing male reproductive system. ”
We must understand that a hypothesis is only a tentative explanation and not a tested theory. Yes, it is possible that phytoestrogens played a role, but it is also possible that the pesticides on the larger quantities of produce eaten by the vegetarian women played a role, another hypothesis that the researchers offer in this paper. (Very few of the women in the study ate organic produce. Of those who did, none had a son born with hypospadias, but the numbers of women who fell into this category – consuming only organic produce – was so small that it was not possible to calculate if the protective effect of organic produce was statistically significant.)
Again, if we bothered to read the entire article, we would find the statement that, “the association of hypospadias with a vegetarian diet was not obviously explicable by the components of a vegetarian diet. There were differences in the proportion of hypospadias cases born to mothers consuming soya milk or other products, but they were not significant, possibly because there were too few mothers who reported consuming such foods. ” [Emphasis mine] Thus, there was an association with being vegetarian during pregnancy and increased risk in having a son born with hypospadias, but there was not an increase in risk related to consuming the two soy products that the dietary questionnaire accounted for: soy milk and soy “meats.”
Without a more thorough analysis of the dietary habits of pregnant women, it is impossible to determine if soy was the cause of the increased incidence of hypospadias among the vegetarian women included in this study or if there was some other dietary or other environmental cause. Further research is warranted, but until these findings are replicated with a more careful dietary analysis, we really do not know what caused the increase in hypospadias in the infants in the study.
I'd agree with Erin that, if you are concerned, just to lay your mind at ease, why don't you give a try to replacing some of the soy milk with rice milk or almond milk? I did eat a pretty good amount of soy during my first pregnancy b/c I was eating soy milk and frozen banana smoothies for breakfast pretty much every morning. I also ate soy milk on my cereal for snacks. My child was a girl, though, so I don't know that this will help with your concern about little boys and it is only anecdotal.
Can you give us the link to the article that you read that scared you? Was it online?
03-18-2006, 04:51 AM
Thanks for all your answers. I don't really beleive soy would have that effect when I think about it with a non emotional brain. Indeed, all I have heard so far about soy proved to be wrong. I actually read on line (while searching for info on fetal development), that soy "hormones" could make a female cycle very long with heavy periods and lead to infertility. That reasured me, because I am a soy milk addict and I tend to have shorter cycles than the average population, I also tend to beleive I had no infertility problem!lol.
So what I did, is simply admitting I didn't really buy it, but that I did feel nervous, and I have decided to cut down on tonyu for a certain time (I guess it won't have any effect on the sexual development, probably already done, but it eases my mind).
Here rice milk is not as available as soy milks. I went to the health food store and did find some, and some almond milk too. They are way more expensive than soy , are not enriched, and I liked the fact that pouring soymilk over cereals was a quick way to add legumes, but well.
So rice milk was too watery for me and sugary, almond milk was so so. I have however found some oat milk yesterday, and it does taste great, very creamy, and not too sweet. So thanks to those scary articles, I have at least discovered oat milk lol.
Christa about the study, it was indeed the British study you are mentionning. I was not aware that most of them didn't eat organic. To me it is obviously not relevant, but enough to scare when you are pregnant. Being vegetarians, they might have been pressured into taking an iron supplement (which was a factor), were maybe pressurized into eating more eggs or dairy (probably with real hormones in it) to "compensate", and exposure to pesticides like you say could definetly be a more probable cause. So I don't beleive soy is bad, and I'm sure I'll get back to it during my pregnancy, but I got nervous about it, and am just making a pause to releive unecessary stress. I had googled soy and fetal development, and looked into my historic to retreive the websites addresses, but it seems that it gets erased after a day :S. I recall there was an article on a medical looking site, but I had to go "in cache"to read it, and it seemed that the article was no longer on their website (and when I searched the said site, I only found positive articles on soy), then there is a site called "mercola" I fell on several times and that was particularly alarming (www.mercola.com). I don't recall any other study than this bristish one being quoted. I also read several things that were simply explaining what hypospadias was, and the mix was enough for me to be scared. I fell on a forum of people having kids with it, and women said their doctor asked them if they were vegetarians but they weren't.
I don't recall everything but I had searched for the negative opinions on soy (like I may have googled "soy hypospadias" or sg like that) and I beleive I have read articles that were basically quoting each others, and weren't so meaningful, and most of all I have read them with fear instead of a brain. I have looked up for soy articles on pregancy websites (like babyfit), and found positive things on soy and fetal development.
Anyways, thanks to Gibbonboy and Christa for telling me there are healthy preg with soy (which I'm sure I know but needed to hear), and to Erin for the rice milk experience lol.
I beleive it all amounts to being stressed when realising that you know nobody that ate like you do while pregnant. It's ok but when somebody comes and tell you such a food you eat could be bad, you worry more easily. But I'm also confident that I'm avoiding plenty of nasty things by being vegan. And honestly, if soy was such a problem, if my nutrition was not it, would I have been able to get pregnant? I see many girls trying hard to get pregnant and they are far from vegetarians.
I had my first ultrasound yesterday, and I feel better now. I have a little cyst on the ovary that he or she came out of, but I've been told it was normal, and should resolve by itself. Normally I would have been worried but no, I'm so relaxed (and shocked) since yesterday. I wasn't expecting to see the baby move, and be so well formed, so baby like. It was awesome, it looked fairly healthy and was moving all around, it even "waved" at us (it was maybe saying go away but we prefered interpreting it as a hello lol). It was so full of life, it was incredible. And this little being was vegan already lol.
It probably didn't really waved at us but she or he did wave some negative away.
Thanks for your answers:).
03-18-2006, 06:52 AM
what program do you use to browse the internet? if you use internet exporer (and if its like the one in the US), go to the bar at the top and click on the "tools" menu, then click on "internet options" at the bottom of the list. a new window will pop up. you should be under the "general" tab. on the bottom of the list, there will be a section called "history" and then a way to change the number of days websites will be saved in your history.
this should help you find websites again.
also, my SIL gave birth to 3 healthy boys on a vegan diet with lots of soy and soymilk.
03-19-2006, 06:41 PM
my son is perfect, just had his first birthday, and I had tons of soy while pregnant! The only thing I would recommend is to limit things made with soy protein isolates because they are modified soy. Try to limit your soy to more natural states: soy beans, tofu, soy milk, soy yoghurt etc.
BTW-I happened to look at a soy infant formula the other day just for interest, omigosh! I am in shock over the ingredients. First thing: soy protein isolate, second thing: corn syrup, and the list went on with nothing containing nutitional value except maybe the vitamins they add. I can only imagine what ingredients the dairy formulas have. Ugh. Poor babies, and poor mothers who have no choice but to use that crap.
03-24-2006, 01:29 PM
xmysticprincessx: I use mozilla, but there is a similar option, just that my bf (the house computer authority:p) has made it this way.
kjmckenzie: Happy bday to your little one! and thank you for the experience, I know worrying about this is stupid (though maybe supplements, as any thing could be bad in concentrated forms), but it's reasuring to read things like your post. And yuk for the formula ingredients!
ps: have been to London this weekend and it made me think again about the study about sexual maformations. There could be more vegetarians in huge cities and I felt London was so poluted. So polution and where one lives could be a more probable cause than soy, or even vegetarianism.
Also I have noticed there were plenty of vegan products that weren't organic (like strawberry leathers whenever they are on the top "to buy organic" list), I try to buy organic and I had to turn down many nice things. But I didn't turn down some soy, yummy!
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