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Medical Soy Milk, should I drink it?

  1. May 6, 2012 #1
    Hi, my name is Topher, I'm a guy, and I love to drink soy milk.

    Over the weekend a friend of mine told me that drinking soy milk is bad for men's health because it contains high amounts of estrogen. By introducing large amounts of estrogen into my body I could possibly grow breasts or become infertile. I'm always very skeptical of such statements so I decided to do a little research.

    In summary, I've found that there's a lot of debate about soy milk and other soy products. However from the more credible sources I've investigated, it seems that there is no data to support soy products negatively affecting men's health. Apparently, soy doesn't even contain estrogen but phytoestrogens. A chemical with a structure similar to the human hormone estrogen but only found in plants. Its metabolized quite differently than estrogen and has really only been found to have positive effects on health. But, there's still a lot of other sources out there that have a different opinion and claim that the long term effects of soy products is still unknown.

    So should I stop drinking soy milk? I haven't had my period yet or have a strong yearning to buy shoes and pretty things so I think I'm safe so far. I don't think I could give up tofu or veggie burgers though. I'm thinking I'll give almond milk a try.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2012 #2

    lisab

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    Almond milk is *awesome*, I love it :!!). It almost makes me wish I was lactose intolerant, haha.

    Yeah I've heard the same info about soy and estrogen. I'd like to hear what the medicos here say about it.

    I've also heard consuming a lot of soy makes you love cats, but that's just a rumor :wink:.
     
  4. May 6, 2012 #3
    Then you should look great, your facial skin is just bright and soft. It helps your heart and prevent aging too.

    I guess soy milk doesn't directly contain estrogen, it contains its metabolites which help our bodies secrete estrogen. And before you can grow your breasts, you would die of other causes owing to an excessive amount of soy milk intake.
    Yes, soy milk reduces men's sexual urge but does not kill it.

    I personally love all types of milk, a big glass of soy milk + 2 big glasses of normal cow's milk
    after each meal is a lot beneficial for health.
     
  5. May 6, 2012 #4
    Yes soy milk contains phytoestrogens.

    Men produce estrogen (estradiol) via testosterone in the hormonal cascade.
    http//www.sugars4life.com/images/hormone-cascade.jpg

    Fat is estrogenic too, and I think for the average man reducing fat is far more important than avoiding soy. 'Man boobs' is not just a product of being fat, but of the fat cells helping produce more estrogen. Bodybuilders are obsessed with this & even use aromatase inhibitors (temixifan) to block estrogen when taking anabolic steroids.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2012 #5

    Monique

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    What your friend told you is not true, at least there is no evidence for the statements:

    Estrogens and phytoestrogens in male infertility. Curr Opin Urol. 2011 Nov;21(6):519-26.
    Soy protein formulas in children: no hormonal effects in long-term feeding. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Feb;17(2):191-6.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  7. Jun 4, 2012 #6
    Monique, I would love to access your second reference (j Paed E M etc) but can't get past the guard dog.

    I am interested because my daughter grew up on soy instead of cow's milk as a precaution against later allergies.

    Incidentally I can confirm that this effect was noticeable by its absence.

     
  8. Jun 4, 2012 #7

    Monique

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  9. Jun 4, 2012 #8
    Not without spending $42.

    You have a PM.
     
  10. Jun 4, 2012 #9

    bobze

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    We were taught in medical school that the phytoestrogens in soy have negligible effects on health--be that adverse affects on men's health or protective effect on women's health (some women use soy to help "guard" against osteoporosis post-menopause). I agree with phylotree, I suspect before you could see an affect of phytoestrogens from soy, you'd get other toxic effects from the amount you'd need to ingest. The liver is actually incredible at metabolizing and busting up steroids. Which is why the oral contraceptives companies have to go to such great lengths to find estrogens with good bioavailablity.

    The person doing the teaching was a professor of pharmacology who does nothing but "natural supplement" investigation. She'd actually helped in a study on the protective effects (or rather lack) phytoestrogens in soy supplements on women's health. She had a lot of references of published data for it--So it seems to be one of the rather more well researched "natural" supplement product claims. Pubmed is probably your best bet for finding more information. If you are having trouble finding more details send me a PM in 2 weeks and I'll dig through some binders and find the references she gave (boards coming up so no time now).
     
  11. Jun 8, 2012 #10

    Drakkith

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    I have a question here. Does ingesting things that can help your body create more of a certain chemical necessarily mean that it *will* create more? I would guess that it wouldn't, but I just wanted to make sure. In the case of soy milk, even if it does have phytoestrogens does that mean that your body will create more estrogen?
     
  12. Jun 8, 2012 #11

    Monique

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    The idea is that phytoestrogen are structurally similar to estrogen and could thus mimic its actions in humans, not necessarily that it's converted into estrogen. I think the literature points in the direction that phytoestrogens actually reduce the effect of estrogen, by competition. While estrogens contribute to an increased breast cancer risk, phytoestrogens contribute to a reduced breast cancer risk and are a target for therapy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22583409.1
     
  13. Jun 8, 2012 #12

    Drakkith

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    Ah ok, that makes sense Monique.
     
  14. Jul 13, 2012 #13
    dude no big deal a little plant estrogen isnt going to change that much. And it's NOT LOADED with estrogen. Soy is still going to be break down and used for other stuff mostly
     
  15. Jul 24, 2012 #14
  16. Jul 24, 2012 #15
    sure then you do a meta analysis you find all the men in these studies died of heart attack years prior and were excluded from the studies
     
  17. Jul 24, 2012 #16

    Evo

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    I don't think there is anything horribly wrong with drinking soy milk, but there's nothing really good about it either.

    Drink it if you like it, but don't drink it for medical reasons.
     
  18. Jul 26, 2012 #17
    "I don't think there is anything horribly wrong with drinking soy milk, but there's nothing really good about it either."

    Do you have actual medical studies to back up your beliefs?
     
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