Effect Of Soy Products On Male Hormones
Soy has widespread uses because it is easy to farm and very cost-effective. It has become an important ingredient in many cuisines. When it comes to taste, soy has made its place in the market but not everyone knows how harmful it is for your mental, physical and sexual health. Soybean, an estrogenic legume from which soybean oil is extracted, and all the rest of the soy products have a negative impact on male hormones.
What Makes Soy Products So Bad For Male Health?
- Soy Is High In Estrogen:
Since it is fairly estrogenic, isoflavones like glycitein, daidzein, genistein are the key constituents of soy. Studies have suggested that these isoflavones are actually phytoestrogens i.e. they have the affinity for the similar receptors as that of the actual female sex hormone, estrogen.
- Isoflavones can easily activate the receptors of estrogen while at the same time causing downregulation of androgenic receptors.
- Equol is another constituent of soy which is antagonist to androgenic compounds and therefore reduces the levels of androgens like testosterone and DHT.
- Because of its anti-androgenic properties, consumption of soy products has been associated with reduced testosterone levels.
Many studies have successfully proved how soy lowers the testosterone levels while other studies have claimed vice versa. The debate is ongoing due to inconclusive results.
- Soy Is Rich In PUFAs And Is Anti-Thyroid In Nature:
Soy is regarded as goitrogenic as it interferes with the uptake of iodine that occurs at thyroid gland, and therefore it can negatively affect the thyroid hormones production. Due to reduced levels of thyroid hormone, the metabolic rate significantly drops as a result the following symptoms appear:
- Insufficient energy production
- Decelerated synthesis of hormone
- Loss of body heat
Soy has also been reported to be high in PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). Once within the body, the carbon-carbon bonds in PUFAs undergo an instant breakdown to form free radicals which results in massive oxidative stress in the cells.
Therefore a diet rich in PUFAs can lower the levels of testosterone and suppress the production and activity of thyroid hormones.
Even when soy still requires further evident researches, it won’t be wrong to conclude that it has the tendency of lowering testosterone levels as it is estrogenic in nature. And since it is high in PUFAs and happens to be goitrogenic, it certainly doesn’t deserve to be so frequently used in a daily diet.
1. Ward, W. E., Kaludjerovic, J., & Dinsdale, E. C. (2016). A Mouse Model for Studying Nutritional Programming: Effects of Early Life Exposure to Soy Isoflavones on Bone and Reproductive Health. International journal of environmental research and public health, 13(5), 488.
2. Sathyapalan, T., Rigby, A. S., Bhasin, S., Thatcher, N. J., Kilpatrick, E. S., & Atkin, S. L. (2016). Effect of Soy in Men With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Subclinical Hypogonadism–A Randomized Controlled Study. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, jc-2016.
3. Sirotkin, A. V., & Harrath, A. H. (2014). Phytoestrogens and their effects. European journal of pharmacology, 741, 230-236.