Men, we’ve got some good news for you: eating soyfoods is not only safe, it provides a good source of quality protein to fuel your workout, lower the risk of heart disease, lower the risk of prostate cancer and help with weight management.
Eating soyfoods may help protect against prostate cancer. Research suggests that regular consumption of soyfoods may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 30%.
You may have heard the many myths about soyfoods, claiming that they are unsafe and dangerous to your health. The truth is scientific research shows soyfoods are safe for men of all ages. Not only are soyfoods safe, but they will actually boost your health!
Rumor– Soyfoods are not safe for men because they contain estrogen which will cause boys and men to develop female characteristics.
SOYReality Soyfoods are safe for men to consume. Soyfoods do not contain estrogen, they contain isoflavones, which are safe for human consumption. Extensive scientific research has shown no effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on testosterone or estrogen levels in men. Even though isoflavones have a similar structure to human estrogens, they act very differently in the human body, and therefore, should not be considered similar to human estrogens. There is no credible, clinical scientific research that suggests soy protein causes any estrogen-like or feminizing effects in men. Human studies have found that males who consume soy have not had changes in sperm count, sperm quality or sperm motility. Furthermore, there is no evidence that soy has a negative effect on puberty.
This is one of our favorite funny yet scientifically-based articles on the “man boobs” subject by Men’s Fitness magazine’s Dr. Steve.
Rumor– Soyfoods such as tofu, soymilk and edamame are only for vegetarians; they don’t provide enough substance and nutrition for men.
SOYReality Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, soyfoods can be incorporated into your diet. Soyfoods provide a great source of protein and nutrients for men while helping to keep dietary cholesterol and saturated fat low. Soy protein is a high quality protein which is key for performance in active and athletic men. Soyfoods provide complete protein and all of the necessary amino acids for muscle building and repair. Many studies also have shown that soy protein, like other high-quality protein, can support increased muscle mass during resistance-type training.
For more information on soyfoods and men’s health visit:
- Men’s Health Soy Connection Fact Sheet by the United Soybean Board
If you would like to do more research on your own, the key is to look for the articles that use science based evidence and studies that were done with humans not with animals. From there you are free to make your own decisions on whether or not and how much you would like to consume soyfoods. We do hope that you will give them a try.
Yan L, Spitznagel EL. Meta-analysis of soy food and risk of prostate cancer in men. Int J Cancer 2005;117:667-9.
Lin Yan L & Spitznagel EL. Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1155-63
Phipps WR, Kurzer MS, Messina MJ. Studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis. Fertility and Sterility. In press.
Chavarro JE, Toth TL, Sadio SM, Hauser R. Soy food and isoflavone intake in relation to semen quality parameters among men from an infertility clinic. Hum Reprod 2008;23:2584-90. Hamilton-Reeves JM, Vazquez G, Duval SJ,
Candow DG, Burke NC, Smith-Palmer T, et al. Effect of whey and soy protein supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16:233-244.
Drgan I, Stroescu V, Stoian I, et al. Studies regarding the efficiency of Supro isolated soy protein in Olympic athletes. Rev Roum Physiol. 1992;29:63-70.
Wilkinson SB, Tarnopolsky MA, Macdonald MJ, et al. Consumption of fluid skim milk promotes greater muscle protein accretion after resistance exercise than does consumption of an isonitrogenous and isoenergetic soy-protein beverage. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:1031-1040.
Hartman JW, Tang JE, Wilkinson SB, et al. Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86:373-381.