Related Topics: Bioidentical Hormones, Menopause, Nutrition

Why A Supermarket Is A Hormonal Mine Field Part Two: Avoiding Soy

Why do menopause symptoms suddenly recur? Bioidentical progesterone and natural oestrogens help rebalance hormones, but adding in soy and its products can cause problems.

Dr Jeffrey Dach

A 55 year old post menopausal executive secretary had been doing well for many years on her bioidentical hormone program.   Last week,  she called the office to report her menopausal symptoms had returned.  She was again feeling miserable, with recurring hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia.  Mysteriously, the bioidentical hormone cream has stopped working.

I asked her if she was doing anything differently.  She said “No, not really, except for the case of Soy Protein Bars from the discount store.”  She had decided to go vegetarian and now consumed three soy bars a day as a protein replacement.  Shortly thereafter, the hormone cream stopped working for her.

Apparently, the soy protein bars were acting as an anti-estrogen, blocking the effect of the bioidentical hormone cream.  Once she stopped the soy protein bars,  the bioidentical hormone cream worked again.  Her insomnia, hot flashes and night sweats were gone.

Soy milk and Soy Protein

Sally Fallon and Mary Enig have  warned about the health dangers of Soy consumption  and Dr. Mercola, and Dr. Brownstein have warned about the health dangers of Soy.

The Objections to Soy

1) Soy contains plant hormones that can cause either an anti-estrogenic effect or a pro-estrogenic effect, depending on the circumstances.

2) Soy blocks thyroid function, causing Goiter (thyroid enlargement) and thyroid dysfunction.

3) Infant Soy formula warnings have been issued by Israel, and the U.K.  advising mothers against soy baby formulas.  The soy infant formulas have estrogenic effects, block thyroid function, and disrupt the immune system of babies.

4) Virtually all soy products are made from GMO, genetically modified Soy called Round-up Ready Soy, conferring resistance to the toxic herbicide, Round-up.   GMO (genetically modified food) is inherently unhealthy and should be avoided.

5) Soy is a top allergen, one of the top eight foods known to cause allergic reactions.

6) Soy has a high level of pesticide contamination.

7) Soy contains saponins which have been show to damage the mucosal lining of the intestine or cause leaky gut. Soy also contains oxalates which can prevent calcium absorption and have been linked to the development of kidney stones.

9) Soy has also been shown to increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D and it has long been recognized that soy consumption can cause vitamin B12 deficiency, which is a problem for vegetarians as their sources of this are more limited.

Warnings Given

It is clear that phytoestrogens can cause unnatural hormonal disruptions.  Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women. This is especially problematic for people with high or low estrogen levels or other reproductive issues.

In July, 2005, researchers at Cornell University’s Program of Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors warned that excessive soy food consumption can increase breast cell multiplication, putting women at greater risk for breast cancer. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association also reported that the studies on soy and cancer are inconsistent and that high intake of soy may increase breast cancer risk.

In July, 2005, the first major warning on the use of soy for children came from the Israeli Health Ministry, which warned that babies should not receive soy formula, that children under 18 years of age should eat soy foods no more than once per day to a maximum of three times a week and that adults should exercise caution because of adverse effects on fertility and increased breast cancer risk2  The Ministry took its advice from a 13-member committee of nutritionists, oncologists, pediatricians and other experts who spent a year examining the evidence.

This was echoed in the UK in a 2003 report from the Committee on Toxicity (COT), an independent scientific committee that advises the Department of Health.  The committee was most concerned by the possibility of hormonal disruption caused by the estrogen-like plant hormones in soy.  Soya-based formulas have a high phytoestrogen content, which could pose a risk to the long-term reproductive health of infants.

In 2007 the German Institute of Risk Assessment warned parents and pediatricians that babies should not be given soy infant formula without clear, concrete medical reasons and then only under strict medical supervision.9  Soon after, the Germans issued a second warning to adult consumers, saying that soy isoflavones offer no proven health benefits and may pose health risks.


There are many concerns with soy; it contains many anti-nutrients and components that are toxic to humans.  The ingestion of soy has also been linked to the development of many health issues such as breast cancer, digestive issues, hypothyroidism, infertility, thyroid cancer, and many other disorders.

To ensure good healthy hormone balance the potential oestrogenic effects of soy need to be balanced and the way to do that is to ensure strong levels of progesterone to oppose the negative effects of too much oestrogen.

Further reading:–-dr-nina-bailey/

The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food by Kaayla T. Daniel

The Hidden Dangers of Soy by Dianne Gregg

Part One of Dr Dach’s article on items to avoid in the supermarket is here:

To read more on his work please visit his website at and if you have any questions or comments on his articles you can contact him via the website.

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