Answers to important questions about soy as part of a healthy diet.
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Is it safe for infants to consume soy-based formula? 

Yes. The Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and Health Canada all recommend soy-based formula for infants who cannot consume dairy due to health, cultural or religious reasons.

A recent publication from the Nutrition Committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society noted that, based on available human data, soy-based infant formula did not prove harmful in any manner to infants in their current state, or as adults.

Do soy foods impair cognitive function?

Not at all. Studies are finding that soy isoflavones may in fact enhance short-term memory in adults. The benefit of these isoflavones when it comes to cognitive function is currently a very active area of research.

Does phytic acid, which is found in soy, cause problems with mineral absorption?

Not with the right diet! When an individual regularly consumes adequate zinc, iron and calcium, phytates from soy or other vegetables and grains will not present a problem with respect to mineral absorption.

Phytic acid, a component of all plants, has benefits and detractions. It can cause minerals to become less available, but it can also act as an antioxidant, which can reduce free radical formation and oxidative stress.

Is soy a good source of protein?

So good! Soy is the only complete plant protein that’s equal to animal protein. Soy foods contain all of the essential amino acids required for human growth and health.

Further, the World Health Organization studied the quality of proteins, and found that soy ranked at the top of its protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). Both soy and egg whites scored 100, compared to milk and meat proteins at 92, and other legumes, which scored under 70

What about food allergies and sensitivities?

Soy protein is one of eight major food allergens, along with proteins from milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and wheat. However, only an estimated 0.1% of the population has allergies or sensitivities to soy protein.

What are isoflavones?

Isoflavones – naturally produced plant hormones – can mimic human estrogen in parts of the body. This can result in health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, and relieving menopausal symptoms.

Isoflavones are found in soybeans, chickpeas and other legumes. Soybeans are unique, however, because they have the highest concentration of these naturally- occurring phytochemicals.

Does soy consumption help lower the risk of heart disease in adults with type 2 diabetes?

Indeed they do. A recent University of Guelph study showed that consuming soy protein can reduce the risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in adults with type 2 diabetes. According to the research, when compared to milk protein consumption, soy protein significantly improved reduced serum LDL-cholesterol and lipid ratios.

Does soy consumption cause breast cancer?

No. Human studies have demonstrated no increase in breast cancer risk from soy consumption. This includes recent studies of breast cancer survivors, which found that soy consumption is related to a decreased risk of both breast cancer recurrence and mortality.

Studies are showing that a long-term dietary pattern, which predominantly includes vegetables, fruits and soy foods, helps to reduce breast cancer risk by about 30 percent in postmenopausal women.

Does soy alter male fertility?

A recent study at the University of Guelph concluded that soy protein consumption had zero negative effects on male fertility in healthy young men. Specifically, the results showed that consumption had no significant effects on sperm concentration, count, motility or morphology.