|Soy - The Phytochemical Powerhouse I
"in February 1994, some 250 scientists, nutritionists, and
health-care professionals gathered in ~fesa, Arizona, to hear the latest findings on the
prevention and treatment of cancer and heart disease. The group included researchers from
the Hirosaki University School of Medicine in Japan, the University of Helsinki in
Finland, and the University of Milan in Italy. They were joined by colleagues from major
U.S. research organizations including the National Cancer Institute and the Harvard School
of Public Health. Heart specialists reported on a ground breaking treatment for lowering
cholesterol that is as effective as drugs but without any unpleasant or dangerous side
effects. Cancer researchers talked about special compounds that can inhibit enzymes that
stimulate tumor growth, deactivate potent hormones that can promote cancer, and normalize
cancer cells. What made this conference unique is that these scientists were
about some fantastic drug of the future or some rare chemical They were talking about a
foodstuff that is harvested in vast amounts in the United States and that is inexpensive
and readily available... They were talking about soybeans."
- Earl Mindell, R.P H.1 Ph.D
medical nutritionist - Author: Soy Miracle
"The evidence has been mounting on the positive
effects of soy on reducing the 'bad' type of cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein
(LDL). And the reports of soy's cancer-preventive potential are certainly intriguing.
Nonetheless, soy seems to have a Rodney Dangerfield complex:
Even among nutrition experts. it doesn't get much
respect... As a result, the public is largely unaware of two profound discoveries: Eating
soy foods may lower blood cholesterol markedly, thereby reducing heart disease risk. And a
family of plant chemicals found in Soy may provide a strong measure of protection against
cancer. But as a result of the lack of publicity given to these discoveries a powerful
form of preventive medicine is not being used."
- Dr. Mark Messina
- Former program director, Diet and Cancer Branch, National Cancer Institute
|"Any of the foods made from soy
markedly lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally. the
entire soybean family of plant chemicals: protease inhibitors. phytate. phytosterols,
saponins. phenolic acids, lecithin, omega-3 fatty acids, and isoflavones -provide strong
protection against cancer.
- Dr. Morton Walker
One of the most studied plants in all phytochemical research
is the lowly soybean. a legume belonging to the genus Glycine. From the mid-1960's, when
it was first discovered to have unprecedented anticancer and anti-heart disease
properties, to the present day, no other plant in existence has attracted so much
attention from the medical and scientific community.
|Asians, Soy, and Superior Health: If you
were to chart the incidence of severe degenerative disease in Japanese men and women
versus American men and women, it would look like someone lined Americans up against the
wall and shot us with a disease gun... the incidence of almost every degenerative disease
which afflicts Americans -from arthritis to cancer - is substantially lower in the
Japanese... An important reason for these lower rates is that the Japanese eat a lot of
soy products, whereas most Americans don't eat any."
- Dr. Julian Whitaker
attracted researchers to the soybean was its primary role in the diet of Asians,
particularly those from Japan, Korea and China. The people from these countries had low
mortality rates from the twin killers of the western world: cancer and heart disease.
Researchers speculated that something in the diet of Asians was protecting them from these
two deadly diseases, and that something" turned out to be soy.
What researchers found was that the average Asian consumes
approximately two to three ounces of soy per day in their meals in forms ranging from tofu
(bean curd), to miso (a bean paste used for seasoning), to soy milk and others. Does their
high soy consumption make a difference? The epidemiological evidence reveals that is
clearly does. For example, as Dr. Earl Mindell points out in a comparison of Japanese and
western health factors:
1) The Japanese people live longer than Americans or any
other western Europeans.
2) Americans have far higher rates of colon and lung cancer
than do the Japanese.
3) Japan has the lowest mortality rates from heart disease in
4) Breast cancer rates for American women are four times
higher than for Japanese women.
5) Prostate cancer rates for American men are five times
higher than for Japanese men.
According to Dr. Morton Walker,
"The Japanese, Taiwanese, Koreans, and Indonesians eat a daily average of 40 grams of
soy foods per person, and experience 90 percent less cancer than do Americans, and only
half the mortality rate from heart disease."
What's more, the epidemiological evidence is
fully backed up by solid scientific research. For example. it has been found that when
Japanese men forsake their traditional diet high in soy, and adopt western dietary habits,
their cancer rates begin to soar. In a 1989 study published in Cancer Research, it was
found that of 8,000 Hawaiian men with Japanese ancestry, those whose
diets contained the most soy had the lowest rates of prostate cancer, with all
other influences being factored out.
Initially, some researchers criticized this data,
claiming that it is the low fat content of traditional Asian foods that is responsible for
the low cancer and heart disease rates among Asians. But further research showed that
indeed, dietary soy Is the chief factor Involved in the low disease rates - regardless of
fat intake, ancestry, or any other factor! For instance, in a 1991 study published in the
British Medical Journal, The Lancet, premenopausal western European women who rarely ate
soy were found to have twice the risk of breast cancer than those who ate soy frequently -
with all other dietary and life style factors being the same in both groups. In other
words, soy works to prevent cancer in western women just as effectively as is does in
Asian Women, and astonishingly enough, it appears to work regardless of fat intake or
any other dietary or lifestyle factor.