by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
January 24, 2006
THE SAD, SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT SOY
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- If you're taking soybean products to prevent heart disease, you're wasting your time. That's according to the American Heart Association that recently reviewed studies done over the last 10 years to confirm or disclaim the benefits of soy and soybean products in lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, breast cancer, uterine or prostate cancers.
In an article by Jamie Stengle of the Associated Press we learn "that neither soy nor the soy component isoflavone reduced symptoms of menopause, such as 'hot flashes,' and that isoflavones don't help uterine or prostate cancer.
"Based on it's finding, the committee said it would not recommend using isoflavone supplements in food or pills," continued Stengle.
I've come to the conclusion that if you live long enough, every truth that emerges - guaranteed to lengthen our lives - will be reversed at the end of 10-year studies, always being conducted by experts who are very efficient in proposing government grants guaranteed to be accepted.
"Let's test the hypotheses," they suggest. And they all gather around. What has come out of this study is that if you eat or drink soy products specifically to lower your cholesterol, it won't do it. But, if you drink soy milk to provide more of the protein than found in an equivalent serving of Vitamin D homogenized milk, then, although you won't lower your cholesterol, you will not increase it - as you would with all that butter fat in whole milk. Zero fat in soy; 3.25 percent in whole milk.
Quality soy has as much protein, if not more, than regular milk. But, leaving that aspect aside, it's the energy you derive and subsequently expend while not clogging your arteries. What doctor hasn't said: "Increase your exercise and reduce your calories?" None that I know of.
Why are the media devoting time to denigrating a product that when used exactly as is prevents us from eating things that in their best form are killing us? For instance, hamburgers. Try your luck at not adding their fat to your frame while increasing the bad cholesterol. The sound of tofu burger is not appealing but, actually, it's as close to the hamburgers we know and love as decaf is to coffee.
I have lived long enough to see studies reversed. In treating Housewive's Fatigue, later called Epstein-Barr syndrome, i.e., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, doctors did not have an answer other than, "Relax, take time out, have a cup of coffee, have a cigarette. You'll forget about your problems." So, the patients were given a coping mechanism that in turn became their real problem in a couple of years.
Another study that reversed itself was doctors telling teenagers that sunshine would cure their acne. "And it won't cost you a cent," the smiling dermatologist said to his grieving patients, whose self-esteem was at a low ebb.
Granted, he was right about the cure, but not about the cost. It takes 30 years or more for skin damage in childhood to turn into melanoma - skin cancer.
The statistics in today's report definitely offer important findings, among them refuting at last that soy can cure heart disease, lung disease, cancers of every variety, dry skin and clogged arteries. If all the maladies remain, what alternatives do we have?
Well, Stengle's article quotes Dr. Frank Sacks of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Dr. Sacks, who led the committee, said: "Soy proteins and isoflavones don't have any major health benefits other than soy protein products are generally good foods. They are good to replace other foods that are high in cholesterol." Let these saner interpretations prevail.
Since today's report is strictly soy, I will address my objection to the findings because they might scare off the very people who might benefit most. My first veggie burger looked like shredded wheat balled up, patted down, then fried in vegetable oil. But, I still have them occasionally - because I know what's in them. Protein.
And, since protein comprises 50 percent of my body weight, I want to nurture that half, increase my energy, and get rid of the half that is just dead storage, you know, my bread basket.
Visit longtime AR Correspondent Constance Daley at www.skylinetoshoreline.com.