Side Effects of Soy Products

Side effects of soy can outweigh the health benefits for some individuals. Although touted as a miracle source of protein for lowering cholesterol levels, minimizing menopausal hot flashes, improving bone density, reducing blood pressure and fighting breast cancer some of these claims are dubious. Before you load up on soy protein, know the possible side effects of soy:

Soy Allergies
If you experience tingling of your lips, swelling of your airways, breathing complications or rashes after consuming soy products, ask your doctor to test you to rule out a soy allergy.

Endometrial Hyperplasia
The jury is still out on the safety of soy isoflavones. Some studies indicate that excessive consumption of soy protein through supplements can, over time, cause the thickening of the uterine lining, putting some women at higher risk of uterine cancer. This is documented only through the use of soy supplements; dietary intake of soy does not appear to have this affect.

Hormonally-Linked Cancer
Studies are also inconclusive as to whether soy isoflavones, which act in similar ways as estrogen, increase or decrease your chance of contracting hormone-related cancer, such as breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

Digestive Soy Intolerance
Some infants and young children cannot properly digest soy protein and cannot use soy infant formula as a primary source of nutrition without severe digestive upset. Likewise, some adults experience stomach upset when consuming soy products.

Reduced Thyroid Function
Some people find soy consumption decreases thyroid function due to a hormonal change prompted by the intake of isoflavones. Preliminary studies have found that some soy products do not affect thyroid function at all, and thyroid response to soy products seems to vary from person to person.

Interference with Mineral Absorption
Soy products can interfere with your body's ability to absorb specific minerals, albeit usually on such a low level that the interference is not detected or noticeable.

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