Read all of Rutz’s columns on soy for the whole story:

Soy is making kids ‘gay’
The trouble with soy – part 2
The trouble with soy – part 3
The trouble with soy – part 4
The trouble with soy – part 5

Last week’s column (“Soy is making kids ‘gay'”) got a lot of attention – 500 e-mails and three dozen media interview requests – because it blindsided the overwhelming majority of readers.

Perhaps fewer than 10 percent of us are aware that soybeans are a hotly debated topic in medical circles today. Soy products – eaten, drunk, and slipped into thousands of commercial products – are rightly being blamed for a horrendous variety of medical conditions, several of them nearing epidemic status and a few of them irreversible. Pediatricians and other doctors are starting to see a growing parade of patients suffering from serious symptoms that were quite rare just a generation ago.

The shocking statements in my column produced much incredulity, the more so because I did not footnote or go into detail. I simply did not have room to introduce all the biggest problems with soy and do it in a scientific, footnoted format.

I will make an attempt to compensate for that shortcoming in this column and the next few. To keep within the length limit, I will tuck footnotes and excess text into one continuous hyperlink. You’ll have to click on each “footnote” to see the column in full.

Let’s start here: The most common question of the past week has been, “If soy is so harmful as to potentially alter sexual physiology and behavior, why haven’t the Chinese and Japanese all died off or become homosexual centuries ago?”

Three interlocking reasons: Click here for the first two. The third is that Orientals simply do not eat as much soy as Westerners think. The average daily consumption in Japan (one of the highest soy-consuming countries in Asia) is at most about eight grams of soy protein. China and other countries eat far less.

Soy has never been a leading staple there like rice, fish or pork. Even going back to the 1930s, calorie intake from soy in China was rarely more than 1.5 percent of their diet, whereas pork provided 65 percent! No comparison. Traditionally, soy plants were plowed under in fields as fertilizer. Soy was a poverty food, eaten heavily only by the poor in times of famine. (Grazing animals don’t like to eat it, either.) People have always eaten soy in small portions as a condiment or a supplement with a meal. The highest intake of soy in Japan is among monks, who eat it to turn off sexual desire. (Think about that the next time you’re in the grocery store.)

By comparison, the FDA has encouraged Americans to eat 25 grams of soy protein a day as a way to prevent heart disease. This FDA health claim has doubled the consumption of soy protein in the U.S., yet was recently discredited when the American Heart Association changed its position on soy, now saying that soy does not lower cholesterol and does not prevent heart disease!

You couldn’t say that FDA opinions are for sale to the highest bidder, but they were influenced by a campaign and formal endorsement request by the soy industry, which includes giants like Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill and DuPont. When the mud hit the fan during the investigation period, the FDA quickly modified its stance, limiting its endorsement to just basic soy protein instead of the isoflavone (estrogen-mimicking) ingredients in soy. The problem with that is soy protein contains those dangerous plant estrogens. This is why two of the FDA’s most distinguished scientists, Drs. Daniel Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, protested the FDA health claim in a public letter.

If you think you don’t eat much soy, think again. Though only 15 percent of us eat a mostly-soy product once a week, 55-70 percent of all processed foods in supermarkets now have some soy in them. You can’t escape it. Soybean oil accounts for a whopping 79 percent of the edible fats used annually in the U.S.

Health-conscious people are likely to eat the most. Even a moderate vegetarian or soy fan would think nothing of tossing down eight ounces of tofu, a quarter cup of roasted soy nuts and a glass of soymilk daily, and that’s far, far more than any normal Japanese individual would be likely to consume.

But the worst victims of soy are babies. Per kilogram of body weight, the average Japanese in 2000 ate 0.47 milligrams of soy isoflavones daily, while the average U.S. baby drinking soy formula got 6.25 milligrams. Isoflavones are testosterone-suppressing female hormones.

What is that doing to their sex organs and their sexual orientation? Tune in next week. The story gets worse, much worse.

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