A Scary Story of Soy (kinda long but important) (Read 1108 times)


    Something scary and interesting happened to me dealing with my diet and I thought I would share: A little over a year ago, I decided that I was on a downward health spiral that had to be stopped, and as I continued my gradual, painful, humbling plodding towards 40, I would not have a lot of opportunities to go back. I am a simple creature, and looking at all the correct levels of food I should have, needed to have, shouldn't have, etc. gave me a headache (even more than lack of sleep and very little water EVER at the time) so I looked for a shake. Not a protein shake, but a true, healthy meal replacement. Again, I am simple. I CAN get my mind around "DO NOT EAT... DRINK THIS." After a lot of research I settled on the Spiru-Tein shake products. They fall somewhere between a protein shake and a health store smoothie, and are intended to replace meals. (lots of yummy flavors, too). After 30-something years of weight-loss drink commercials, something in my head (and eventual research) told me to replace my first two meals with those shakes, and eat a decent, helathy dinner. 3-months, a LOT of shakes, a lot of exercise, and 30 lbs. later I was feeling great. I beat my brother-in-law at a "weight-loss race", took his money Big grin and continued my pursuit. In the next couple of months something happened. My right chest developed a small sore lump under the skin not too terribly far from my nipple. I thought it could be an ingrown-hair-thing, or a zit-thing, or some-other-kind-of-thing, so I didn't worry about it. It got bigger. I freaked. The words "strange lump" and "chest" brought a lot of things to my mind, and none of them were good. When my left chest started to feel odd in the same spot I double-freaked... and went to the doctor that day. My doctor quickly helped me back to just "freaked" from "doube-freaked" by sharing with me that while sore lumps are bad (most sore things are), non-sore lumps point more to cancer. He poked and prodded (Ill save you the details) and we talked about everything from my environment and medical history to my diet. He asked if there had been any changes. I said ... "uh, YEAH." After sharing with him the drastic changes in the last few months, we talked about my shakes. They are not unusually high in protein, as true protein shakes/bars are, but they do have a healthy dose of it, as everyone's daily intake should. Additinoally, the protein in them is Soy protein. I'll spare you the complete explanation, but suffice to say he asked my to lay off of the shakes, specifically because of the soy, and call him in the morning, .. er .. I mean come back in a week or so. He told me Soy protein contains isoflavones, which are a form of the female hormone estrogen, and can seriously mess with some people's bodies in varrying ways and degrees. I heeded this advice and laid off the soy, ... and tried to figure out what the heck I was going to eat for two meals a day. As an interesting coincidence, and a helpful constant variable in hind-site, Spiru-Tein makes a Whey protein version of it's shakes. I bought it and continued my dietary habits... without soy... any soy ... at all. My lumps and pain went away. I no longer freaked. I have since then hit Google full-force about soy protein, whey protein , etc. and have found bazillions of article and other information (as one might expect from Google). There are, of course, conspiracy loonies, as well as crotchety main-stay corporate traditionalists, but in the middle is a TON of really, really good information. I know for a fact, that soy CAN be very bad for SOME people. I am reading it CAN be very bad in lots of ways for SOME men and women. I would encourage any and all to research, research, research, if you take any type of soy protein supplement. And look for whey protein wherever you can. You cannot find a single bad thing about whey protein, and to the contrary, there are googles of accolades for its quick absorption, digestability, muscle-use, etc. Sorry so long, but I don't want anyone else to have to freak ... or double-freak. -Michael
    Mile Collector

    Abs of Flabs

      Michael, Thanks for the story. Did your doctor ever explain to you what was the cause of the lump and pain, or should I just infer that is how the body reacts to large doses of estrogen? I'm trying to be tactful and keeping my question clean. Your story brings up a good point about supplements or alternative diets in general, that anything in excess is not good. I'm glad that your experience didn't have any long term side effects and that you're no longer (double) freaked.

        No, I wasn't growing boobs! Shocked (Sorry, had to say it.) That is a condition called gynoclamastia that has it's own problems and causes. Thanks for being a cautious and careful modertor- owner- runner- programmer person! Everyone has glands and stuff (medical term) in their chest, and soy and its estrogen qualities can apparently do a lot of things to those and other parts of our bodies that they are just now finding out. Mind you, what happened to me is just one of the many things that they are researching abou soy. The scary thing is, I was not consuming a lot of protein, compared to a lot of today's protein shakes and bars. Each meal replacement shake has 14g of protein, a majority of which (exact percentages aren't listed) are from Soy. That's a total of 28g of protein, for around 60% of the recommended daily dose of protein. There are a LOT of bars and shakes now that have that much soy-based protein in them in a single dose. It's not too much of a stretch to think a lot of runners and athletes throw those babies down on a regular basis. So really, there wasn't a lot of excess. (I've been humming along healthily now on the whey bandwagon.) I'm really not a health freak by any stretch of the imagination, or ever a conspiracy guy either, but it took this to make me a bit more careful. I guess we just need to always do our own research before putting things in our bodies!

        Princess Cancer Pants

          So true. I am female and very careful with soy, because of the estrogens. I have a reproductive condition (endometrosis) that feeds off of excess estrogen in the system, so there are concerns that intake of soy can make that worse. I believe those with thyroid issues can also be harmed by eating soy. I also avoid soy because it tastes like caca. I much prefer whey protein shake mixes. Big grin k

          '17 Goals:

          • Chemo

          • Chemo-Radiation

          • Surgery

          • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


          She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

          ~ Unknown