Soy and Male Feminization:
Valid Fear or False Claim?
One of the most absurd myths I’ve heard is that soy causes male feminization. Today I’m talking about the source of this myth and what the reality is.
I want to follow up on last week’s mini myth-busting video and talk about another common myth about soy – that it causes male feminization.
If you saw the graphic I posted a few weeks ago during men’s health month, then you already know that soy does not cause feminization in men, but I thought I’d dive a little deeper into the research for any skeptics out there.
First off, I’ll remind you of what I noted in my last video. Though soy phytochemicals are similar to our body’s estrogen – they are not the same.
Isoflavones selectively modulate hormonal responses depending on the tissue, which is likely what contributes to their anti-estrogenic effects in conditions like breast cancer.
The myth about men and soy stems mainly from two case studies on men consuming very very large amounts of soy – about 9 times higher than the average Japanese man – in the context of a nutritionally deficient diet.
These men had reduced testosterone levels, however, they were eating a nutritionally poor diet, so it’s not surprising.
The rest of the research (and there’s a ton of it) shows that soy does not affect sex hormones – in men or women.
A meta-analysis of 32 clinical studies showed no effects of soy intake on testosterone, and another review including nine clinical trials showed no effect on estrogen levels.
And that’s “The WERD.”
Dudes, I hope this helps you eat your tofu egg sandies in peace!
Want to reap the health-promoting benefits of soy? Try these recipes! >>
PIN the post! >>
Weigh in: Have you heard the myth about soy and male feminization? What is your favorite soy food?
*This post is sponsored by Soy Connection, but all opinions are my own. I thank you for your support of Whitney E. RD-approved partnerships that make this website possible.