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Addressing Mercola's anti-soy propaganda
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James Offline

Posts: 2,827
Joined: Feb 2012
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Post: #1
Addressing Mercola's anti-soy propaganda

Mercola is twisting things and even outright wrong on a lot of what he is claiming. For example he claims that low cholesterol is dangerous and since soy lowers cholesterol that this makes it bad. VERY misleading. There are a lot of foods that lower cholesterol this does not make them bad.

And he did not point out that the liver synthesizes the majority of the cholesterol our bodies need.

The sterols in the soy are only going to bind the cholesterol being released in the gut keeping some of it from being reabsorbed. This is how the sterols help to reduce problems such as gallstones. Sterols will also bind dietary cholesterol also preventing its absorption. But again this is not a real issue since the majority of the body's cholesterol is synthesized by the liver, not derived from diet.

Some of this cholesterol is going to be expelled in the feces anyway. So does Mercola think that constipation is good since it keeps us from losing that cholesterol?

The only thing he got right in that statement is the fact that low cholesterol is dangerous. But if the liver is working properly then this is not an issue since the liver produces cholesterol when we need it and breaks it down when it is too high.

As to his claims about phytic acid, this again is misleading. As I have pointed out several times in the past first of all phytic acid is found in seeds, including grains. So why is soy being singled out unless the person has an agenda to make soy look bad? And as I also pointed out phytic acid has a higher affinity for heavy metals and free iron that can harm us than it does for beneficial minerals.

His real whopper is his claims about the phytoestrogens in relation to cancer and birth defects. First of all phytoestrogens average 200 to 400 times weaker than the body's own estrogens. So you would have to consume more phytoestrogens that you could possibly ingest to even equal the estrogenic activity you would normally find in the body.

Yet this still persists as one of the main anti-soy myths being spread around the net. Phytoestrogens do not promote cancer, they inhibit cancer. Due to their weak nature they lock on to estrogen receptor sites blocking stronger cancer causing estrogens from locking on. If these true estrogens don't lock on to estrogen receptors they have no effects on the body. Therefore phytoestrogens are well known anti-cancer agents. For example red clover blossom has a long history of being used in the treatment of cancer. Red clover blossom contains the same two phytoestrogens found is soy, plus two others. The supplement resveratrol being touted for its anti-aging and anti-cancer properties is also a phytoestrogen, but in a more concentrated form:

Yet Mercola bashes the weaker phytoestrogens in soy while not only promoting the concentrated phytoestrogen resveratrol, but also selling the product.

These phytoestrogens have also been shown in numerous studies to improve bone strength.

The biggest laugh is his claim that phytoestrogens increase the risk of birth defects by 500%. Where does Mercola come up with this garbage?!!! Phytoestrogens are found in virtually everything you eat. sage, parsley, yams, peas, kudzu, beans, carrots, bananas, oranges, grains, barley, grapes, baker's yeast, beets, pomegranates, cherries, garlic, oats, olives, peppers, sunflower seeds, flax seed, rye, spinach, sesame seeds, pumpkin, rhubarb, tomatoes, rice, plums, potatoes, papaya, dates, eggplant, anise, fennel, cucumber, peanuts, and onions are just a few examples of the many phytoestrogen sources we eat on a daily basis. According to his ridiculous claim we should have all been born with birth defects and be dying from cancer!!!

And again, if Mercola is going to stick to this claim then why is he not only promoting, but also selling the concentrated phytoestrogen product resveratrol? According to his sales page his resveratrol product contains the equivalent amount of resveratrol found in thirty-nine 8 ounce glasses of wine. That would take a whole lot of soy to reach the same level of phytoestrogens found in one of Mercola's capsules.

Interestingly, on his sales page for his resveratrol product Mercola makes no mention whatsoever that resveratrol is a phytoestrogen capable of according to him increasing the risk of birth defects by 500%. Nor is there any mention that other ingredients in his formula such as the Chinese knotweed rhizome extract, grape skin extract and or plum fruit extract are also phytoestrogen sources. Yet not one warning on his sales site, nor his product label warning pregnant women not to take the product to avoid the risk of birth defects!!!

I would be curious to see Mercola's diet. Being that if he is trying to avoid all isoflavones, since they are estrogenic, this would eliminate all plants. So this would leave meats and dairy, which both tend to be loaded with very strong estrogens that are hundreds to thousands of times stronger than phytoestrogens. And if he eats fish then he has to deal with the mercury he is also paranoid of. And our waters are contaminated with various toxic metals and extremely powerful xenoestrogens. So I guess Mercola must not eat or drink anything.

I ran a search under "tofu and Alzheimer's" and "soy and Alzheimer's" to find the study he claims about the Japanese men having a higher risk of Alzheimer's. No such study came up in PubMed anywhere. Only studies showing soy can inhibit cognitive decline. In other words prevent problems such as dementia and Alzheimer's.

He then complains that soy is high in manganese. But he just got done complaining about the phytic acid, which binds minerals like manganese. I guess he just ignored that fact since his goal is to badmouth soy with false propaganda!

Then he claims soy is a goitergen, which is semi-true. Soy has goitergenic activity IF it is not cooked or fermented. All soy products I have seen are either cooked or fermented, so this is not an issue. I wonder why Mercola is not having a fit over goitergenic foods normally eaten raw and unfermented like broccoli, cabbage, turnips, strawberries, pears, peaches, spinach, pine nuts, radishes, cauliflower.........?

In fact, the goitrogenic activity in these plants comes from the phytoestrogens in these plants. Where are Mercola's warnings about his resveratrol product being a much stronger goitrogen than fermented or cooked soy?

What is ironic is that Mercola calls flax seed a "super food". But flax contains nearly 4 times higher levels of goitorgenic and in his words carcinogenic and birth defect causing phytoestrogens than raw soy. And unlike soy, which is cooked and fermented destroying many of the phytoestrogens, flax seed is not meaning it retains all of its extremely high levels of phytoestrogens.

Apparently Mercola's desire to spread false propaganda about soy has blinded him to the truth as presented by numerous research studies. So I am not going to spend all day discussing his various other mistakes.

Again, people should not rely on propaganda websites for their information. They should do their own research to verify claims. PubMed is a good place to start to see what studies have really been done and to see how those studies were done and interpreted. Here is a link to PubMed:
07-04-2012 02:16 AM
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