Health Advice



Soy myths busted

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Actor Rick Moranis once summed up most folks' relationship to soybeans: "I have 68 takeout menus from four restaurants [and] 116 soy sauce packets." But soy shows up on your plate more often than Chinese takeout.

It's the most commonly consumed cooking oil in the U.S., and soybean oil accounts for around 7% of Americans' total calorie intake. It's also used as emulsifiers (monoglycerides and diglycerides) in peanut butter, mayonnaise and thousands of other packaged foods that need to keep ingredient well-blended. Other soy-containing foods include baked goods and processed meats, plus tofu, edamame, tempeh and miso.

Nonetheless, soy is on many people's "do not consume" list. They think it's a potential hormone disruptor because it contains plant-based estrogens called isoflavones and because they worry it fuels everything from breast cancer to thyroid dysfunction. The evidence says otherwise.

A new study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition looked at 417 reports based on human data and found that isoflavones and soy foods don't have adverse effects on breast or endometrial tissue or estrogen levels in women, or testosterone levels or sperm or semen in men. In fact, soy products may actually be associated with reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer, and they deliver a good dose of vitamins K, B1 and B9.

So as you eliminate red and processed meats from your diet (those are foods that do measurable harm to your health), enjoy soy-based meat substitutes for burgers, soy yogurts and cheeses, and miso soup.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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