I just read this on another forum and thought I'd cut and paste it here. It's a mostly male forum, so that's why it addresses men, but I thought the last few sentences addressed some of the questions here. I have no idea who this guy is and if any of this is accurate:
This is from one of Dr. Al Sears' recent newsletters:
It’s in thousands of different products… everything from cookies to mayonnaise. You probably ate some today without even realizing it.
But that’s a problem: Too much and you may wind up in a male fertility clinic. It robs your manhood and no one’s bothering to tell you.
I'm talking about soy.
The USDA says it’s healthier than protein from meat. Food makers love it because it’s cheap and easy to process—so much so that the soy industry now provides 71% of the edible fats and oils in our nation’s food supply.1 The FDA says it’s perfectly safe for you to eat.
But the latest science says otherwise.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health discovered that men who regularly ate even small amounts of soy-based foods had 41 million fewer sperm per milliliter than men who didn’t.2
Ironically, the 99 men who took part in the study were already patients at a male fertility clinic who couldn’t get their partners pregnant. Scientists tracked their eating habits for six years, keeping on the lookout for 15 soy-based foods.
It turns out eating as little as four ounces of tofu or drinking a single cup of soy milk every other day caused men’s sperm counts to plummet.
This isn’t news to me, and it won’t be to my regular readers. Soy is packed with phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that your body treats just like the female hormone. These belong to a class of “estrogen mimics” that can make men grow “breasts”— fatty deposits that build on top of your pecs—kill your sex drive, even put you at greater risk for prostate cancer.
Now we have proof soy can strike at the very heart of your manhood.
This was the largest study ever to look at human soy consumption and semen quality. Until now, most of the data we had came from animal studies. So it lays to rest the question of whether or not the phytoestrogens in soy can affect male reproductive health in humans.
It also proved for the first time that even traditional soy products pose a threat. Tofu, natto, and tempeh, all part of the traditional Asian diet, will have the same negative effect as processed soy-derived products like soybean oil.
So if you want to protect yourself against this assault on your virility, here are few recommendations:
Watch your soy intake. Remember, even a little soy goes a long way when it comes to lowering your sperm count. As little as 115 grams, or about four ounces of tofu, amounts to a single serving, depending on your body weight. That’s twice the amount that made men virtually sterile in the study.
Check the label. Soy-based ingredients are hidden in plain sight in a wide variety of foods, from baked goods to salad dressings. Here are the names of the food industry’s favorite soy–based products you should avoid:
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
Eat food fit for a man. People eat a lot of soy with the best of intentions—they think they’re making a healthy choice by going for an alternative to animal protein. They also want to stay lean and fit, both good ideas.
But the truth is you don’t need to avoid meat to stay healthy—or manly. In fact, meat from organic, grass-fed sources will help you to shed fat, build lean muscle, and boost overall testosterone and growth hormone levels.
One final point for my skeptical readers: you may be wondering how people in Asian societies where soy’s a dietary staple ever manage to have children if it’s so harmful to male fertility. The answer’s simple. They don’t eat nearly as much soy as you’d think.
Even the soy industry’s own research shows that in places like China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, people eat only 9.3 to 36 grams per day. That’s way below the 115 grams of tofu the men in the study were eating.