soy - good and bad like anything else
There are some studies being done right now about the detrimental effects of eating soy in LARGE quantities. Soy apparently contains some chemicals that are beneficial, as well as some that are supposedly not. Things like enzyme inhibitors that can impede digesting, a clot-promoting chemical, high levels of phytic acid that can cause growth problems in children, high levels of aluminum, etc. Most of these chemicals can be destroyed by fermenting the soybeans or by cooking them, but I think there are some that don't like possibly the phytic acid. I know it can be reduced.. but the main thing is that you have to be eating a LOT of these to be on the danger side, even 2-3 servings a day isnt bad enough.
I think there IS some concern for infants who are only taking in soy formulas -and what I've read is that basically.. no one knows. Even proponents of soy agree that it does seem like some of the chemicals could cause problems, but they cant find any evidence or studies saying it does.
however, there are lots of studies done that show the good effects of soy. There was a study done that showed that isoflavones in soybeans can really help menopausal women's symptoms like hot flashes similar to hormones, but even in that study they admitted they had no idea what a safe level of isoflavones is. There are other studies where there was no marked difference in the subjects. Lots of contradictory studies, as youll find with just about anything.
There IS a big concern because around two-thirds of the soybean crops grown in the Us today are genetically engineered and modified. Some have been altered so the plant can withstand being sprayed with weedkillers. These altered beans typically have more of the "bad" "problematic" chemicals than non-altered ones. (a hint to buy organic when you can I guess)
Let's be honest, havent we all learned that if we eat ANYTHING in overwhelming quantities, it can be bad, even vitamins? What havent they found that can cause cancer in lab animals these days? Seems to me "everything in moderation" is an even more important idea thesedays, given all these different and disputed medical theories/studies.
and to anyone who is wondering why on earth I would know so much about soy.. when I moved in with my boyfriend, I started to have to cook for his 2 sons who visit on weekends and they are both allergic to anything dairy. I mean ANY cow's milk protein. So they cant have milk, cheese, whey, etc and so I use Soy milk when cooking/baking for them and I wanted to know before I started serving a lot of it, what the dangers/benefits of it were, so I did some research though I can tell you its VERY hard to sift through it all... so much is biased one way or another.