Q. What do you think of soy protein in the diet?
Soy protein in the form of whole soy, tofu, or edamame are probably quite healthy. To use oxidized soy protein like in protein drinks may be another story. On the whole I disagree with the idea that soy is not healthy.
The cholesterol lowering effect of soy milk and its role of heart disease was widely recognized in the mid 90s when the results of a meta-analysis of 38 clinical studies were published. The results demonstrated that a diet with significant soy protein reduces Total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the “Bad” cholesterol) and Triglycerides. The average consumption in these studies was 47 grams per day of soy protein, which is a considerable amount. Soy protein was effective even in people who were already following the American Heart Association’s 30 percent-fat diet. Soy protein appears to lower triglyceride levels while preserving HDL cholesterol.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell did research of different kinds of proteins and their effect on rabbits. He found that rabbits ingesting soy protein had 1/3 less elevated cholesterol than rabbits on animal protein diets.
The Adventist Health Study suggests that men who consume large amounts of soy milk have reduced risk for prostate cancer. Women who consume large amounts of soy go through menopause more easily. Genestien, a soy isolate, which Mercola downgrades has been found to increase expression of genes that suppress invasion of cancer cells, and decreases genes that enhance invasion. Soys affect on breast cancer is mixed. Some research shows it decreases risk and other studies show a slight increase. It seems that most research shows a decrease in breast cancer risk. One study showed breast cancer survivors who consumed the most soy protein were at considerable less risk for recurrence of their breast cancer.