The soy we still think Asians aren’t consuming

Many people for financial and other reasons want to scare people away from using soy foods. A common false statement they make is that Americans can’t look to Asia to see that soy consumption is safe. Asians only use amounts of soy small enough to be condiments and that Americans eat far more soy than Asians ever did.

Well, not according to this Beverage Industry web site:

Asia continues to dominate soy milk consumption

Eight of the top 12 soy drink consuming countries are Asian with Hong Kong residents consuming the most at 17 litres per year each, according to TetraPak data.

Next were Singapore (almost 12l/day), Thailand (just over 10l/day), China (9.5l/day) and Malaysia (9l/day). The data were presented at a soy conference in Taiwan recently by Michael Loh, the business development director at supplier, London Agricultural Commodities.

The highest level of soy drink consumption among non-Asian nations were Australia, Canada and Spain all at about 3l/day.

US consumption, which market researcher Mintel has noted is falling for all soy foods and beverages, was lower at about 1.5l/day.

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Soy Far, Soy Good

Jack Norris R.D. ( Registered Dietitian ) wrote a response to the 2010 December 09 article written by Kristin Wartman of the “Civil Eats” blog entitled “Not Soy Fast”. That article lists many frightening ideas about the consumption of food made from soy beans. Kristin Wartman’s blog site (before it was deleted) gives this introduction about her:

Kristin is a food writer living in Brooklyn. She has a Masters in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and is a Certified Nutrition Educator. She is interested in the intersections of food, health, politics, and culture.

Jack Norris reviewed 130 papers over the course of 3 months in preparing his response to Wartman’s article. Norris’ response overturns much of Wartman’s article. The editors of the “Civil Eats” blog decided not to publish Jack Norris’ response and they decided to close the comment section on that post. You can read Jack Norris’ response here


There have been a number of threads in various places on the internet crying “foul” that would not publish the other side of the antisoy story told in their “Not Soy Fast” article.

Well, CivilEats has changed their mind and decided to publish Jack Norris well researched response to that article here.

Soy: No Impact On Sperm Quality

Picture Of Sperm Under A Microscope

Some of the bold facing is mine, mostly to emphasize that one study means nothing and that animal feeding studies ( the ones used by soy detractors ) don’t necessarily apply to human beings.

Duncan’s team was already doing work funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research on the effects of soy on prostate cancer risk in men, and she decided it made sense to collect other samples that might be of interest at the same time.

“That’s why we decided to look at the semen samples and look at the sperm motility and morphology in response to consumption of soy that had high isoflavones and low isoflavones, to see if there is any possible dose response.”

Thirty-two healthy young men agreed to take part and drink a daily shake made from reconstituted powder. For three 57-day periods, they consumed a milk protein isolate, a low-isoflavone soy protein isolate or a high-isoflavone soy protein isolate, until they had gone through all three kinds of drinks. In between, there were 28-day washout periods when they took a break.

Isoflavones were measured in urine samples collected near the end of each treatment period, and semen was collected on the first and last day of each treatment period.

“We found absolutely no effects of consuming the soy, regardless of how much isoflavones were in it, on the semen parameters, either semen volume, sperm concentration, sperm counts, sperm morphology, sperm motility. There was no changes at all,” Duncan said of the findings, which were published late last year in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

snip ….

Jarvi said the finding of no impact on men’s sperm is reassuring.

“As in all science, someone’s going to come along and say it’s got to be repeated and done somewhere else, right? But as a first pass, this is a mammoth study,” he said.

“It’s reassuring because of the widespread use of soya that it doesn’t have this impact — at least we had some animal studies that gave us a little bit of concern before that it might have an effect on the size of the testicles in rodents.

“Again, you know, rats and men are actually, despite what you might think, quite different,” he added with a chuckle.

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