Have you heard the warnings: “Soy may increase the risk of breast cancer!” Or “Women with breast cancer shouldn’t use soy!” Or one of the craziest myths, “Men will get man-boobs“!

Science says these myths never were true.

Here’s a couple of other common myths:

Soy may increase the risk of cancer, including breast cancer.

Much of the concern about soy is based on the estrogen-like effects of isoflavones, a group of naturally-occurring plant chemicals found in large amounts in soybeans. Since many breast cancers need estrogen to grow, some believe that soy could increase breast cancer risk. However, numerous clinical studies have proved these claims wrong. In fact, soy is associated with a reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer.

Soy lowers testosterone levels in men. Concerns have been raised that soy affects estrogen levels in men, along with other female-like effects, such as lower testosterone levels, reduced sperm count, and fertility. Yet, a review of 41 clinical studies on the feminizing effects of soy shows that there are no significant effects of soy protein or isoflavone intake on testosterone or estrogen levels in men, regardless of dose or study duration.

We encourage a skeptical approach because the internet is full of unsupported, unreliable data and opinions.

In my next post, we’ll look at a few more common myths, and provide some science-based resources where you can conduct your own research!

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