Mark Messina: Hello! I am Mark Messina. I am an Adjunct Associate Professor at Loma Linda University. And on behalf of The Soyfoods Council I will be talking about soy and men's health.
Now, many men may fear eating soy foods because they have correctly heard that soy contains phytoestrogens or plant estrogens. However, there is no reason for men to avoid soy. What is often not appreciated is that the plant estrogens in soy are very different from the hormone estrogen. Furthermore, there is absolutely no clinical evidence that soy foods exert any kind of feminizing effects. For example, an analysis of more than 30 clinical studies found that there is no evidence that soy foods or the plant estrogens from soy lower testosterone level. In addition, a review of nine studies found there is no evidence that soy increased estrogen levels in men. The clinical evidence also shows that soy foods do not adversely affect sperm or semen. In fact, there is a case report in the scientific literature describing an individual with low sperm concentration. After taking the phytoestrogens from soy for three months, his sperm concentration was normalized. And importantly, soy foods are very healthy. They provide high quality protein, are low in saturated fat. The protein in soy directly lowers blood cholesterol levels and it's an excellent choice for men who want to build muscle mass in response to resistance exercise.
Also, there's some very exciting evidence indicating that soy foods reduce risk of prostate cancer. An analysis of the epidemiologic research found that Asian men who consume about 2.
5 servings of soy foods per day are anywhere from 30-50% less likely to develop prostate cancer than are Asian men who consume relatively little soy. So there is absolutely no reason for men to fear eating soy foods. Instead, they should feel good about eating soy. Soy foods provide high quality protein, are low in saturated fat, so they make a wonderful addition to the diet.