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Soy Products Are Less Dangerous Than Some May Think
18.01.2006 00:00
Soy Products Are Less Dangerous Than Some May Think

Russian scientists assure those consuming too much soy products, that they shouldnt be afraid of infertility. So-called dangerous components can be found in many other food products, in beer, for instance.
      Last week mass media paid attention to the article of David Schwartz from American National Institute of Health Sciences (NIEHS). Group of scientists, supervised by said professor, has injected genistein one of biologically active agents contained in soybeans to mice for several first days of their life. When its dose increased to some extent, female mice lost their ability to conceive.
      Russian scientists give their comments to this article. According to assistant director of Bioengineering centre Mr. Dorokhov, Schwartz group hasnt published full report about their research. Published article is a brief description of their experiment lacking methods used and quantitative data (except general ones). We hardly can say whether genistein can influence human reproduction the same way as it influences mice, on the basis of information submitted.
      First, human never takes pure genistein, and this agent is never injected to humans. In this case, we are discussing diet, where this component is one of several active agents. Soybeans have three active isoflavons genistein, daidsein and glycitein. Same components can be found in other food products, in beer for example. Beer has many reasons for blaming, too, but not due to isoflavons, and no one is going to forbid drinking it.
      Moreover, good effect of soy diet on human organism is a proved fact. The most famous effect is low rate of breast cancer in regions, where human diet traditionally contains soy products and soybeans. We should mention, that children of emigrants from mentioned regions to, say, USA, have the same rate of breast cancer, as native Americans have. Thus, we conclude that diet, not nationality or disease resistance, can cause breast cancer.
      As for published quantitative data, the scientist says that injected doses 50 mg per kilo are too high; moreover the whole amount of phytoestrogen entered blood of a mouse. And it is known that biologically active compounds are never fully absorbed, while being consumed with food.
      As for situation on world soy market, many new soy-based food supplements appeared, as well as many articles about both positive and negative effects of genistein. So, some contradiction exists, which is partly explained by stiff competition on food supplement market.
      Commercial Biotechnology


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