Look around the net - not everyone thinks soy is so bad.

Yeah, old women and puny vegetarians love it! If you can read the “Bad Protein” and “Evils of Soy” articles and still not be convinced, then you can’t be helped. Also one of those research update articles had some negative soy info.

I think this is a classic case of what Ian King calls “overreaction in the short-term and underreaction in the long-term.” I grew up eating quite a bit of soy and soy has been consumed for centuries. Perhaps it is not the most anabolic protein and it may not be the best for your T levels, but I think it is mass hysteria to treat it like a poison. Some of the same people who react this way don’t even have the rest of their diet in order–thus the underreaction in the long-term part. I don’t go out of my way to consume as much soy as I can, but I don’t turn down miso soup with bits of tofu in it that my wife makes, nor do I eschew the boiled soybeans served as an appetizer at sushi restaurants. You gotta live a little.

I think T-mag is the greatest but I think the two article about soy protein have been blindly bias against soy protein. Has anyone known from personal experience the effect of soy protein and has decreased their testosterone level and their sperm count?

I will first give you my own personal testimony on Soy Protein. I have been consuming soy protein for 5 years (150 grams of protein a day) and have had none of the side effects T-mag has talked about. My wife has been taking it for 5 years also and have had no bad side effects. We have had 2 children (my wife is pregnant with her 3rd due in June) in this 5 year time span. In fact, my wife has gotten pregnant the first time we even tried to get pregnant for all 3 children (I am not exagerating.) All of my children have not had low birth weights. My first child was 8 lbs 5 oz. and my second child was 8 lbs 13 oz. (My wife and I are not big people I am 6’1" and my wife is 5’5.5". We do not have big frames.

When I have been taking soy protein I have gained about 18 lbs of muscle since I started taking soy protein. I am 30 years old and currently weigh 218 lbs. at 7% bodyfat and I am 30 years old. I have been an athlete all of my life. I played college football. I will tell you I do take 2 MRP’s a day with the soy and have been doing this for only 9 months.

I know “the Evils of Soy” recites some double blind studies that have been done on humans that I would like to investigate further but the article has a bunch of rat studies that do not correlate to humans.

In fact, in a few more weeks I am going to do my own test on what soy does. Since I have not consumed over 150 grams of soy protein, I am goint to strictly eat 200 grams of soy protein for 8-12 weeks, with no MRP’s with whey protein (I will eat chicken, fish and beef 2-3 times a day)and see if I feel my testosterone level go down and if I lose muscle. I will tell you about the results.

I personally think that despite what TEK says, the whole soy thing is far overrated. Fact is, I’ve made my best gains while incorporating soy in my diet, (and I’m talking about 50-150g per day 5 days per week, not just a bit here and there!) I currently stand in at 230 lbs. at 12% bodyfat, which is around 15 lbs more than I did two years ago BEFORE I began eating soy products. Now, I highly doubt that I’m some sort of freak because I make gains on soy - it may not be the world’s greatest source of protein, but obviously for me, it’s done well enough! I think it’s silly that everyone decries it to be the antichrist of bodybuilding foods, and just as there are studies here that state it is terrible, I’ve seen studies where it is touted to be a great protein to eat while dieting. For every study that says it’s good, there’s one saying it’s bad, and vice-versa…we could go on forever about this and never come to a clear conclusion. Remember the cries of “Whey is best! Casein sucks!” Well, think about that when you read those T-Mag Protein articles once more. Prehaps it’ll jog your memory.

It’s bodybuilding, people. Keep an open mind about it until you’ve tried it for yourself, else you’re just jumping on a bandwagon like everyone else.


As I understand it, the only issue with soy is estrodiol (at about 1mg/100g) which might produce feminizing effects or interfere with test. BUT. Why do they give test ‘and’ estrogen to beef cattle? It must be for some anabolic effect. Anyway to exploit this without looking like a ‘female’ bodybuilder?

Okay guys, it’s pretty hard to irk me to a large degree, but, you’re getting very close. I’m having a bad day, so I’ll make this quick. First off, estrogens are added to androgenic steroids in order to increase the “marbling” within the meat. The more fat along with the meat, the better tasting it is. This is why they give cattle estrogens. Now, someone has also said that they’ve made gains on soy. Fine, never said you couldn’t. But, I promise you the gains would have been better if you had consumed another protein. THEN, I hear for every study I cited there’s one saying the opposite. Where? Where is there ONE showing an increase in testosterone? I’d like to see it!

Then, you proceed to use the “remember casein sucks” argument. Who do you think first stuck their neck out and wrote about casein and it’s benefits over whey? Look at the author!

Then I hear that “double blind studies showing decreased testosterone are fine, but I want to know if I feel it myself.” Yeah, screw double blind studies, they’re worthless. I’m being sarcastic if you didn’t notice. You go on to say that since you’ve had kids and have made gains that I’m surely wrong? I never said you won’t have kids or won’t make gains. I only said that it’ll hinder your gains and may decrease sperm count, thus, possibly lowering your chances of conception.

Lastly, if you are going to perform your own experiment, keep track of everything you consume, and at least have your testosterone levels checked. Going on “feel” is nonsense.
Now, I will admit that some guys are worrying too much. I mean, if you take lecithin, derived from soy, don’t worry about it. If, soy is labeled as the 76th ingredient on your ice cream’s nutritional label, don’t sweat it. Just use common sense guys. Nuff said.

Here is a cut and paste I found at the onhealth.webmd site:

Scientists at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, compared the urine samples of two groups of people, one who ate a soy diet and one who did not. High estrogen levels have been linked to breast cancer risk so researchers looked for a particular protein in the urine that would indicate how much estrogen was present in the body.
For female participants eating the soy diet, their estrogen levels were slightly lower than before they started the study. “This finding suggests that soy may not have the estrogenic effects that were thought to alleviate menopausal symptoms, but it refutes claims about its purported hormone risks,” says lead researcher David Jenkins. Previous studies have indicated the estrogen-like effects of soy may help with menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, but other studies have suggested soy offers no such benefit.

Cy, thanks for responding and I too believe that double blind studies printed in a peer reviewed journals are more accurate than someone’s personal experience. I don’t think your animal and rat studies you sighted are a direct correlation to humans but your human studies are.

Soy still does not seem as bad as you make it out to be. The amino acid profile of soy is excellent. The Glutamic Acid level is higher than whey.

I tried to find the peer reviewed study that you recited from Zhong on the website and I could not find it. Could you help me out or recite this part of the study in the article or tell me where to find it? I believe you but I would like to read it myself. Thank you.

I’ll talk from personal experience. I’m only 20. My T and DHEA levels were at those of a 50 and 60 year old male respectively. I was consuming lots of soy. Stopped consuming soy. A couple of months later, DHEA is normalized, T is on the rise. Granted, it was also noted that I had high levels of mercury and I was taking DMSA for that. So, maybe my health problems could all be related to mercury. But, considering the problems with soy Cy noted, as well as other great sources like the soy online service website, I’m willing to bet dollars to dimes that it was predominantly fault of the soy. While consuming soy I was chronically fatigued, depressed or irritable, had terrible brain fog, and just generally felt like shit. Sure, maybe you’re of a tougher constitution than I am and soy won’t exert these profound effects on you. Then again, maybe you’re like my friend who can make gains off of pop-tarts and pizza. I’m fully with Cy on this issue, and I think that if you view the situation objectively, you’ll probably side with Cy as well.

Dear Cy,

I didn’t direct anything as a personal attack on you, but it seems to be taken that way. Everyone gets up on the wrong side of the bed sometimes, and that’s fine, but I don’t want to be chastized for something unintended.

My comment about the “Whey rules, casein sucks!” thing was to show that you’ve made arguments that go against what the norm is, and that’s wonderful! I wasn’t trying to incite bad feelings over this, as I’m siding with you in finding the value in things that most people take as bad just because every terrible magazine says so. I commend you on this. But, my experience tells me that while your article on soy makes it to sound terrible, it may not be the BEST, but it certainly could be a lot worse! When I make a change in something involving bodybuilding and/or diet and it brings me out of a 6 month rut, I take that as something that worked for me, and I credit my ingestion of 20-40% of my protein from soy to play a role in it. Perhaps it’s just coincidence, who knows, but I’m not going to change my mind because studies show it has some negative effects along with the positive. As far as the studies showing the positives with the negatives, I hate to mention the name of the online mag where I’ve read the studies as I know the two of you have a continuing battle over who’s the smarter bunch and I don’t care to get involved as I take in BOTH sides and not just one. In conclusion, I didn’t mean to make this personal, but for the thousandth time I’ve been taken out of context, and although I really detest having to justify and explain my statements when I’d hoped they’d be clear the first time, I’m forced to once again. If you still think that soy is terrible, then fine, but understand that some of us have tried it and found that it CAN be something other than the enemy. Truthful personal experience can’t be explained away, and I’ve got my evidence. Take it or leave it.

Over and out, Flax

Flax- Glad you have your evidence. To each his own.

cjack- I generally use animal studies to serve as "backup" for human studies. You're wrong when you say animal and human research have no relation. True, they don't always correlate, but once human research has surfaced, those animal studies can be used to further verify any findings. That's why I use both. Lastly, the main issue isn't whether soy increases estrogen levels. It's the notion that it has estrogen like effects.

I think you take from the mag what you want. You leave what you don’t want. If any one cares, I leave soy alone, no sense finding out the hard way.

Soy sucks! I’ve known this for a very long time, thanks Cy for clarifying so well why soy sucks so much. Some people have been stupid enough to take that shit for such a long time they refuse to admit they’re wrong. Why don’t you try bark to get some fibers, while you’re at it.

so far as people saying that they don’t feel any different on soy, so what. I don’t feel any different on Androsol. Everyone is like, ‘oh I feel so aggresive, I feel really pumped and ready to rip shit up!!’ Well, I didn’t feel a thing. This does’nt mean that something is benign. I also gained 6lbs on Androsol, but since it didn’t make me feel tough I guess it didn’t work. I hate it when people make cases like this.

Soy tastes like shit in all the supplemental powders I’ve tried and costs about the same as whey. Given two products, one with controversy and bad taste and another generally considered pretty good which also tastes good…
gee which one do I take?

Cy, relax, don’t get so worked up over protein for God sakes.

I don’t have enough information to have an educated opinion, but here is something from the Protein Factory about soy:

"Hormonal Studies.

1)A study found that soy protein isolate (daidzein) may have a gender specific normalizing effect on sex-hormone prduction. Male lab animals experienced greater testosterone and growth-hormone excretion as well as muscle growth" This contradicts the study that found that genestein decreased testosterone serum.

2)Another study found that soy may be actually antiestrogenic. . They may also act as antiestrogens by competing for the binding sites of estrogen receptors or the active site of the estrogen biosynthesizing and metabolizing enzymes, such as aromatase and estrogen-specific 17 beta-hydroxysteroid oxidoreductase (type 1).

3)Probably the best research study contracting the one used by the author of “The bad protein” is this.

The phytoestrogens are only found in raw soy products. Not soy protein isolates, which are used as protein supplements for bodybuilders."

It would be nice if Testosterone got someone to write an article about soy who disagrees with Cy.


Oh, and to TEK and Universl, why are you blindly dismissing soy? Have you read any of the studies yourselves? Have you even looked around the net to try to get both sides of the issue. Hell, you could be right, but two articles on make something fact? Do some independant thinking.

I’m not going to comment on soy, other than
to say I don’t consume any. But I have to
comment on this reasoning:

“Look around the net - not everyone thinks soy is so bad.”

"Look around the net - not everyone thinks jumping off a bridge is so bad."

Couldn't resist. :)

Well, it seems that nobody is going to have a new opinion on soy, but that’s perfectly fine. I still find it amusing how people say how much it sucks, but I have my doubts that they’ve ever had more than 10g of soy protein in a given week. But, if you’re afraid to experiment, then that’s cool. I eat soy for various reasons, the main one being that my fiancee is vegan, and since I live in her place, I abide by her rules and keep the meat out of the apartment. I began eating soy meats in place of real ones, and I’ve grown a taste for them over the past few years. If I were to give up soy products, I’d be cutting out a part of my diet that I’ve grown to like. A block of tofu with spicy szechuan sauce here and there, a grilled seitan sandwich, and I’d lose most of the content of my evening meals. I think of it this way - I used to be a fat-ass weighing in at 275 lbs. at around 40some percent bodyfat. I ate snacks, hamburgers and candy for most of my meals and drank at least 2 liters of soda each day. My diet was shit, and I only got fatter. If I’m coming in at my current weight and decent bodyfat percentage now and continuing to make gains while eating soy protein, then by all means I’m not going to stop something I love even if it DOES do a tiny bit of harm. I’m not going to be a competitive bodybuilder, so if I fail to put on that extra single pound of muscle 8 months from now because I’m eating cheap and tasty soy products for 2 or 3 meals each day, then that’s fine. I lift for myself to be strong and both look & feel good, and isn’t that what matters most? But, I guess it’s easiest to just agree with someone who writes an article without ever having tested themselves. Oh well, this has become a dead horse of sorts that’s become nothing more than “I’m right and you’re wrong!” Best I let it go.