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More Good Information about Soy

Ever wonder if soy is something you can take? Still on the fence if you should be adding soy to your diet?

Ready for the controversy over soy to be over?

The following is an article by Dr. Neal Barnard, MD

Soy products are remarkably versatile. Manufacturers have found ways to turn them into soymilk, veggie burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, yogurt–you name it. One day, they’ll probably turn soy into snow tires.

Because soy products are so widely consumed, some people have raised the question as to whether they are safe. The biggest question mark was whether they affect the risk of breast cancer and, for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, whether they would help or harm their chances for survival.

After years of research, science is weighing in. Here is what the studies show:

Cancer Prevention and Survival

Women who include soy products in their routines are less likely to develop breast cancer, compared with other women. In January 2008, researchers at the University of Southern California found that women averaging one cup of soymilk or about one-half cup of tofu daily have about a 30 percent less risk of developing breast cancer, compared with women who have little or no soy products in their diets (1). However, to be effective, the soy consumption may have to occur early in life, as breast tissue is forming during adolescence (2-3).

What about women who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer? A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2009 shows that soy products may reduce the risk of recurrence (4). In a group of 5,042 women previously diagnosed with breast cancer who were participating in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study over a four-year period, those who regularly consumed soy products, such as soymilk, tofu, or edamame, had a 32 percent lower risk of recurrence and a 29 percent decreased risk of death, compared with women who consumed little or no soy. An accompanying editorial suggested that inconsistencies in prior research may be attributable to the comparatively low soy consumption in the United States, making beneficial effects harder to identify (5).

Why should soy products reduce cancer risk? Most research has zeroed in on phytoestrogens found in soybeans (phyto means “plant”). These compounds are in some ways similar to the estrogens (female sex hormones) in a woman’s bloodstream, but are much weaker. Some have suggested that phytoestrogens attach to the estrogen receptors in a woman’s body, blocking her natural estrogens from being able to attach and stopping estrogen’s cancer-inducing effects.

By analogy, the estrogens in a woman’s body are like jumbo jets that have landed at an airport. Phytoestrogens are like small private planes that are occupying the Jetways, blocking the jumbo jets from attaching. This explanation is probably overly simplistic, but it may serve to illustrate how soy’s weak hormonal compounds can have beneficial effects.


Soy products may reduce the risk of fibroids, knots of muscle tissue that form within the thin muscle layer that lies beneath the uterine lining. A study of Japanese women found that the more soy women ate, the less likely they were to need a hysterectomy, suggesting that fibroids were less frequent (6). In a study of women in Washington State, soy did not seem to help or hurt, perhaps because American women eat very little soy, compared with their Japanese counterparts (7). What did have a big effect in this study were lignans, a type of phytoestrogens found in flaxseed and whole grains. The women consuming the highest amounts of these foods has less than half the risk of fibroids, compared with the women who generally skipped these foods. So, again, phytoestrogens seem beneficial, countering the effects of a woman’s natural estrogens, although in this case the benefit comes from foods other than soy.

Soy and Male Hormones

How about men? Although compounds in soy products have been likened to very weak female hormones, they have no adverse effects on men and may actually help them prevent cancer. A meta-analysis to be published in Fertility and Sterility, based on more than 50 treatment groups, showed that neither soy foods nor isoflavone supplements from soy affect testosterone levels in men (8). An analysis of 14 studies, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that increased intake of soy resulted in a 26 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk (9). Researchers found a 30 percent risk reduction with nonfermented soy products such as soy milk and tofu.

Thyroid Health

Clinical studies show that soy products do not cause hypothyroidism (10). However,
soy isoflavones may take up some of the iodine that the body would normally use to make thyroid hormone (11). The same is true of fiber supplements and some medications. In theory, then, people who consume soy might need slightly more iodine in their diets (iodine is found in many plant foods, and especially in seaweed and iodized salt.) Also, a note for people with hypothyroidism: Soy products may reduce the absorption of medicines used to treat the condition (10). People who use these medicines should check with their healthcare providers to see if their doses need to be adjusted.

Other Health Effects

Soy products appear to reduce low density lipoprotein (“bad”) cholesterol (12). They may also reduce the risk of osteoporosis-related hip fractures. In a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, women who consumed at least one-fourth cup of tofu per day averaged a 30 percent reduction in fracture risk (13).

Protein: A Little Goes a Long Way

Many soy products are high in protein. Manufacturers have exploited this fact, packing isolated soy protein into shakes and turning it into meat substitutes. But some have raised the concern that pushing protein intake too high–from any source–might not be wise. The concern is that an overly high protein intake may boost the amount of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in the bloodstream (14), a phenomenon known to occur with cow’s milk (15). High IGF-I levels are linked to higher cancer risk. Some reassurance comes from the fact that soy intake is linked to lower, not higher, cancer risk, and simple soy products, such as tempeh, edamame, or soynuts, are unlikely to affect IGF-I levels, in any case.

In summary, evidence to date is reassuring. Soy products may reduce the risk of breast cancer and breast cancer recurrence. They do not appear to have adverse effects on male hormone function or on the thyroid gland, but may reduce the absorption of thyroid medications.

Having said that, soy products are certainly not essential. Many people who start a healthful vegan diet, as I and many other doctors recommend, seem to feel they must have soy products. But the fact is, a vegan diet can follow a Mediterranean tradition, focusing on vegetables, fruits, beans and pasta. Or it might follow a Latin American tradition of beans, rice, and corn tortillas. Soy products come from an Asian tradition with many healthful delights and the most enviable health statistics on record. So soy is handy, but it is certainly not essential. If you choose to include soy products in your routine, you’ll have science on your side.


1. Wu AH, Yu MC, Tseng CC, Pike MC. Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer 2008;98:9-14.

2. Korde LA, Wu AH, Fears T, et al. Childhood soy intake and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18:OF1-10.

3. Shu XO, Jin F, Dai Q, et al. Soyfood intake during adolescence and subsequent risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001;10:483-8.

4. Shu XO, Zheng Y, Cai H, et al. Soy food intake and breast cancer survival. JAMA. 2009;302:2437-2443.

5. Ballard-Barbash R, Neuhouser ML. Challenges in design and interpretation of observational research on health behaviors and cancer survival. JAMA. 2009;302:2483-2484.

6. Nagata C, Takatsuka N, Kawakami N, Shimizu H. Soy product intake and premenopausal hysterectomy in a follow-up study of Japanese women. Eur J Clin Nutr 2001:55:773-7.

7. Atkinson C, Lampe JW, Scholes D, Chen C, Wahala K, Schwartz SM. Lignan and isoflavone excretion in relation to uterine fibroids: a case-control study of young to middle-age women in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 2006:84:587-93.

8. Hamilton-Reeves JM, Vazquez G, Duval SJ, Phipps WR, Kurzer MS, Messina MJ. Clinical studies show no effects of soy protein or isoflavones on reproductive hormones in men: results of a meta-analysis. Fertil Steril. June 11, 2009. DOI:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.038.

9. Yan L, Spitznagel EL. Soy consumption and prostate cancer risk in men: a revisit of a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:1155-1163.

10. Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid 2006;16:249-58.

11. Divi RL, Chang HC, Doerge DR. Anti-thyroid isoflavones from soybean: isolation, characterization, and mechanisms of action. Biochem Pharmacol 1997;54:1087-96.

12. Pipe EA, Gobert CP, Capes SE, Darlington GA, Lampe JW, Duncan AM. Soy protein reduces serum LDL cholesterol and the LDL cholesterol:HDL cholesterol and apolipprotein B:apolipprotein A-1 ratios in adults with type 2 diabetes. J Nutr. 2009;139:1700-1706.

13. Koh WP, Wu AH, Wang R, et al. Gender-specific associations between soy and risk of hip fracture in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2009;170:901-909.

14. Dewell A, Weidner G, Sumner MD, et al. Relationship of dietary protein and soy isoflavones to serum IGF-1 and IGF binding proteins in the Prostate Cancer Lifestyle Trial. Nutr Cancer 2007;58:35-42.

15. Heaney RP, McCarron DA, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Dietary changes favorably affect bone remodeling in older adults. J Am Dietetic Asso 1999;99:1228-33.


The best thing  you can do is educate yourself.

I chose Reliv International nutrition because I wanted a complete nutrition. I wanted something besides a vitamin, mineral, berry, vegetable, herb, and anti-oxidants. I wanted all of it together because I knew I would never get enough of what I need for my body if I tried to do it separately. I love the fact the Reliv’s basic nutrition has 72 vitamins, mineral, herbs, and everything else my body need to nourish itself. If you would like more information about Reliv, visit

Yours in becoming healthy!

Katrina van Oudheusden

Independent Reliv Distributor

March 17, 2011 Posted by | Alternative Health, Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Reliv, Soy, Women's Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ready for a Nutrition Tune-Up for YOUR Body?

Get a Nutrition Tune-Up
Most likely, you maintain your car with oil changes and other preventive services to keep it running smoothly for as long as possible. But is your body also on a maintenance and prevention plan so it runs at its peak and lasts longer? Good nutrition is vital to your long-term health and your quality of life. Starting today, give yourself a regular nutrition tune-up. 

Add more of:



  • Whole grains. Choose fiber-filled whole grain bread, cereals, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. You’ll feel more satiated and benefit from the added fiber and nutrition that are retained in whole grain foods.
  • Colorful vegetables. The rainbow of veggie colors, especially dark green, red and orange, pack potent nutrients.
  • Fruits in nearly any form. Fresh, frozen or canned are all good options but beware canned fruit in syrup since it’s high in sugar.
  • Calcium and vitamin D. Go for low-fat or fat-free versions of milk, yogurt and cheese. Or choose fortified soy beverages. Supplements can meet your intake goals of calcium and vitamin D too.
  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Look for canola, corn, olive, peanut or soybean oil, or plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olives. These are healthy fat options to replace solid, saturated fats.
  • Seafood. Swap out meat and poultry more often with a variety of fish and seafood for a boost in omega-3s.

Cut back on:

  • Sodium. Don’t exceed 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day — or just 1,500 mg per day if you’re over age 51; are African-American; or have a history of high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease or diabetes. Sodium is high in many processed foods and canned goods such as soups.
  • Sugar. The American Heart Association says high intake of added sugars is linked to many health problems, including obesity, high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Women should limit their sugar intake to about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day; the limit for men is 9 teaspoons. Keep in mind sugar is in many foods and drinks. Just one 12-ounce can of cola has about 8 teaspoons of sugar — maxing out your sugar limit. Sugar is known on food labels by many names including sucrose, fructose, lactose or syrup.
  • Solid fats, especially trans fats. Skip fatty animal-based foods such as bacon, poultry skin, butter and whole milk products. Also avoid foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (read: trans fats) often found in cookies, donuts and crackers.
  • Refined grains. White bread, white rice and many commercial cereals have had the fiber and many nutrients stripped away and act like sugar in the body. Choose whole grains instead.

Canned Tune-Up

An easy way to keep your body running in optimum condition is to fuel it with the premium, balanced nutrition of Reliv nutritional supplements. In addition to supplying essential vitamins and minerals, many Reliv products such as Reliv Classic® and Reliv Now® are rich in healthy soy protein.

Reliv also helps you cut back your sugar intake with zero-calorie Relivables® All-Natural Sweetener. Slash your sodium intake by choosing Relivables® Soy Nuts to snack on rather than chips or other high-sodium snacks. The lightly salted soy nuts are low in sodium, cholesterol-free and are an excellent source of fiber and non-GMO protein. They’re also dry roasted rather than fried in oil and have no trans fats.

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To Your Nutritional Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Alternative Health, Diets, Food Allergies, Health, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Reliv, Sports Nutrition, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh, The Wonders Of Omega 3

Oh, The Many Wonders of Omega-3

Despite the abundance of food in most developed countries, our diets today are still sadly lacking. One key power nutrient missing? Omega-3, an essential fatty acid. And more studies are showing that increasing omega-3 in our diets can pay off in significant health benefits, from weight loss to decreased risk of heart disease.

Essential fatty acids are vital to the body’s normal development and function, especially for the brain and eyes. Memory, performance and behavior are all affected by omega-3 intake. If your body doesn’t have enough essential fatty acids, it can cause reduced growth, infertility, impaired wound healing and decreased ability to fight infection.

Deficiencies in omega-3 — specifically DHA — during pregnancy and in babies can cause developmental problems in the nervous system and vision. That’s why some baby formulas now include a DHA supplement.

Not getting enough omega-3 may also lead to many health problems including heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, certain cancers, osteoporosis, premature birth, depression, asthma and diabetes.

Symptoms that you may have an omega-3 deficiency include extreme tiredness, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression and poor circulation.

No Fishing Required for Good Nutrition
While fish, especially salmon tuna, is a good source of omega-3, you’ll also find this important nutrient in leafy greens and olive, canola, flaxseed and walnut oils.

The following Reliv products also include omega-3: Reliv Now® for Kids and ReversAge®.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Reliv products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
This article was brought to you by our friends at

Diabetes Self-Management, Jan/Feb 2008, p. 8-14, Alisa G. Woods, PhD

University of Maryland Medical Center:–3–000316.htm


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To YOUR Optimal Health!

Katrina van Oudheusden

Independent Reliv Distributor

March 4, 2011 Posted by | Alternative Health, children, Diets, Health, kids vitamins, Nutrition, Reliv, Sports Nutrition, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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