News last update:7 Aug 2012

Too much soy can damage cells

A diet with high concentrations of soy can have negative consequences for humans as well as animals, according to German researchers.

Certain hormonally active ingredients called isoflavones might give problems, said the Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals (FBN) in Dummerstorf near Rostock.

Trials with pigs muscle cells with a FBN developed procedure revealed that high doses of isoflavones can damage the cells, said FBN project leader Charlotte Rehfeldt.

However, low concentrations of isoflavones had positive growth effects. Because of similar metabolism systems similar effects can be expected in humans.

Other studies have shown that the isoflavones genistein and daidzein have positive hormonal effects, but also can damage intestinal cells. Rehfeldts said that to reduce the harmful properties of soy in specific therapies is to remove genistein and daidzein from the soy products.

According to the German Society for Nutrition infant food on soybean basis should only be given on medically justified indications, she said.

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