Starting in the late 20th century, soy has been thought of as a health food in this country. Since then, research has shown that processed soy may be linked to several health problems, like allergies, thyroid disorders, and digestive trouble. Phytic acid in soy binds to certain minerals in our bodies, thus depleting them from our bodies. In addition, since soy is a phytoestrogen (has an estrogen-like role in the body), the regular consumption through soy milk, tofu, and other soy protein products, is linked to altering the menstrual cycle of women, lowering testosterone in men, and creating early menstruation in girls and delayed puberty in boys.
On the other hand, fermented soy foods, like tempeh, miso, tarami and soy sauces, and natto (if you like it!) block the effects of phytic acid and have great health benefits. The beneficial bacteria that are present in the fermented soy greatly affect the health of the digestive tract therefore increasing absorption of nutrients.
Generally I believe in moderation and it seems that soy in its many forms is very overdone, especially in the health food industry.I recommend limiting consumption of soy and leaning towards eating only fermented soy.
The B vitamin niacin beat out the prescription cholesterol-lowering medicine ezetimibe (also known as Zetia) in a recent research trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The trial compared their cholesterol-lowering capabilities and their effects on the amount of thickening of blood vessels.
Results for niacin were excellent. Niacin lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, and raised HDL “good” cholesterol.Most importantly, niacin decreased the thickening of blood vessels, which means less cardiovascular disease. The prescription ezetimibe also lowered triglycerides and LDL “bad” cholesterol, but increased the thickening of blood vessels! How ironic that a cholesterol-lowering medicine increases cardiovascular disease.
Although I highly recommend niacin supplementation for the above purposes, it should only be taken when being monitored by a physician.