Have you noticed all the recent news stories about gender confusion? An alarming number of people claim to feel either incorrectly gendered, or altogether genderless. From "Chaz" Bono, to Warren Beatty's daughter-turned-son, to the Japanese guy who did not feel affiliated with either gender so he amputated his, um, unwanted parts (and then fed them to paying guests), this bizarre trend seems to be accelerating.
Could changing hormone profiles be the culprit?
The phytoestrogens found in soy foods are a controversial area of research. In a number of studies, they have been shown to adversely affect reproductive health, sexual development, and hormone levels in animals (see research below). Soy was never consumed by our ancestors, yet today it is virtually a mainstay in the American diet, found in everything from mayonnaise to margarine. It in nearly every processed food in the supermarket to such an extent that it's nearly inescapable. According to Iowa State University researchers, soybeans account for 80 percent or more of the edible fats and oils consumed in the United States. That's a lot of soy!
Conspiracists may wish to note the interesting history of soy's rise to prominence. In the 1920's, fledgling soy producers couldn't give the stuff away. ("We coaxed and forced feeders to try the meal. We hauled meal all over the state, gave it to them free. We sent it to experiment stations. We exhibited it at state and county fairs; we made soybean flour and sent samples to bakers, had it blended at a flour mill with wheat flour, and gave five-pound bags to hundreds of grocery stores who would consent to accept it." All to no avail; that particular company went out of business).
Soy was considered only fit for hay and animal forage until the 1970's and 80's. That's when Dwayne Andreas, aka "the Soybean King," used his influence as the CEO of Archers Daniels Midland to promote the use of soybeans as human food in nearly every corner of the globe.
Andreas is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and regularly attends the Bilderberger conferences. He is also one of the biggest political donors in the US, if not the world, having
bribed / paid off / laundered donated millions of dollars to to everyone from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush to Bill Clinton to Jesse Jackson, a and countless foreign leaders.
Andreas spent decades schmoozing, rubbing elbows with foreign kings and despots, and giving away huge sums of money to get all those leaders to put soy onto their subject
plates. Thanks in part to his efforts, soybeans are now consumed globally as far away as Mexico, Korea, Germany, the former Soviet Union, and... well, everywhere. ADM and the other global agribusiness giants have successfully managed to market soybean products and soybean oil across the globe where they are now consumed daily by literally billions of people.
The bad news is that evidence suggests all that soy may be emasculating the world's men and reducing the fertility of its women, not to mention making people fatter. Along with estrogenic plastics and pesticides, soy may be contributing to people losing their sexual identity to such an extent that they begin chopping off their private parts, pairing up in ways that produce fewer children, and being all around more angsty, more passive, and less feisty.
Here are a few eye-opening quotes from research articles:
The widespread consumption of soy-based products raises the issue of the reproductive toxicity of phytoestrogens. Indeed, it is well known that genistein, an isoflavone found in soybeans and soy products, mimics the actions of estrogens and that the fetal [testicle] is responsive to estrogens....
Using organ cultures [from] mice we show that [soy] inhibits testosterone secretion by fetal Leydig cells [the predominant source of the male sex steroid hormone testosterone] during early fetal development within the "masculinization programming window". This effect occurs... at a concentration which is compatible with human consumption.... These results suggest that fetal exposure to phytoestrogens can affect the development and function of the male reproductive system."
Source: "Genistein impairs early testosterone production in fetal mouse testis via estrogen receptor alpha." Toxicol In Vitro. 2011 Dec;25(8):1542-7. Epub 2011 May 23.
Online at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21624456
All that soy is probably making us fatter too. We've gone from "lean and mean" to "fat and lazy" in a single generation. When mice were fed soy isoflavones in concentrations similar to that of human infants fed soy formula, they not only had "markedly reduced fertility," abnormal estrus cycles, reduced ovarian function, and increased incidence of pre-cancerous uterine hyperplasia, but they also had 15% greater body weight.
Source: "Early life exposure to isoflavones adversely affects reproductive health in first but not second generation female CD-1 mice." J Nutr. 2011 Nov;141(11):1996-2002. Epub 2011 Sep 21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21940509
"... soy isoflavones...regulate androgen biosynthesis.... Given the increasing intake of soy-based food products and their potential effect on blood androgen levels, these findings are greatly relevant to public health."
Source: "Effects of genistein and equol on human and rat testicular 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 activities." Asian J Androl. 2010 Jul;12(4):519-26. Epub 2010 May 10.
"... the increasing use of soy-based products as nondairy sources of protein has raised concerns about the potential of these products to cause reproductive toxicity... these observations indicate that the perinatal exposures of male rats to [soy] isoflavones affected Leydig cell differentiation [the predominant source of the male sex steroid hormone testosterone] and they imply that including soy products in the diets of neonates has potential implications for testis function."
"Developmental exposure to estrogenic compounds can disrupt sexual differentiation and adult reproductive function in many animals including humans.... [T]he studies clearly demonstrate that environmentally relevant doses of [soy compounds] have significant negative impacts on ovarian differentiation, estrous cyclicity, and fertility in the rodent model. Additional studies of reproductive function in human populations...are warranted."
Source: "Circulating levels of genistein in the neonate, apart from dose and route, predict future adverse female reproductive outcomes."Reprod Toxicol. 2011 Apr;31(3):272-9. Epub 2010 Oct 15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20955782
Soy supporters are quick to point out that soy consumption appears not to reduce sperm count, but researchers are documenting other worrisome changes, including structural changes in male reproductive organs and reduced testosterone levels:
"[Soy compounds] induced changes in the morphology [i.e., the shape] of the seminiferous epithelium of rat testes [testicles]. However, there were no significant changes in the number of spermatozoa....The testosterone levels in the homogenates of the treated rat testes were significantly lower than in the control group."
Source: "Changes in male reproductive system and mineral metabolism induced by soyisoflavones administered to rats from prenatal life until sexual maturity."Nutrition. 2011 Mar;27(3):372-9. Epub 2010 Dec 16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167684