Q & A: Men, Soy Does Not Lower Testosterone

Soy gets a bad rap, people associate it with being a hippie and tree hugging, even though soy is a very healthy food, like edamame beans, but there is this silly notion that eating soy lowers testosterone and is bad for men. Not true. From his member center, Dr. Fuhrman talks about soy and manliness:

Question: My husband and I just started your plan, but recently my mother-in-law said that I was hurting my husband by making him eat more soy. She said that soy is not good for men because it contains phytoestrogens. Is what she is saying true? She cited an article in Men's Health that mentioned lower testosterone and sperm counts.

Dr. Fuhrman: Totally untrue, that is a biased, meat-promoting article written to bash soy. Men's magazines are not the place for reliable information about complicated health issues. If soy did lower testosterone it might be good because the high-meat American diet causes an excess of testosterone, leading to higher prostate cancer risk. Nevertheless this is not true anyway. See this study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Flickr: John McNab

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Steve - May 19, 2009 9:23 AM

Hi Gerry

I look at Men's Health magazine now and then (when I have a little time left on the parking meter at the library I might browse the latest issue). Its articles are 90% macho garbage plus endless ads for watches and colognes, seemingly written by and for adolescent males. My suggestion is to not ever spend any money purchasing this or any other of these types of mags.

Cheers to Dr F and this blog for emphasizing a health first approach to exercise and fitness, as opposed to appearance first. Did you hear about the bodybuilding competition in Holland over the weekend? The doping inspectors showed up, and ALL the competitors left the building!

Cheers, Steve

Rick Keller - May 19, 2009 9:42 PM

Those poor Japanese and other Orientals with their low sperm counts and way low testosterone! We must get them onto virile red meat and pork chops A.S.A.P.

When articles like that appear in magazines one wonders if basic rational thinking has been abandoned. The ability to reason is obviously not a requirement for a high school diploma. (You can read one of those Men's magazines with a grade four education)

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