Feminization through soy protein?
No legume is more controversial than soy. While soy protein is praised by vegan athletes for its excellent amino acid composition, others are afraid that the bean will turn their hormonal balance upside down. The myth that soy causes feminization persists.
A high biological value, versatile in use and relatively inexpensive: There are many reasons for consuming soy. The legume is already very popular with vegans and vegetarians. But meat eaters also benefit from increased soy consumption. For example, recent studies indicate that the β-conglycinin contained in soy protein reduces body fat and weight. You can read more about thishere.
Last year, a comprehensive review came to the conclusion that soy is a useful addition to any diet due to its numerous health-promoting properties.
Despite these positive studies, soy protein has a negative image. Men in particular prefer to avoid eating the healthy legume. The reason is the isoflavones it contains. Isoflavones are secondary plant substances and are usually produced by plants to ward off predators.
Hormones in food
Isoflavones are said to disrupt the hormonal balance and lead to a feminization of the body. The fact is: The isoflavones contained in soy have a structural similarity to the female sex hormone estrogen and can act on its receptor tie. Therefore, isoflavones are also referred to asphytoestrogens . In addition to soy, other plants also contain phytoestrogens. The best-known examples are black cohosh, hops and red clover. These plants are therefore often used to treat menopausal symptoms. Anyone who is afraid of feminization through soy protein must also fear their beloved after-work beer. Animal foods such as eggs, milk and meat also contain relevant amounts of hormonally active substances, including estrogen. Plasticizers in plastic (e.g.Bisphenol A) are also said to disrupt the hormonal balance in men.
Soy protein: the study situation
With all these “dangers” For the male hormonal balance, is it simply the fear of soy that is particularly firmly anchored in people's minds? This may be because many opponents of soy protein refer to old study data from animal experiments that confirmed these fears. Today, however, there are newer data (from studies on humans) and we know; Meanwhile, the metabolism of isoflavones in animals is not directly comparable to that in humans. A meta-analysis from 2008 evaluated the data from 32 studies. The result: The intake of soy protein or isoflavones had no effect on testosterone levels in men. Both the free hormone and the bioactive and SHBG-bound testosterone were included in the evaluation.
Also epidemiological studies do not point to “feminization” of the male body through the consumption of soy protein and that, although significantly higher amounts of soy are consumed in Asian countries. Japanese take e.g. B. on average 23-54 mg isoflavones per day. For comparison: Europeans get an average of 0.3-4.5 mg isoflavones per day. Vegetarians and vegans consume 7-12 mg.
Does too much protein damage the kidneys?
Proteins are essential for our body. For example, they take over: B. numerous functions in our metabolism as hormones, enzymes, antibodies or means of transport. In addition, a protein-rich diet promotes muscle building and helps with weight loss. But does protein really harm the kidneys and how much is actually “too much?”?
There is a constant build-up and breakdown of proteins in our body. As a result, defective proteins are replaced and proteins that are no longer needed are broken down. The amino acids released and absorbed during digestion are either used as building blocks for other proteins (e.g. muscles) or broken down into other substances (e.g. glucose). To do this, the nitrogen-containing amino group must first be split off. Toxic ammonia (NH3) is created, which we excrete in the form of the water-soluble, harmless urea via the kidneys and urine . This reaction occurs in the urea cycle in the liver. Healthy people have sufficient capacity to convert the resulting ammonia and excrete urea. However, what happens if you consume significantly more protein than recommended over a longer period of time?
Is a protein-rich diet bad for the kidneys?
Older studies suggest that a high-protein diet may affect kidney function. Mainly, however, people were examined who already had limited kidney function. More recent studies on healthy people have not yet confirmed these negative effects. According to the German Society for Nutrition e. V. (DGE), however, there is currently not enough data to assess the connection between protein intake and kidney function in adults. Only for people with impaired kidney function. man: Too much protein is harmful and leads to further deterioration of the condition.
To assess kidney function, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is used. It indicates the amount of urine produced by both kidneys in a certain time. In the case of chronic kidney disease or its end stage, renal insufficiency, the GFR is severely impaired. Here the protein intake should be 0.4 — 0.8 g / kg body weight (depending on the stage of the disease). In this case, it is particularly important to give preference to proteins that have a high biological value possess. Since kidney disease progresses gradually, it manifests itself in non-specific symptoms. It is therefore recommended to have a urine test done by a doctor every year. By the way, the most common causes of chronic kidney failure are high blood pressure and diabetes.
How much protein is too much for the kidneys?
The term “protein-rich” is clearly defined in food law and may only be used if at least 20% of a food's calories come from proteins. Unfortunately, there is no clear definition when it comes to our diet. Here, it is considered “protein-rich” if more than 15% of the daily amount of calories consumed comes from proteins.
The current recommended daily intake (Recommended Dietary Allowance = RDA) for protein is 0.8 g / kg body weight, which corresponds to around 10% of our daily energy requirements. In contrast to many vitamins, there is no set upper intake limit (Tolerable Upper Intake Level = UL) for proteins. It is therefore not known exactly at what daily protein intake potential health effects can be expected. Currently, twice the reference value (1.6 g / kg body weight per day) is considered safe in healthy people. Depending on the source, even a daily intake of 2 -2.5 g / kg body weight (equivalent to around 25-30% of the energy intake) is considered harmless. If the protein intake is significantly higher than required, you should drink enough so that the resulting urea can be excreted in the urine.
A vegan diet prevents kidney disease, as vegans are less likely to be overweight and suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes. On the other hand, a plant-based diet also has positive effects on people who are already sick. A study shows: If you replace animal protein with soy protein in patients with type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, the condition improved.
There are currently no studies that clearly prove that a high-protein diet leads to kidney damage in healthy people. To ensure that your kidneys remain efficient in the long term, you should have your kidney function checked regularly and pay attention to your blood pressure and blood sugar.
- www.dge.de/forschung/ further-publications/faq/protein/#c5295
- www.internisten-im -netz.de/krankenen/nierenschwaeche-chronisch/sorge-schutz.html
- www.dgk.de/gesundheit/ernaehrung /nutrition-for-kidney-insufficiency.html
- Wu. Dietary protein intake and human health. Food Function 2016 Mar;7(3):1251-65.
- Markova et al. Protein-rich diet for health. Nutrition in Focus 2008
- A.N. Friedman. High-protein diets: potential effects on the kidney in renal health and disease. On J Kidney Dis. 2004;44(6):950-62.
- D. Webb. Athletes and Protein Intake. Today's Dietitian 2014; 6:22
- www.vebu. de/fitness-health/preventing-civilization-diseases/kidney-diseases-nutrition-effects-on-kidney-function/
- L. Azadbakht, A. Esmaillzadeh. Soy-protein consumption and kidney-related biomarkers among type 2 diabetics: a crossover randomized clinical trial. J Ren Nutr 2009; 19(6):479-86
How to get rid of harmful belly fat?
According to the 13th nutritional report of the German Society for Nutrition e. V. (DGE), 59% of men and 37% of women are overweight. Ascending trend. It is well known that being overweight is unhealthy. The fat deposits on the stomach in particular were considered particularly harmful. Below you will find out why this is the case and what you can do about your belly fat.
Our fatty tissue has different functions. As subcutaneous fat, for example, it has an insulating effect and protects against heat loss. At the same time, as a so-called construction grease, it provides mechanical protection and provides cushioning, for example. B. Organs or the sole of the foot. In addition, the fat deposits serve as energy reserves for our body, which we can fall back on in times of need. We store excess energy in the subcutaneous fatty tissue or in the abdominal cavity. The latter is also called viscerales (viscera = viscera) or intraabdomiales (abdomen = belly) is called fat. It covers the internal organs such as the intestines or liver. The more excess energy the body has available, the more is stored here.
Why belly fat is so dangerous
Since hunger and deprivation are rarely part of our everyday lives, the body needs these reserves less and less. However, our belly fat is not only a passive energy store, but also active tissue. This means that it releases numerous messenger substances. Some of them have a negative impact on our health, e.g. B. Promote inflammatory processes and influence blood pressure and blood sugar levels. One of these messenger substances is leptin. The hormone is produced by fat cells and normally signals to our body that we are full. The more fat cells there are, the more leptin is produced. If too much leptin is produced, the regulatory mechanism eventually gets out of control and the brain develops resistance to leptin. The body becomes immune to the appetite-suppressing effects of the hormone.
Other messenger substances such as adiponectin influence the effect of insulin and thus the blood sugar level and blood lipid levels. As your waist circumference increases, the risk of diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and diabetes increases.
When does your stomach become too big?
The abdominal circumference (measured at navel height) is considered the most important indicator of the proportion of visceral fat. Ideally, this should be less than 94 cm for men and less than 80 cm for women. From 102 cm (men) or 88 cm (women), the risk of certain diseases is considered to be greatly increased. Although BMI can also be used to determine overweight, it says nothing about fat distribution. Even in slim people, the proportion of visceral fat can be too high. The tape measure doesn't help here either, only the MRI or a computer tomography.
How to get rid of your belly fat
Two things in particular are responsible for the development of belly fat: a wrong diet and lack of exercise. They cause the body to have a lot of excess energy available. The fat deposits grow and grow. Unfortunately, it is not possible to lose fat only in targeted areas of the body. Exactly where the body loses fat when losing weight varies from person to person. However, the deposits on the stomach are usually broken down first. With the right diet and exercise, success can be achieved quickly.
The right diet
If you give the body less energy than it needs, it has to tap into its reserves. In order to reduce belly fat, a low-calorie diet is unavoidable. Ideally you should have 300 — Save 500 calories per day. In order to lose kilos, we recommend a plant-based diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, potatoes, whole grain products and legumes. These foods have a low energy density and are rich in filling fiber. They also provide the body with important vitamins and minerals. Due to their high water content, vegetables also have a high volume and fill the stomach more quickly. Therefore, at least half of a meal should consist of vegetables and/or salad.
However, you should avoid white flour products, sugar, alcohol, sweet drinks and finished products. They have a lot of energy, but at the same time provide few micronutrients and only fill you up for a short time. A diet rich in protein can also help you lose weight. It is recommended to consume 15-20% of your daily calories from vegetable proteins, 50-60% from complex carbohydrates and no more than 30% from vegetable fats (avocado, rapeseed oil, linseed oil, nuts). listen.
Tasty plant-based recipes are also part of our metabolic treatment. This can help you take the first step towards a balanced and healthy diet.
Sport and more exercise in everyday life
When fighting excess fat, exercise is a must. Two to three times a weekEndurance sports (e.g. inline skating, swimming, cycling or jogging) is ideal for burning calories. Strength training is also important because muscle mass ensures that more energy is burned even at rest. Exercises that involve the entire body are best. If you don't feel like joining the gym, push-ups, crunches, planks and lunges can also be done at home. But it doesn't always have to be an extensive sports program. With more exercise in everyday life you can also achieve positive effects. A walk during your lunch break, the stairs instead of the elevator or lunges during a phone call. To record your everyday activity, you can use a pedometer. Experts recommend taking 10,000 steps per day. Every type of movement counts and every step brings you closer to your goal.
To get rid of the unwanted fat, you just have to reduce your energy intake through your diet and increase your consumption through exercise. It sounds quite simple at first, but it is not always so easy to implement in practice. Especially these days, when high-calorie treats are lurking on every corner. Therefore, in addition to exercise and diet, you also need patience and discipline to successfully lose weight. Healthy, long-term weight loss takes time. At least the kilos didn't pile up overnight. It is therefore important not to set your goals too high. Smaller,realistic milestones.are much more motivating
- Press information “So Germany has never been fat, results of the 13th DGE nutritional report on obesity development, DGE aktuell, 2017 03/2017 from February 1st, 2017
- A. Bray. Overweight and obesity: the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic risk. Clin Cornerstone 2009; 9(4):30-40
- www.pharmazeutische-zeitung. de/issue-082013/combine-waist-circumference-with-bmi/
Current study shows: Low carb is so unhealthy
When it comes to losing weight, proteins are at the forefront. Rightly so, because they have many properties that are beneficial for weight loss. Numerous diets and nutritional concepts take advantage of this and rely on high protein. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are decried as fattening foods that should be avoided. Diets like Atkins or South Beach therefore drastically limit the consumption of carbohydrates. However, a recent study has now shown:Low carb has a negative effect on our health and life expectancy.
Low carb can shorten your life
The American scientists examined the connection between carbohydrate intake and death rate (mortality). They examined over 15,000 adults and also compared data from seven other international studies (over 430,000 participants). The results illustrate how important carbohydrates are for our health. As is often the case, the right amount is crucial. People who covered 50-55% of their energy needs through carbohydrates had the longest life expectancy. Too much (>70%) and too little (<40%) carbohydrate was associated with higher mortality rates. On average, people who ate a low-carb diet lived four years shorter. If carbohydrate intake was too high, life expectancy was reduced by one year.
But the experts also investigated another question: When you reduce carbohydrates, does it make a difference which nutrients you replace them with? The answer is clearly “yes”. A crucial role is played by the origin of the region. nutrients. If fat or animal protein replaces carbs, the mortality rate increases. However, if you replace carbohydrates with plant-based protein and fats, the risk of mortality is reduced and life expectancy increases.
What can we learn from the study?
Low carb may help you lose the pounds more quickly, but it is not healthy in the long term. The study results are clear: moderate carbohydrate intake is the ideal prerequisite for growing old healthily. This also corresponds to the recommendations of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). V., according to which at least 50% of the energy requirement should be covered by carbohydrates. These are complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grain products, Legumes, fruits and vegetables can be found to be preferred. However, you should avoid sugar and white flour. If you still need or want to limit your carbohydrate intake, you should replace the carbs with vegetable fats and proteins.
The optimal nutrient distribution
We should reduce our energy needs to...
- 50-55% Carbohydrates from whole grains, potatoes, rice, fruits, vegetables,
- 15-25% Proteins from legumes, nuts, whole grains,
- max. 30% fat from vegetable oils, nuts
D-A-CH reference values for nutrient intake (DGE et al. 2008)
How healthy are soybeans?
A plant-based diet is becoming increasingly popular. Against this background, soybeans and products made from them are increasingly ending up on German plates.
The increasing soy consumption is leading to more and more critical questions: Is soy really safe? Does soy cause fertility problems in men or women?
General information about soybeans
The soybean is one of the oldest cultivated and useful plants on earth.
In Asia this bean is consumed daily. Western countries, on the other hand, have low consumption. However, due to the ever-growing trend towards a plant-based diet, more and more soy products are ending up on the market. Vegans and vegetarians in particular use this crop.
Soy can be used in a variety of ways: Whether cooked, as a whole bean or in soy products such as soy milk, yoghurt and tofu.
High nutrient content of soybeans
The soybean contains many health-promoting ingredients.
It contains plenty of minerals, vitamins, especially the B vitamins and vitamins E, fiber and secondary plant substances. Secondary plant substances have, among other things, positive effects on cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and the immune system. The soybean is also rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and is free of cholesterol. It has a high protein content with all the essential amino acids that are necessary for building and maintaining muscle mass are important. The protein quality in soy is comparable to that of beef.
But why does soy have such a bad reputation with such positive nutritional values?
The soybean - healthy or unhealthy?
Soy has come under criticism mainly because of the isoflavones it contains, which are classified as secondary plant substances. Since they have a similar structure to the human sex hormone estrogen, they are also known as phytoestrogens. This similarity allows the isoflavones to bind to estrogen receptors and act similarly to female sex hormones. However, the hormonal activity of phytoestrogens is 100-1000 times lower.
Although many studies describe a connection between soy intake and reproductive disorders in men and women, the results so far are not comparable. Because there are studies with different dosages, different isoflavone forms and study lengths.
It is known that women after menopause generally have lower estrogen levels. That's why isoflavones have an estrogenic effect. However, this is not seen inpremenopausal women : Since the body's own estrogens are present in large numbers, they bind to the receptors and the binding site for phytoestrogens is occupied; They therefore have an anti-estrogen effect.
So far there is no evidence that soy has a negative effect on fertility. This can also be seen in Asian countries: although a lot of soy is consumed there, the male population is neither feminized nor infertile.
Various studies have also described an anti-carcinogenic effect of isoflavones, especially in the Asian population. Zhang and his colleagues have demonstrated this effectiveness onbreast cancer also in North America.
Furthermore, there are positive effects on menopausal symptoms and Osteoporosis known.
Soy has a broad nutrient profile, which is hardly comparable to any other plant. This has a positive effect on health and various illnesses.
In general, the consumption of plant-based food should be increased. Soy is a good meat alternative.
- Backes G (2012) Soy - the meat of the field. Nutrition in focus: 154-159.
- Cederroth CR, Zimmermann C and Nef S (2012) Soy, phytoestrogens and their impact on reproductive health. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 355 (2): 192-200.
- Kucuk O (2017) Soy food, isoflavones and breast cancer. Cancer 123 (11): 1901-1903.
- Zhang FF, Haslam DE, Terry MB et al. (2017) Dietary isoflavone intake and all-cause mortality in breast cancer survivors: the Breast Cancer Family Registry. Cancer 123: 2070-2079.
- https://albert-schweitzer-stiftung. de/topics/vegan-healthy/soy-healthy-or-unhealthy
- http://www.vitalstoff-lexikon.de/Sekundaere-Pflanzenstoffe/ -Isoflavones/