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How Does Soy Milk Affect Testosterone Levels?

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 14, 2022

Soy has become a staple in the modern world. The ingredients comprise many dishes and alternative food options, such as soy milk. With the rise of this particular food item being so prevalent, researchers, doctors, theorists and the public alike have taken to arguing both the pros and cons of using soy and other soy-related products in certain cuisines. The chief of these concerns was related to testosterone, which is a hormone found in both males and females, both extremely important in a man's hormonal health.

In this article, we'll take a look at what soy is and the most common products that it comprises. We will also take a look at the benefits and detriments to a male's health, and ultimately, review its relationship with testosterone.

What Is Soy, And What Are Some Examples Of Soy-Related Products?

Soy can come in myriad forms and is prepared in many different ways. Soy originates from the soybean, which is usually dried and then made into a powder, and further processed into different foods. Sometimes, they are dried and roasted as soy nuts, or even fermented in some popular East-Asian dishes. Tofu, for example, is a popular soy product that is 100% vegan friendly and is used frequently in this type of cuisine. Tofu is known for its meat-like texture and absorbs the taste of whatever it is cooked with, making it a natural addition to any dish. You can also easily press your tofu using this easy guide.

There are many other soy-derived products and soy-related products, which include:

  • Edamame (often heated and salted)
  • Soy milk
  • Miso soup
  • Soy nuts
  • Teriyaki
  • Soy Sauce
  • Tempeh

Soy is an extremely nutrient-dense food, including healthy fats, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals. Soy milk is one of the most popular milk alternatives that is often used in smoothies and protein shakes.

Benefits Of Soy-Related Products

Cardiovascular Health Improvements

Soy increases your intake of plant protein, which has certain cardiovascular benefits, such as lowering your blood pressure.

Soy is also extremely low in saturated fat, which helps to reduce the chances of arterial clogging and reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other such heart disease and cardiac-related incidents. Although disputed for their efficacy by the FDA, it is generally agreed that the plant protein found in tofu is much healthier and wholesome than animal-derived protein for individuals already at risk of weight-related issues.

Reduces Cholesterol

Soy and soy products contain no cholesterol and are low in saturated fat. Not only does this help your cardiovascular system, but it also reduces the risk of obesity by substituting soy into your diet. Soy and soy-based foods are well known for being high in fiber, which is the key ingredient in maintaining regular gut health, reducing cholesterol, and keeping you full and satisfied for longer, which decreases the need for cravings. Soy also contains omega-3 fats, which are extremely useful on a vegan diet for good maintenance of your cholesterol levels.

Reduced Risk Of Bone Cancer

Soy foods are nutrient-dense and contain many vitamins and minerals which help the body function. Soy foods are enriched with B12, which is beneficial in brain and body metabolic function, often lacking in vegetarian and vegan diets. It is also usually enriched with vitamin D, calcium, iron, and zinc - which have unique effects on your overall body - including dealing with certain mental health disorders and moods, immune system support, and the creation of healthy bones. Soy also contains phytochemicals, which are currently being tested - but early trials have made promising advances in the field of bone cancer prevention.

Is Soy Milk Bad For Men?

Soy milk has some detriments for male health, but it is not for the reason you may be thinking. Soy or any soy-related product has not yet been proven to affect testosterone levels negatively. With this being said, overconsumption of soy products can lead to three main problems in males due to phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances within tofu that mimic the estrogen hormone and its effects on the body:

Libido: Although increased estrogen may be great for women's reproductive and sexual health, it has the opposite effect on males. Increased estrogen works against the testosterone in the body, making men feel "out of place" and lose their desire for healthy intercourse.

Mood swings: Increased estrogen in the body can mimic that of a woman going through menopause, which usually means a drop in estrogen levels and increases in testosterone levels in that case. This causes bouts of depression, anxiety, and rage - and cycling between them. The severity of these mood swings does not have any substantial claim to back them.

Breast and prostate size: an increase in estrogen-like effects on the body can shrink the prostate size, and increase the size or sensitivity of the breast or nipples.

FAQs

Does soy milk alter testosterone levels?

There are no conclusive studies that prove there is a substantial drop in testosterone levels in human males. Although there have been some studies done on rodents, other studies have had no effect at all. Soy does, however, seem to mimic certain estrogen levels, which can indirectly cause complications with the available testosterone in the body, such as the ones listed in the article.

Are soybeans a complete protein?

Soybeans contain all the essential amino acids that are necessary for the creation of a complete protein. It is a whole food that has been widely used for human nutrition throughout our known history. It is also a great vegetable oil that contains 0 cholesterol.

Where do soybeans come from?

Soy is a legume that is native to certain parts of Asia and is a popular choice for their cuisine. Since it has become a global phenomenon, most of the world's soy comes from the United States and the southern parts of the South American continent.


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