Latin botanical name: glycine max
It was chosen as an ingredient of Wonderup because:
Soy is one of the foods with the highest concentration of isoflavones, phytoestrogens that naturally regulate the hormonal production of the body. This balancing effect is particularly useful for
women who wish both to ensure a proper and regular hormonal balance and also to naturally enhance their breast, since soy isoflavones naturally stimulate the production of
good estrogens which bind to the receptor cells in the mammary
glands thus contributing to the healthy development of the bust. Soy isoflavones also block the reception of dangerous and carcinogenic
estrogens of chemical origins, thus also hleping in protecting the breast (and the body in general) from the risks of cancer. There are
numerous clinical studies about the cancer-preventing effects of soy isoflavones.
Soy is thus the optimal ingredient for Wonderup besides being
an amazing food and food supplement which should be included in
our daily diet.
Other characteristics and properties:
Soy is a greatly valued food which is gaining growing appreciation
as a nutritional ingredient not only in the diet of vegetarians but also of everyone who is health conscious. Many soy supplements are also continually being developed and gaining popularity.
Soybeans have a similar taste to beans and can be eaten in the same way
as legumes. But soy is mostly popular for its derivatives which have a more appealing taste, such as soy oil, soy meal, soy sauce (an excellent dressing and subsitute for salt, widely used in
Chinese cooking), soy milk, soy ice cream, tofu (a very popular cheese-like food), hamburger and sausages made
with soy which are very popular among vegetarians as substitues
for meat. Soy indeed is composed of 44% protein - the highest concentration in legumes, much more than chick
peas, lentils or broad beans.
Soy also gives an excellent substance for overall health: lecitin, a natural emulsifier which keeps colesterol in the blood in
suspension, preventing it from sticking to the artheries. It is
thus excellent for lowering high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol deposits are in fact the main source of cardiovascular
illnesses. Soy lecitin also enters the structure of cells bringing
two of the main antioxidants: vitamin A and phosphorus.
Phytoestrogens contained in soy can effectively protect men from prosthate cancer and women from illnesses associated with the production of estrogens
such as breast cancer, endometriosis, fibrocystic dieases, uterine fibromas and the problems of menopause. The low percentage of these illnesses in Asian women could be
due to their high consumption of soy foods, especially tofu. In
fact, Asian women don't even have a term in their languages for
"hot flashes" - they simply don't know what they are!
The presence of isoflavones thus makes soy an excellent help for
the problems of menopause. Soy isoflavones act like all phytoestrogens by balancing both
conditions of estrogen excess (like PMS syndrome) and conditions
of estrogen deficiency (like menopause), bringing hormones to
proper levels. Thus they alleviate menopausal symptoms like hot
flashes, night sweats and mood swings. In menopause therefore
they provide an excellent and safe alternative to synthetical hormones.
Curently, research is indeed under way on the two phytoestrogens of soy that are most known: genistein and daidzein, for their ability to regulate hormonal imbalances.
(A. Cassidy et al, Biological Effects of a Diet of Soy Protein
Rich in Isoflavones on the mestrual Cicles of Premenopausal Women,
in "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"60, 1. 994, 333 -340).
Articles about the beneficial effects of soy isoflavones in cancer
prevention and therapy of menopausal problems:
|The Miracle Bean
[source: PHYTOCHEMICALS: GUARDIANS OF OUR HEALTH, General Conference Nutrition Council, Andrews University Department
of Nutrition, Andrews University, Michigan]
Chinese having a regular consumption of soybeans and/or tofu have
only one-half as much cancer of the stomach, colon, breast and
lung compared with those Chinese who rarely consume soy or soy
products. Soybeans contain fairly high levels of several compounds
with demonstrated anti-cancer activity, including a high content
of isoflavonoids, such as genistein. These isoflavonoids have
been shown to inhibit the growth of both human breast and prostate
cancer cells. In addition, regular use of soy protein (soybeans,
tofu, soy nuts, soy beverage) can lower blood cholesterol and
triglyceride levels by 10 to 15 percent, especially in persons
with elevated lipid levels.
Eating Soy Bean to Fight Cancer [source: Medicinal Food News, Vol 2, 1998, Issue 5
For many of us the only time soy got into our diet was when we
used salad dressing made from soybean oil. More and more people
are eating soybeans as they learn about the many benefits of this
legume. Soybeans are rich in plant phytoestrogen hormones called isoflavones.
These isoflavones are similar in structure to the estrogens in
the human body and so adding soybeans to the diet may be a way
of increasing estrogen levels. That at least is the reasoning behind the interest in soybeans
by women approaching menopause. The observation that the Japanese
and Chinese have low incidences of breast, colon and prostate
cancer has led researchers to investigate other components of
soybean that may be beneficial to health. In an article published
recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute laboratory
work has pointed at a compound called genistein as a possible
anti-cancer agent in soybean. Genistein appears to affect the
metabolism of cancer cells by weakening their defences against
anti-cancer drugs and treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation
treatment. Cancer cells have developed enzyme systems to produce
protective proteins that allow the cancer to resist treatment.
Genistein appears to be able to interfere at the production of
these protective proteins, thereby reducing the ability of cancer
cells to survive and grow. So there may be more than one reason
why you would want to increase the amount of soybean in your diet.
It is the protein part that contains the genistein; adding more
soybean oil to your salad won't help.
Nutritional information, books and recipes for soybean can be
found at http://soyfoods.com
Soy Products, Breast Cancer, and Other Diseases
The NBC show, "Dateline" of June 9, reported the overall benefits of consumption of soy products. One of the highlights of the article was the connection of increased soy consumption and protective effects
against breast cancer. My work explains these beneficial effects of soy consumption.
Soy increases production of the hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone
I suggest DHEA is necessary for growth and development of all tissues and adult tissues require DHEA for proper maintenance. A subordinate
hypothesis of this is that the stability of cells depend upon DHEA. This eventually resulted in my explanation of cancer as a result of reduced DHEA. That is, reduced DHEA may trigger oncogene (genes of cancer)
activation. DHEA begins to decline after age 20-25, reaching very
low levels in old age. I suggest this is why cancer incidence
increases with age. Measurable levels of DHEA are reduced in women
with breast cancer, and this reduction occurs as early as nine
years prior to diagnosis (Geriatrics 1982; 37: 157). A number
of studies demonstrate that treatment with DHEA provides a protective effect against breast
cancer. That is, raising DHEA reduces the incidence of breast cancer.
One citation that reports this also found beneficial effects of
DHEA in other areas important to aging women. "These data show
that DHEA exerts a stimulatory effect on bone mass and an inhibitory
effect on serum triglycerides, as well as a protective effect
on the development of mammary carcinoma induced by DMBA in he
rat. Such data suggest that while decreasing the risk of breast
cancer, DHEA replacement therapy could also exert beneficial effects
on the bond and lipid metabolism in women receiving DHEA replacement
therapy." (Endocrinol. 1997; 138: 3387). Therefore, increasing DHEA reduces breast cancer incidence. A connection
of soy consumption, reduced breast cancer, and increased levels
of DHEA sulfate (the serum precursor of DHEA) was reported in
1995. "There is also evidence that soy products may affect risk factors for cancer, such as endogenous
hormone levels. Preliminary data from our group indicate that young Adventist
women who are vegetarians with high soy intake and a lower risk
of breast cancer may have higher levels of an adrenal androgen,
dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate." (J. Nutr. 1995; 125(3 Suppl):
709S-712S). It was suggested on "Dateline" that the increase in
breast cancer in Japanese women, who move to the U.S., may be
a result of reduced soy consumption in this country.
A number of studies have reported general benefits of DHEA treatment
in aging men and women. "DHEA in appropriate replacement doses
appears to have remedial effects with respect to its ability to
induce an anabolic growth factor, increase muscle strength and
lean body mass, activate immune function, and enhance quality
of life in aging men and women, with no significant adverse effects."
(Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1995; 774: 128) The "Dateline" article
included a discussion with an investigator who suggested many
beneficial effects of soy consumption in many diseases. I suggest
these, and the protective effect of soy on breast cancer, are
the results of increases in DHEA. It is the increase in DHEA that
may produce the real beneficial effects.
Copyright © 1997 by James Michael Howard.
Soy Products, Ginseng May Lower Breast-Cancer Risk
[Medical Tribune: Family Physician Edition 38(20): 1997. © 1997
Jobson Healthcare Group]
SAN ANTONIO--Tofu and other soy-based foods--and possibly even the herb ginseng--may help women stave off breast cancer, according to preliminary research presented here last month
at the annual meeting of the American Osteopathic Association.
In a laboratory study of human breast-cancer cells, high amounts
of isoflavones--dietary components found in soy-based products--stunted the
growth of cancerous cells by as much as 30%, reported Donna Dixon
Shanies, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biochemistry and genetics
at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury,
In a second laboratory study, Dr. Shanies found that traditional
Chinese herbal remedies including ginseng and vitex berry extract
also inhibited the growth of human breast-cancer cells.
Because they are loaded with phytoestrogens, isoflavones may help
prevent breast cancer by reducing levels of natural estrogen in
the body, she explained. Or isoflavones may have antioxidant properties
that inhibit tumor development. "Phytoestrogens may in the future prove to be promising agents used to reduce
the risk of breast cancer and other hormone-dependent cancers,
such as prostate cancer," Dr. Shanies said.
Although there are no recommendations concerning how much soy
individuals should include in their diets, she said, "it would be prudent for women to try to eat more soy products."
Dr. Shanies and colleagues tested the effects of three major isoflavones--biochanin
A, daidzein and genistein--on human breast-cancer cells. They also measured the effects
of ginseng, black cohosh root, dang gui root, hops flower, vitex
berry and shiu chu ginseng root on breast-cancer cell lines.
Calling the new research "a promising first step," Richard J.
Cenedella, Ph.D., chairman of the department of biochemistry at
the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville,
Mo., said the findings add a new dimension to what is understood
about the link between diet and breast cancer.
"We have always known that there are beneficial effects of a low-fat
diet [on breast-cancer risk], and concentrations of trace plant hormones found in certain foods
may play a role in the reduced risk," Dr. Cenedella said. --D.M.
Phytoestrogens of Soybeans: An Alternative Approach to Traditional
Presented at "The Health Impact of Soy Protein Symposium"
UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, January 20, 1998
Thomas B. Clarkson, D.V.M.
Professor of Comparative Medicine at the Wake Forest University
School of Medicine
Traditional postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preserves
bone density, reduces the risk for coronary heart disease and
may sustain cognitive function with aging. Despite these health
benefits compliance is poor (about 10 percent of women older than
55 years). Poor compliance relates primarily to fear of breast
cancer and the need for co-administration of progestin to those
with uteri. We have focused on the phytoestrogens (genistein and daidzein) from soybeans as potential
alternatives to traditional HRT - particularly because they may be breast cancer protective and
are antiestrogens for the endometrium thus obviating the need
for a progestin.
Cardioprotective Effects. We have compared soy phytoestrogens (SBEs) and conjugated equine
estrogens (CEE) administered to surgically postmenopausal monkeys
to their effects on plasma lipoproteins concentrations. SBEs increased
HDL cholesterol and Apo A1 more than CEE and LDL cholesterol was
decreased more by SBEs. CEE, but not SBEs, resulted in hypertriglyceridemia.
Data on atherosclerosis of postmenopausal female monkeys is incomplete
but both soy phytoestrogens and CEE inhibit the progression of
atherosclerosis. Soy phytoestrogens, like estradiol, enable coronary
arteries to dilate in response to acetylcholine.
Breast and Endometrial Effects. We have compared the effects of SBEs and CEE on the breast and
uterus of postmenopausal monkeys. SBEs are not estrogen agonist
for either breast or endometrium. Moreover, they are estrogen
antagonist at these sites, preventing the usual proliferative
changes induced by estradiol.
Brain Effects. Soy phytoestrogen's effect on brain biomarkers of cognition (brain
derived-neurotrophic factor and acetylcholine production) are
comparable to those of estradiol.
UCLA Center for Human Nutrition
900 Veteran Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1742
Soy Protein Isoflavone Effects on Breast Tissue
Presented at "The Health Impact of Soy Protein Symposium"
UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, January 20, 1998
Stephen Barnes, Ph.D.
Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology and Biochemistry & Molecular
Genetics in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama
Isoflavones, so abundant in soy, have been shown to have biochemical and
biological effects in a variety of in vitro and animal models.
These effects are not only based on the estrogenic properties of isoflavones, but also their role as protein tyrosine kinase
inhibitors, regulators of gene transcription, modulators of membrane
transporters, and as antioxidants. Predicting the outcome of the effects of isoflavone-rich diets,
such as those based on soy, on chronic diseases (cancer and heart
disease) should not be based on one of these mechanisms alone.
For instance, the prevention of osteoporosis by isoflavones (an estrogenic effect) is in contrast with epidemiological
and laboratory data which suggest soy and isoflavones prevent cancer. However, the recent discovery of new estrogen receptor (ERP)
which selectively binds the isoflavone genistein is providing
new rationales to explain the estrogen paradox. ERP shows a different
tissue distribution from the classical estrogen receptor, being
abundant in bone, the brain, cardiovascular system, genitourinary
system, lungs and prostate, but not in the breast. This allows
genistein to have beneficial effects at these targets without
increasing the risk of breast cancer. Thus the isoflavones may
be naturally occurring forms of an important new class of drugs
called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), being developed
for the treatment of the postmenopausat disease in women.
UCLA Center for Human Nutrition
900 Veteran Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1742
Indiana Soybean Board
A hormone in soya beans starves tumour cells to death
[New Scientist 14 mar 98]
BIOCHEMISTS in the US have worked out how a key ingredient in
soya beans thwarts cancer. Thev have shown that genistein, a plant oestrogen, plays a pivotal role in suppressing the growth of cancerous cells. Asian diets high in soya have been linked with low incidence
of cancers, particularly breast, colon and prostate cancers. This
link has been reinforced by evidence that when Asians migrate
to the US and abandon the high-soya diet, their risk of developing
these cancers increases. Amy Lee of the University of Southern
California in Los Angeles has discovered that genistein is a key
factor in this. It works by weakening cancer cells' response to
the stresses that usually impel them to grow faster. "When a cancer
cell is growing at full blast, the cells soon run out of oxygen
and glucose that are normally supplied in blood," savs Lee. To
compensate, they send out a chemical SOS which triggers formation
of new vessels to nourish the tumour, a process called angiogenesis.
In earlier experiments on tissue cultures, Lee and others proved
that genistein can blunt the response of cancer cells to stress.
Now, they know the exact mechanism. She and her colleague Yanhong
Zhou have shown that genistein blocks the action of a transcription
factor known as CCAAT binding factor. This protein normally binds
to an important genetic "motif" in DNA and triggers the stress
genes. Genistein adds phosphorus to the binding factor, neutral-
ising it before the snvitch is tripped, so the cancer cell starves,
withers and dies (journal of the National Cancer Institute, vol
90, p 381). "This is preliminary evidence, but genis- tein really
stands out as the ingredient that's most active in stopping cancer
growth and angiogenesis," says Lee. Crucially, the researchers
found that genistein has no effect on normal, healthy cells which
are not dividing rapidly like cancer cells. "It doesn't shut off
the normal synthesis of this protein in healthy cells," says Lee.
History and Curiosities:
You can read a beautiful and informative article on the millennial
history of soy - it's titled "Soybean of Happiness - A 3,000 year history of our most modern
oilseed", written by Peter Warshall and Imhoff Dan, and you can find it
on Whole Earth Summer 99.
[previous: rosehip] [back to ingredients' list] [next: vervain]