Category Archives: Men’s Health

How Can We Keep Our Brain Healthy?

brian-health

Answer: Eat. Sleep. Hydrate. Exercise.

About 20 percent of the calories we consume are utilized by the brain. Besides the constant need for energy, our complex neural systems require a vast amount of nutrients to keep them churning full speed ahead. This is especially true as we age and are more susceptible to cognitive decline.

Asides from vitamin B12 and iron, there is a plethora of antioxidants and other micronutrients that help the brain function at peak levels. These nutrients are sorely missing from processed foods. If you want to keep your brain healthy and happy, make sure to eat real foods.

Here are some tips to help your brain be at its best.

  • Get moving: physical exercise is not only important for your body’s health; it also helps your brain stay sharp.
  • Get enough sleep. This not only ensures you are thinking clearly, it lessens the chance of you eating junk food.
  • Drink enough water.Lack of water to the brain can cause numerous symptoms including problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog, as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger, and depression.
  • Get your vitamin D, essential for proper brain functioning, either from the sun, mushrooms, fish oil, or supplements.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugars and refined carbs. Although the brain is partially responsible for the addiction we have to sugars, in this age of plenty, most people overdose and damage their brain’s health.
  • Avoid inflammatory fats and focus on good fats from avocado, fish, nuts, and seeds.
  • Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Each color represents a different set of antioxidants. Berries, especially, are very high in antioxidants.
  • Eat an abundance of berries: the polyphenol compounds in the fruits activate the brain’s natural “housekeeping” mechanism, clearing out stored toxins.
  • Add spices to your life. Fresh or dried, many spices and herbs have very high antioxidant values.

More articles on brain health….


These recommendations are all inline with our #OneSimpleChange program:

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Obesity in America is on the rise; what can we do?

We’ve been talking about weight and gut health, so let’s stay on that theme for one more post, with excerpts from a recent article by Fooducate.

A recent article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association presents stark figures regarding America’s obesity challenges. Despite heightened awareness in the last few decades, overweight and obesity rates are still increasing.

Data for over 15,000 adults aged 25 was reviewed. Since the early nineties, the percentage of overweight and obese men rose from 63 to 75 percent. The percent of overweight and obese women grew from 55 to 67 percent.

This means that 7 out of 10 adults need to lose weight, right now. While more men need to lose weight, women need to lose more weight. There are currently 68 million men that are overweight and obese compared to “only” 64.8 million women. However, 35.9 million women are obese vs. 31.8 million men.

If you are part of those statistics, don’t get discouraged. You can change your immediate environment to decrease your chance of falling to temptation:

1. Always have a bottle of water at hand so that you won’t be tempted to gulp soft drinks

2. Go to the supermarket after you have eaten, and stick to your shopping list

3. Buy less snacks at the grocery store. This means less temptation at home

4. Have fruits and veggies pre-washed, ready to eat on the countertop and in the fridge

Read full article…     More posts on Weight Loss…  We have a 30 day Jump Start program to put you on the right track to a new, healthy lifestyle (NOT a diet!) It’s called Transform30 … here’s the creator of the program, biochemist Dr. Mitra Ray:

Veggie-Heavy Stress Reduction Regimen Reverses Aging

itci9vM5M42YThe fountain of youth may simply be a healthy diet and reduced stress after all, not a magic pill or expensive cosmetics.

Comprehensive lifestyle changes, including more fruit and vegetables as well as meditation and yoga, were shown to reverse signs of aging at the cellular level for the first time in a study published today.

Adopting a diet rich in unprocessed foods combined with moderate exercise and stress management over five years increased the length of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes linked to aging, according to a study of 35 men published in the Lancet medical journal. No previous study has shown the effect of lifestyle changes on telomere length, the authors said.

The research, led by Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, adds to evidence of the benefits of healthy habits. Ornish’s Lifestyle Heart Trial, published in 1998, showed a reversal of coronary heart disease over five years. Patients who receive 72 hours of training from medical professionals on Ornish’s program for reversing heart disease have been reimbursed by Medicare since January 2011.

“So often, people think it has to be a new drug or laser, something really high-tech and expensive, to be powerful,” Ornish said in a telephone interview. “Our studies are showing that simple changes in our lifestyle have powerful impacts in ways that we can measure.”

Ornish collaborated on the study with Elizabeth Blackburn, who shared the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2009 with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for research on the telomerase “immortality enzyme,” which prevents telomeres from being shaved off.

He was inspired by Blackburn’s research showing that the shortening of telomeres, and therefore aging, is accelerated by emotional stress such as that experienced by women who have parents with Alzheimer’s disease or children with autism.

“My general experience is that things in biology go both ways,” said Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “If bad things make them shorter, maybe good things make them longer. So we had lunch together and I said, ’Why don’t we find out?’”

The study included 35 men with low-risk prostate cancer enrolled between 2003 and 2007. Ten men adopted the lifestyle changes, while 25 underwent active surveillance as a control group.

The diet encouraged in the lifestyle change group was largely a whole foods, plant-based regimen of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, with few refined carbohydrates, Ornish said. It wasn’t strictly vegetarian or vegan.

Read the complete article.

Juice Plus+ products are the foundation of our personal anti-aging regimen, providing exactly those components of the diet that Ornish recommends.

Energy Drinks Lead to Insomnia in Athletes

Sprint (photo credit: rscac.co.uk)

We are often ‘preaching’ about the potential dangers of energy drinks, especially as they relate to teens. Excessive amounts have led kids to suffer from caffeine poisoning. There have been several deaths in the US, and multiple emergency room admissions due to energy drink consumption.

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at the effect of energy drinks on athletes.

“The use of caffeine containing energy drinks has dramatically increased in the last few years, especially in the sport context because of its reported ergogenic effect.”

Ninety athletes were given energy drinks or placebos before a sporting event. Their performance during the event (speed, height of jump, etc…) was measured, as well as their subjective feeling about it.

While the athletes did perform slightly better, and felt it too, there was a problem. They suffered from insomnia, nervousness, and activeness in the hours following consumption. These are well documented side effects of caffeine over-consumption.

American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) website says: Poison centers are urging the public to use caution and common sense when using energy drink products.
Energy drinks contain highly concentrated amounts of sugar, caffeine, and other ingredients. The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that “caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diets of children and adolescents.”


Healthy energy comes from great nutrition. That’s why our Juice Plus+ and Juice Plus+ Complete are so popular amongst those of all ages wanting peak performance and to live life to the plus+.

Researchers Unveil Six Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention

Six dietary guidelines – more aggressive than previous cancer prevention advice – was unveiled in the June 30 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

The cancer prevention guidelines, emphasizing a diet rich in plant-based foods, such as soy beans and cruciferous, allium, and carotenoid vegetables, are based on the principle that diet changes are justified, even when evidence on certain issues are up for debate. The recommendations urge the same kind of precautionary approach health experts took against tobacco decades earlier, before smoking bans were enforced, and warn about the association between cancer and alcohol, red and processed meats, dairy products, and carcinogens in well-cooked meats, including beef, poultry, and fish.

“The key recommendation is to build meals around fruits, vegetables, and legumes,” says study author Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “Plant-based foods provide an antioxidant boost and help promote a healthy weight, reducing the risk for all types of cancer in the long run.”

The six dietary recommendations to reduce risk of several types of cancer are:

1. Limit or avoid dairy products to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Findings: Consuming thirty-five grams of dairy protein each day, the equivalent of one large cup of cottage cheese, increases risk of prostate cancer by 32 percent. Drinking two glasses of milk each day increases risk of prostate cancer by 60 percent.

Note: Calcium supplements appear to have the same effect as milk intake. Men who supplement with more than 400 milligrams of calcium per day increase risk for fatal prostate cancer by 51 percent.

2. Limit or avoid alcohol to reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, and breast.

Findings: One drink per week increases risk of mouth, pharynx, and larynx cancers by 24 percent. Two to three drinks per day increase risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.

Note: The alcohol itself (rather than additives) appears to be the cause of cancer, and all types of alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, and spirits) are problematic.

3. Avoid red and processed meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.

Findings: Each 50-gram daily serving of processed meat, equivalent to two slices of bacon or one sausage link, increases risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. Each 120-gram daily serving of red meat, equivalent to a small steak, increases risk of colorectal cancer by 28 percent.

Note: The heme iron, nitrites, heterocyclic amines, and overabundance of essential amino acids in red and processed meats are all believed to contribute to cancerous cell growth in the body.

4. Avoid grilled, fried, and broiled meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas.

Findings: Four types of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are associated with cancer of the colon and rectum. HCAs form from creatine and amino acids in cooked skeletal muscle, increasing with higher cooking times and higher temperatures. When ingested, HCAs can disrupt DNA synthesis.

Note: In addition to the cancers listed above, HCAs are also associated, to a weaker extent, with cancers of the breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas.

5. Consume soy products to reduce risk of breast cancer and to reduce the risk of recurrence and mortality for women previously treated for breast cancer

Findings: Evidence from Asian and Western countries shows that soy products are associated with reduced cancer risk. Chinese women who consume more than 11.3 grams of soy protein, equivalent to half a cup of cooked soybeans, each day during adolescence have a 43 percent reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer, compared with women who consume 1.7 grams.

Research in Shanghai shows that women with breast cancer who consume 11 grams of soy protein each day can reduce mortality and risk of recurrence by about 30 percent.  U.S. populations show similar findings: the higher the isoflavone intake from soy products, the less risk of mortality and recurrence in women with breast cancer.

Note: When choosing soy products, opt for natural forms, such as edamame, tempeh, or organic tofu, as opposed to soy protein concentrates and isolates, common in powders and pills.

6. Emphasize fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several common forms of cancer.

Findings: Fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, help reduce overall cancer risk. A high intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, is associated with an 18 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer and reduced risk of lung and stomach cancers.

Women who consume the most carotenoid-rich vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, lower their risk of breast cancer by 19 percent. Overall, women who consume the highest quantities of any kind of fruit or vegetable reduce breast cancer risk by 11 percent.  A high intake of tomato products has been shown to reduce risk of gastric cancer by 27 percent. Garlic and other allium vegetables, such as onions, significantly reduce risk for gastric cancer, while a Western diet (high amounts of meat and fat with minimal amounts of fruits and vegetables) doubles the risk.

Note: Some components in soybeans, green tea, turmeric, grapes, tomatoes, and other plant foods have the ability to regulate apoptosis (a natural process for destroying unhealthy cells), an important pathway for cancer prevention.

six dietary guidelines for cancer prevention
Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention (PDF)

“There’s considerable benefit–and no harm—in loading up with plant-based foods,” notes study author Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee. “Large bodies of research show fruits, vegetables, and legumes offer a variety of protective properties, so why not move these foods to the center of our plates?”

The World Health Organization states that a significant percentage of cancers can be prevented by following a healthful diet, avoiding tobacco, leading an active lifestyle, and limiting alcohol intake.


It’s heartwarming to know that the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX has demonstrated that adding Juice Plus+ and the Juice Plus+ Complete whole-food based shake mix helped ovarian cancer patients achieve a 10-a-day regimen of fruit and vegetable consumption, with significant health benefits resulting.

Every Choice has Consequences

Rewind the Future

A public service video posted to YouTube by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is making people think twice.

The video points out that obesity doesn’t happen overnight.

You’ll get a shocking sneak peek into the future to see what life might be like for a child who carries unhealthy habits. But…

WARNING: This video may be upsetting for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

We take the health of our Children and grandchildren very seriously.

10 Things to Know About Vitamin D

vitamin DA recent study has found that insufficient levels of vitamin D in older adults doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. But it’s not just older folks, like me, who aren’t getting enough of the sunshine vitamin. Most kids don’t get enough either.

What is vitamin D? Why is it important? Why aren’t people getting enough? And what are its best food sources?

But first …

Vit­a­min D is not a vitamin

We’ve been taught that Vit­a­min D is the “bone vit­a­min”, but it is really more of a sun hor­mone. The word “vit­a­min” means “some­thing my body needs that I can’t make, so I must get it from the food”. D hor­mone is instead, a chem­i­cal that we make on our skin from sun expo­sure. It is a hor­mone like thy­roid, estro­gen or testos­terone. Using the proper word “hor­mone” reminds us that it affects mul­ti­ple parts of the body and that it is not “extra”. It is essen­tial to every cell in the body and it is not in the food. It is sup­ple­mented in milk but as a cup of milk has only 100 IU of vit­a­min D you would have to drink100 cups of milk a day to keep from being D deficient.

What else you need to know

1. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in food but can also be manufactured by our body after exposure to sunshine’s UV rays. fat soluble means it needs a to be consumed together with a small amount of oil/butter/lard etc… to be effectively absorbed by your body.

2. Vitamin D’s job is to help the body absorb and regulate calcium and phosphorous levels in the body.

3. Without vitamin D, our bones don’t get enough calcium and bones become thin and brittle, or don’t develop properly if you’re still a growing child.

4. In the past most people got enough vitamin D just by being outdoors, but the industrial revolution and lifestyle changes it brought about have led to drastic reduction in this source for most people. Today, many people apply sunscreen for outings, thus reducing the vitamin D manufacturing capability of the body.

5. According to the National Institute of Health, anyone over the age of 1 needs 600 IU (International Units* ) of vitamin D. Seniors over the age of 70 need 800 IU.

Note:* 1 microgram of vitamin D = 40 IU.

6. In the past, vitamin D deficiencies led to skeletal diseases such as rickets. The US and other countries began fortifying milk with vitamin D as a public health measure, and pretty much eradicated these types of diseases.

7. Today virtually all milk sold in the US is fortified with 100 IU (International Units) of vitamin D per cup. Other products are also fortified with vitamin D. Examples include yogurts and breakfast cereals. Some sugary children’s cereals have jumped on the vitamin D fortification bandwagon, but they usually provide just 10% of the daily requirement while pumping your kids up with too much sugar.

8. The best food source of vitamin D is a teaspoon of cod liver oil (1,360 IU), but most people dread just the sound of that, not to mention the taste. Herring, sardines, salmon, and tuna are also good sources but usually do not supply enough of the vitamin.

9. Some nutrition experts therefore recommend vitamin D supplements, even if you are eating healthfully.

10. There are several forms of vitamin D:  D1, D2, D3, D4, and D5, but the most relevant to nutrition are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). When used in supplement pills, D2 is derived from yeast or fungus, while D3 is from animal sources.

Eating For Happiness

In the wake of the sad death of Robin Williams (didn’t we all love him?), there has been much discussion about the causes of depression and treatments for it.

Contentedness is the much desired opposite of depression – some would call it joy or happiness; that’s our “right” as Americans, right?!

But what contributes to happiness? Could what eat our way there? Yes! This fascinating article by Shayli Lones confirms it. She starts with an intriguing question:

Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?

Eating For Happiness

We need food to survive, and what we eat impacts not only our health but also our well-being. Until now, little has been known about the potential influence different foods have on happiness and psychological health.

“Economists and public health researchers from the University of Warwick studied the eating habits of 80,000 people in Britain. They found mental well-being appeared to rise with the number of daily portions of fruits and vegetables people consumed. Well-being peaked at seven portions a day,” says a press release from the University of Warwick.

Most western doctors recommend 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. “In Britain today, a quarter of the population eats just one portion or no portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Only a tenth of the British population currently consume the magic number of seven or more daily portions. The study does not distinguish among different kinds of fruits and vegetables and it defines a portion as approximately 80 grams,” says the University of Warwick.

In the study, the researchers explain that, “People who are healthy in one kind of behavior are likely to be healthy in others.” They found that those who ate more fruits and vegetables showed higher mental well-being in a variety of ways compared to those who did not.

“In each of three data sets, and for seven different measures of mental well-being, we find evidence for the existence of a positive association between well-being and fruit-and-vegetable consumption,” says the study. “Our findings are consistent with the need for high levels of fruit-and-vegetable consumption for mental health and not merely for physical health.”

Study co-author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at Warwick Medical School, says, “The statistical power of fruit and vegetables was a surprise. Diet has traditionally been ignored by well-being researchers.” There is still much to be learned about how diet affects our metal well-being, and scientists hope for more research in the future.

Are you getting enough fruits and vegetables?

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotionreports, “Adults in the United States consume fruit about 1.1 times per day and vegetables about 1.6 times per day.”

Here are some easy ways to start adding more fruits and vegetables to you diet.

  • Smoothies are a great source of fruit and you can also add spinach or kale with almost no effect on taste.
  • Salads are a great way to add vegetables and fruits to every meal. Try starting off lunch and dinner with a small salad loaded with seasonal produce like blueberries, zucchini, avocados or garden tomatoes.
  • Fill half your plate with vegetables and eat them first. Pair a grilled chicken breast with steamed broccoli, carrots or asparagus.

We make no claims for Juice Plus+, but I can tell you that people like us who eat Juice Plus+ daily are a happy, contented, even joyful bunch!

Eating Right When Everything in the World Conspires to Make You Eat Wrong

How to Make Healthy Eating Choices at Home and in Restaurants

EatRightEatingOut

Eating right is probably one of the biggest challenges that we face on a daily basis. Understanding what causes you to stray, and learning how to make better choices, can help you and your family eat healthier over a lifetime.

Eating Right Obstacle #1: Continual Temptation

Thanks to the sheer pervasiveness of junk food, we’re continually tempted by things that are bad for us. In the course of a day, you might visit your local coffee shop and be enticed by the 620-calorie white chocolate mocha, go grocery shopping and drool over those brownies in the bakery case, and attend a potluck where there’s a whole table full of temptation…fried chicken, hot dogs, chips, soda, and of course, dessert. Since we are genetically programmed to seek calorie-dense foods, it takes a tremendous amount of willpower to say no to them.

Solution: Mindfulness Practice

The key to overcoming continual temptation is deciding ahead of time what you will and will not eat. This is called mindfulness practice, because you make a choice when you are mindful of what you truly desire, instead of being swayed by the moment. While I may have the best of intentions to eat right, the moment I’m at a party, my genetic wiring takes over. Before I know it, I’ve eaten two brownies and a lemon bar—not the best nutrition. But if I give myself two minutes before I leave the house to make a conscious decision as to what I will allow myself to eat, my resolve is nearly unbreakable.

Eating Right Obstacle #2: Food Addiction

Researchers have now proven what we’ve suspected all along: not only is junk food lacking in nutrition, it’s actually addictive. Several studies published over the last few years have shown that junk food can light up the same pleasure, reward, and craving centers of the brain as illegal drugs.[1],[2],[3]  High-fat and high-glycemic foods—ones that cause blood sugar levels to spike rapidly, such as starches, sugar, and simple carbs—are particularly deadly to a balanced diet.

Solution: Healthy Substitutions

  1. Substitute sugar with stevia, a natural non-caloric sweetener derived from the stevia plant. I sweeten my morning yogurt with stevia, and it totally satisfies my desire for sweetness.
  2. Allow yourself a daily treat. For Jillian Michaels, a personal trainer on The Biggest Loser, it’s a package of Paul Newman’s Organic Peanut Butter cups (180 calories). For me, it’s 4 squares of Equal Exchange Very Dark Chocolate after lunch and dinner (186 calories total).
  3. Make baked foods taste fried. Coat onion rings, potato slices, or even fish first with flour, then with egg, and finally with panko breadcrumbs. Pop into the oven at 450 degrees for 10-20 minutes, and you’ll feel like you’re cheating when you’re not.

Eating Right Obstacle #3: Dining Out

Even if we have a genuine desire to eat a balanced diet, modern life puts so many demands on us that it’s hard to find the time to prepare healthy foods. So we end up eating out—a lot. In fact, Americans now eat 50 percent of our meals outside the home and one in five breakfasts at McDonald’s.[4] Unfortunately, restaurants’ top priority is that your food taste good, not that it be healthy.

Solution: Eat Out Wisely

It would be easy for me to tell you to eat out less and stay home and cook more. And that’s certainly a worthy goal to aim for. But you already know that. So here are some tips for healthy eating when dining out.

  1. Play musical food. Order one fewer dishes than there are people in your party, and then share them all.
  2. Avoid kids’ menus. There’s very little nutrition in mac ‘n’ cheese or a PB&J sandwich. Ordering off the adult menu is a great way to broaden kids’ tastes, too.
  3. Watch the liquid calories. It’s mindbogglingly easy to drink too many calories, so ditch the soda, fruit drinks, and lemonade, and just drink plain water or milk.
  4. Go splitsies. Sometimes we overeat just because we don’t want anything to go to waste. So if you indulge, split the damage by sharing an order of fries or a dessert among the whole family.
  5. Practice portion control. We get full sooner than we think, so stop eating before you feel 100 percent full and see if you get hungry again soon. Chances are, you won’t.

Sources:

[1] Lennerz Belinda. Food addiction: how processed food makes you eat more. The Conversation. August 19, 2013. http://theconversation.com/food-addiction-how-processed-food-makes-you-eat-more-15747

[2] Klein, Sarah. Fatty foods may cause cocaine-like addiction. CNN Health. March 30, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/03/28/fatty.foods.brain/

[3] Brundige, Wendy and Eric Noll. The Science of Food Cravings. ABC News. Nov. 14, 2009. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/junk-food-addictive-illegal-drugs/story?id=9083548

[4] Hyman, Mark. How Eating at Home Can Save Your Life. The Huffington Post. January 9, 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/family-dinner-how_b_806114.html


We are so grateful to have Juice Plus+ and Juice Plus+ Complete to help us bridge the gap…

Being a Soy Boy Won’t Make You a Girlie Man

I just had to share this article. I’ve been using our soy-based drink mix and eating tofu (yes tofu!) for almost 20 years and I am still not a girlie man!  Read on to understand why…

According to the sales data from Soyfoods Association of North America, between the years 1996 and 2009, soy food sales have increased from $1billion to $4.5 billion in North America. (See www.soyfoods.org/soy-information/sales-and-trends). Similar trends have been seen in Europe as well.

This increase is attributed to the many new and delicious soy foods that have hit the marketplace to meet the demands of the rising numbers of vegetarian and vegan consumers. (There was also dramatic growth in the soy market after FDA approval of a health claim linking soy to heart disease reduction.) Included in these new soy foods are many different forms of soy protein powders taken by athletes, as well as soy versions of meat and cheese alternatives. As one might expect, there has been a backlash against soy products, and there has been much rhetoric slung about soy, in as vigorous a manner as a dirty political campaign on the eve of an election.

But what could they say against soy? The USDA has even stated that “Soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because…soy offers a ‘complete’ protein profile…Soy protein products can replace animal-based foods – which also have complete proteins but tend to contain more fat, especially saturated fat – without requiring major adjustments elsewhere in the diet.” (FDA Consumer, May 2000)

Much of the rhetoric against soy has focused on the fact that soy is known for having isoflavones that mimic human estrogen in the body (called phyto-estrogen). But wait, this was always considered a good thing.

Low breast, prostate and reproductive organ cancer rates among Asian women and men (who have historically consumed more soy than any other culture in the world) have long been attributed to these isoflavones.

What the mudslingers were counting on is that consumers wouldn’t look into it any further and learn how isoflavones work to prevent cancer. The way the isoflavones work is to attach themselves to estrogen receptors in the human body and actually keep estrogen levels low. But now, there is suddenly rhetoric that isoflavones “flood the body with phyto-estrogen” and the misleading conclusion that it turns men into little girls. It has been a successful negative campaign causing soy sales to drop dramatically in the past 2 years.

Cover image Fertility and SterilityOne of the best articles on this debacle comes from The American Society of Reproductive Medicine. The ASRM hosts a highly respected medical journal called “Ferility and Sterility”. Recently, they published an article by Mark Messina, PhD, in which he reviewed numerous studies that have been done on soybean isoflavone exposure and whether it has a feminizing effect on men.

Messina discovered a few important things when he looked at these studies. First of all, many of the studies claiming adverse effects of soy were conducted on rats. This data was found to not translate to humans when clinical studies were conducted. There was no evidence from the nine different human clinical studies that isoflavone exposure affects circulating estrogen levels in men. The human clinical evidence also indicates that isoflavones have no effect on sperm or semen parameters. The conclusion is that isoflavones do not exert any feminizing effects on men, even at intake levels equal to and even considerably higher than, what is typical for Asian consumers.

The lesson of this story is that if rhetoric suddenly arises that contradicts long held knowledge from ancient cultures (such as Japanese and Chinese Medicine,) we should take a step back and access the science before we believe everything we hear.


For more on soy…

… and on the Juice Plus+ Complete…

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