Veterinarian Reviewed on June 19, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Soy protein is a type of protein that is derived from soybeans. Soybeans are specially prepared by dehulling and defatting the soybean meal and through these processes, 3 kinds of high protein soybean products are produced (soy flour, soy concentrates and isolates).
Soy protein has been used in many foods and is still gaining much attention thanks to the many benefits that it has for the body. Soy protein is basically used to replace animal protein; there have also been studies conducted regarding the possibility of soy protein to contain all the eight essential amino acids for overall health and development and for the use in the body’s many complex metabolic processes.
History and Origin
The origin of soy protein dates back to its discovery during the early part of the 20th century. Soy protein has been available for its functional properties since 1936 with the introduction of the isolation of industrial-grade soy protein needed for various industries by organic chemist Percy Lavon Julian. Since then, soy protein has been a staple ingredient in many foods, food stuffs and in the manufacturing industry as well.
Soy protein was unheard of during ancient times but soya was used mainly as food. Soya is made into cakes, pastries and many other types of food. The health benefits of soya were however recognized and were used to treat gastrointestinal illness such as stomach pains and diarrhea.
Soy protein has many benefits; fortified soy milk is a great source of vitamin D great for pregnant women to benefit the development of the human embryo. Soy milk is also a great alternative for people who cannot tolerate cow’s milk.
The consumption of soy protein can greatly reduce serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein level and triglycerides. The phytoestrogenic properties of soy protein is said to be beneficial in binding to estrogen receptors to lower low density lipoproteins, effectively dilating blood vessels to lower elevated cholesterol in blood.
Soy protein is also beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels and effectively lowering overall body weight as well. There have also been studies done regarding the cancer prevention properties of soy protein. It is recommended that one serving per day of soy milk or tofu can significantly decrease your chances of developing cancer and various tumors.
The phytoestrogens in soy proteins can relieve menopausal symptoms as well as pre menstrual syndrome symptoms. Soy protein can benefit vegetarians since it can supply the necessary nutrients that are lost in avoiding meat and poultry. Infants who cannot tolerate cow’s milk can benefit from soya milk as well.
There are more uses for soy protein in the many manufacturing industries in every part of the globe.
There are no side effects of soy protein. There is no overdose or toxicity from soy milk and anyone can benefit from the health giving goodness it brings.
The use of soya milk as a milk substitute or a breast milk substitute must be consulted with a doctor first. Ask your doctor about the best feeding alternatives for your child. However, there is definitely no substitute for breast milk for developing infants
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan