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Nov 21, 2012 by JENNY THOMPSON
Reality Check: Soy Is Not Health Food

They'll say it's health food. But it's junk. I'm talking about soy fortified with vitamin D. It's a perception vs. reality thing. Not to mention 80% of soy is GMO.
If you stop 10 strangers on the street and ask them if soy is health food, most will probably say yes, of course, everyone knows soy is healthy.

We know better though.

As I've mentioned before, fermented soy is no problem. Tempeh, miso, and soy sauce (made in the traditional method) are fermented and fine. But as Dr. Spreen has pointed out, phytates in unfermented soy products actually obstruct absorption of protein and four key minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

Even so, the public's perception of soy as health food got a boost from the FDA with a rule that permits soy beverages, soy-based cheese substitutes, and soy-based butter substitutes to be fortified with vitamin D.

So you can be sure you'll soon be seeing starburst notes emblazoned with "Now with Vitamin D!" on soy-based cheese products (etc.) at your local grocery.

They'll say it's health food. But you know better.

Roaring from the 20s

Here's the one-two knockout punch...

Punch one: The soy products aren't fermented. Punch two: The products will likely be fortified with vitamin D2.

Ring the bell--this fight is done.

Fish consumption and exposure to sunlight deliver much- needed vitamin D3 to your body. But according to a brief history of vitamin D research that appeared in a 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists created a synthetic form of the vitamin in the early 1920s when they manufactured vitamin D2 by exposing plant foods to ultraviolet light.

Within a decade, researchers began to notice that D2 was quite a bit less potent than D3.

D2 was useful in eradicating rickets when added to milk in the 1930s, but as research methods were refined, it became clear that D3 was the superior form. In addition, the body retains D3 for longer periods and in higher concentrations than D2.

In their conclusions, the authors wrote: "The public expects to derive the equivalent effect per unit dose of vitamin D, whether it is vitamin D2 or vitamin D3. The scientific community is aware that these molecules are not equivalent. Therefore, vitamin D2 should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplementation or fortification of foods."

The scientific community is aware...but apparently food producers and the FDA are not.

Jenny Thompson is the Director of the Health Sciences Institute and editor of the HSI e-Alert.

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