Soy isoflavones are plant compounds that are present mainly in soy, but also in other foods. Currently there are many people who consume soybeans because its benefits have been revalued. It is a very common food in vegetarian or vegan diets and there are already many who drink soy milk instead of cow’s milk. However, if you are one of those who consume soy on a daily basis, you should know that although it has many properties for the body, such as preventing degenerative processes, it also has adverse effects and contraindications such as hypothyroidism , which should be taken into account. In this FastlyHealarticle we tell you all about soy isoflavones: benefits and contraindications .
What are soy isoflavones made of?
Although it is now so widespread, soybeans were originally from Asia, specifically from China. This was the country that discovered that soy had a high nutritional value and its use spread throughout the region until later expanding throughout the rest of Asia and finally in Europe. Soy is currently consumed in most of the first world countries and it is considered not only a great food but a good substitute in some cases, such as milk in people who are vegans or cannot drink milk with lactose.
Soy is made up of many proteins, which is why it is considered a protein food and helps the body to get protein through amino acids, since it contains almost all the essential amino acids that our body needs. It also contains lecithin, which helps reduce cholesterol and Omega 3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, considered essential because our body does not produce them and we need to acquire them through food.
But it not only has proteins, its minerals are numerous and in soy isoflavones we can find iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, although to a lesser extent, and manganese. In addition, it contains vitamins such as thiamine (vitamin B1) that helps the body transform carbohydrates into energy. It also has a high fiber content that helps the body in intestinal transit.
All these components of soy isoflavones give them many beneficial properties for the body, however not all of them are appropriate for everyone and it is convenient to know what contraindications it may have. Let’s see what its beneficial properties are as well as its contraindications.
You can also buy soy isoflavones supplements instead of taking it as food and will have the same properties.
Soy isoflavones: properties and benefits
The beneficial properties of soy isoflavones in our body are the following:
- Symptoms of menopause : During menopause the levels of estrogens, the female sex hormones, drop. Soy isoflavones balance these levels in a woman’s body, making menopausal symptoms , such as hot flashes, milder.
- Calcium absorption : Due to their etsrogenic effects, they prevent the mobilization of calcium and blocking its absorption, therefore, it prevents calcium from being lost and favors its absorption.
- Osteoporosis and degenerative processes : Soy isoflavones have antioxidant effects in our body that are very good at preventing diseases such as osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.
- Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol : The antioxidant properties also help reduce bad cholesterol or LDL.
- Cellular antioxidant : They have an antioxidant action on cells that can act as antitumor and anticancer.
- Immune system : They help to produce more macrophages and white blood cells , both essential in the immune system. Macrophages eliminate foreign material in the body and white blood cells or leukocytes act in different ways, killing invading germs and reminding them to kill them again if they attack the body again.
However, soy isoflavones not only act beneficially in our body but are also good for our skin. They hydrate it and improve its luminosity. Its form of action is to prevent collagen and elastin from wearing out and favors the formation of elastic fibers and thus prevents the formation of wrinkles in the skin.
Contraindications of soy isoflavones
Among the main contraindications of soy isoflavones we find:
- Allergies : Like any other food or product that acts on our skin or body, it can cause allergies if you have hypersensitivity to any of its components or active ingredients. It is the most common and obvious contraindication, but possible reactions should not be ignored.
- Hypothyroidism : It is not advisable for people with hypothyroidism to take soy isoflavones since they could act by exerting the opposite effect, having an antithyroid action. This is because soy can inhibit the proper absorption of hypothyroid treatment and therefore may not work in a favorable way. If you have hypothyroidism and you take soy, the ideal would be to stop taking it, however it is not completely contraindicated and you can make use of it but taking it only when you are not going to ingest the treatment for this pathology.
- If you are in cancer treatment : Although soy isoflavones help menopause symptoms due to their estrogenic activity, their phytoestrogen content may intervene in drugs taken against breast cancer. Soy isoflavones can inhibit their action and treatment would not be effective.
In addition to contraindications, soy isoflavones can also cause some side effects such as gastrointestinal problems , for example in the form of flatulence or gas. For this reason, and due to its contraindications, it is better to consult your doctor about taking soy isoflavones, especially if you want to take them as a supplement and are undergoing medical treatment for a disease.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.