L.etter to E.ditor
Soy milk is unhealthy?
By David Liu Ph.D.
Dec 1, 2006, 13:31

After reading some comment on soy milk by Dr. Mercola on his site, I made the following comment:

I do not know anything about the doctor you mentioned. But it seems to me he or she does not know much about how soy milk is prepared.

It's correct that soybean contains lots of glutamic acid, which is savory and there is a term called "you mommy" for such a taste/flavor. Glutamic acid and its salts such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) are toxic to neurons. But the fact is, soy protein in soy milk is not hydrolyzed and there should not be much of free glutamic acid in soy milk.

Now you may insist that there is glutamic acid in soy milk. That is true, but the glutamic acid is in protein and it is not readily available to the body, meaning the body is not subject to such a physiological stress.

Asian people eat far much more soybean than people in the West where cow' milk is much more popular. But much fewer Asians get cancer or other forms of disease than the Westerners. This means that compared to other risks, eating some soybeans or drinking some soy milk is nothing.

The following is DR. Mercola's comment:

Still on the fence about the value of soy products, even after health claims have been hugely debunked? If there's any lingering doubt in your mind, I urge you to read this interesting piece from Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food Revealed, who describes how soybeans are "milked" and transmogrified into health-harming products nobody needs.

Take, for example, the process by which soybeans are converted into a milk. After presoaking beans in an alkaline solution, the resulting paste is cooked in a pressure cooker, eliminating key nutrients and producing low levels of the toxin, lysinoalanine.

From there, it's a matter of cleaning up the undesirable, beany taste of soy milk, either by presoaking beans beforehand with baking soda or "deodorizing" them using a process similar to refining oil. Sweeteners (raw cane crystals, barley malt or brown rice syrup) and flavorings mask any remaining "beaniness," Dr. Daniel says.

And, remember, non-fermented soy products like tofu, soy milk and meatless foods made from textured vegetable protein also contain phytic acid, one of many anti-nutrients it's wise to avoid at all costs.

Weston A. Price Foundation

I read Dr. Mercola's comment again and found that the method for preparation of soy milk is different from the one I know. So I do not know if the commercial method used in the US is adequate or not.

Regardless, soybeans may not be as harmful as some perceive. As I mentioned in my above comment, many other factors may be more harmful than soybeans.

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