We are living in chemical world, from melamin, aspartame, glutamate, etc. Not only water is not pure from hormone or other chemicals. We as vegetarian love to eat soy product like tofu and soymilk, but studies found soy (esp. if non-fermented) has many significant problem for health – especially for children…
So what does non fermented soy contains ?
A ) Goitrogens – This is the compound that depresses the function of thyroid , therefore causing hypothyroidism in sensitive individuals and eventually thyroid cancer.
How much is too much? This varies depending age. According to the Soy Online Service, infant should not take in any soy. For adults, just 30 mg of soy isoflavones per day is the amount found to have a negative impact on thyroid function. This amount of soy isoflavones is found in just 5-8 ounces of soy milk, or 1.5 ounces of miso. Interestingly, while miso have the phto-estrogenic effect, it does not have the enzyme inhibitory effect because it is fermented. Other fermented soy product include soy sauce or tempeh. (from Drlam.com )
B ) Phytic acid – Soy contains high concentration of Phytic acid that could block the absorption of minerals like iron, calcium,copper and especially zinc in the intestinal tract.
Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in the blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is needed for a healthy reproductive system.
Zinc is a key component in numerous vital enzymes and plays a role in the immune system. Phytates found in soy products interfere with zinc absorption more completely than with other minerals.19 Zinc deficiency can cause a “spacey” feeling that some vegetarians may mistake for the “high” of spiritual enlightenment. Mercola on Soy
C ) Trypsin Inhibitor – This negative compound reduces your ability to digest protein. Feeding your baby and child with unfermented soy product regularly would depress his/her ability to grow normally. Another type of bean that exhibits strong trypsin inhibitory property is LIMA BEANS.
D ) Nitrites – which are potent carcinogens, are formed during spray-drying, and a toxin called lysinoalanine is formed during alkaline processing. Numerous artificial flavorings, particularly MSG ( A compound that hurts your brain cells ) are added to soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein products to mask their strong “beany” taste and to impart the flavor of meat. Mercola on Soy
E ) phyto-oestrogens – which are supposed to help alleviate the effects of low estrogen production in the body, is now believed to be a causative factor in breast cancer and infantile leukemia from Drlam.com
About the Trypsin Inhibitor, what I understand is that it is destroyed by high heat as during the cooking process so soya should be cooked and soya bean oil should be refined. They need not be fermented.
About phyto-oestrogens, there is some research that says phyto-oestrogens can help to reduce menopausal symptoms like hot flashes but may aggravate tumor growth in endocrine related diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer. It may also reduce sperm count in males and cause malformation of the reproductive system in male fetus. Phyto-oestrogens (phyto means plant) seem to mimic several hormones in both males and females.