The Stealth Attack on Male Testosterone and Masculinity
“It is estimated that up to 50% of men in the United States experience some degree of gynecomastia during their lifetime.” 1)
We had questions. Troubling questions.
- Why is the number one estrogen food so prevalent in protein powders, supplements and protein bars marketed to men?
- Do men really need that much estrogen?
- Does this have anything to do with male breast enlargement afflicting as many as 50% of the US male population?
- Why are doctors performing gynecomastia surgery for male breast reduction, (a.k.a. man boobs surgery)?
- How to get rid of gynecomastia? Is surgery the best way?
- Why are so many males (and even children now afflicted with gynecomastia?
According to The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, “A male breast reduction is the most effective known treatment for gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts.” They go on to say that, “Due to genetics, use of certain medications, or other unspecified reasons, some men develop the appearance of enlarged breasts.” 1)
Did you catch that? “… or other unspecified reasons.”
Male Breasts and Gynecomastia
By Mac Austin
When I was younger, gynecomastia was one of the many problems that I faced. It caused anxiety and made me not want to take my shirt off when at the beach or in the change room. It created a swelling pain in my nipples and made them look like round gumballs. They stuck out of my chest and were very noticeable compared to the rest of my body. The doctors said that it’s just a normal part of puberty, but I wasn’t convinced. Looking back on my eating habits, the culprit is clear and the doctors were wrong.
The doctors were wrong.
Most Cereals Contain This
One of main ingredients of many cereals today, including those touted as nutritious, is soy. Cereal companies have marketed soy extensively as a “super protein” grain that will keep you healthy and energized. All you have to do is start reading the labels and you’ll see what I mean.
When I started training hard and consuming protein shakes, my body was getting jacked, but the nipples were staying the same. During my teenage years, low testosterone was one of the main factors that contributed to my low level of confidence. Nobody had the answers for me. Even when I started training hard and consuming a lot of protein shakes, the swelling never ceased.
What I thought was healthy for me was actually harming me.
The cause of my gynecomastia wasn’t genetics and it wasn’t due to puberty. It was due to the amount of soy I was eating. Little did I know that those delicious bowls of cereal and muscle-building protein shakes I guzzled, were actually causing this problem.
When I stopped eating cereal and threw out those protein powders, the swelling went down. Due to a little research and my own personal experience, it became clear that there was one main culprit: soy. The thing I find crazy is that many people swear by soy and believe that it’s actually helping them be healthier.
The Unhealthy Health Food
Men need estrogen in the same way that women need certain levels of the male hormone, progesterone for optimal health. At issue, is the quantities, and the fact that soy has found its way into so many of the packaged foods today. Soy is also prevalent in the oils used in most restaurants, often disguised as “vegetable oil”, or “olive oil”, which ends up being only about 20% olive and 80% soy.
In 1999 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved labeling that designated soy products as “heart healthy.” 1)https://experiencelife.com/article/soy-to-eat-or-not-to-eat/
Since then, many people have fallen for the old story that soy is the best vegetable protein that you can ingest. But it’s time for the nutrition industry and the FDA to relabel it.
Companies have launched marketing campaigns that have trained us into buying their products that contain soy. It’s present in most protein bars, protein shakes and the majority of packaged food. The top ten protein powders on Bodybuilding.com contain soy! Whoa! What’s up with THAT, guys?!
The results are that many males today have low levels of testosterone and have become walking bags of estrogen. Soy replaces your testosterone with phytoestrogens, which causes a hormonal imbalance in your body, that can lead to obesity, depression and decreased energy. The supplement industry has told us that soy’s an amazing source of protein and that it’s essential to getting that ripped body that you desire. The reality is, soy’s just like a bad oil leak in a car. It’s sucking the natural fuel out of your own vehicle—your body—and literally causing the emasculation of our society.
Soy is Minimizing Manliness
The Root of The Problem
To understand how soy has become so rooted in our diets, we have to look at its history. It was first discovered in Asia around a thousand years ago. Its original purpose was to help thicken the soil in order to turn over more crops.
The first people to actually consume soy were monks that were trying to remain celibate. Due to the estrogenic compounds it contains, it seemed to help their plight. So if you’re looking to decrease your sex drive, soy’s a great way to solve your problem!
Soy can diminish male sex drive.
Soy eventually became consumed by common folk, but not until a much later time period after western explorers stumbled upon this legume and brought it back to their countries. In the early 1900s, soy was first introduced to Western societies. It was marketed as a food for the poor and became a favorite amongst communist nations. It’s easy to grow, process and manufacture, and it does have high protein content, all of which led to its current overuse today.
However, much of the protein in soy is inaccessible as it is used in the west today, resulting in indigestible protein that the body begins to see as an anti-nutrient to attack.
Later on, in the late 1900s, soy was marketed as a food for vegetarians. As different companies started to become more aggressive in their marketing, the price of products containing soy have become more expensive. Marketing campaigns by companies have promoted soy as being a significant protein essential for good health and in the protein powder industry, contributing to a ripped body.
The more educated Americans, with a university level education, are more likely to buy food that contains soy than people who have graduated with high school diplomas.
This shows how deep soy has been engrained into our collective mindset. Most people have been trained to believing soy-rich products are super foods that will make them healthy. Health conscious and informed consumers have incorporated soy foods thinking they’re doing a good thing for their health. Same thing with weight lifters and bodybuilders, hence the vast array of soy-rich bars and powders.
I suffered from misinformation about soy.
Many have suffered from misinformation. There is research that still tout the benefits of soy, however much of it appears to be funded by those with vested interest in the soy industry, such as SoyJoy.2)http://www.anabolicmen.com/why-we-cant-trust-governmental-food-recommendations/
Companies were able to market soy as a great source of nutrition because of the high protein. Now, more knowledge is available and it’s time to get rid of the proliferation of soy. When soy pulp was leftover from extracting the oil, manufacturers found a use for the refuse as something that added fiber and protein, and thus perceived as healthy, which is one of the main reasons why it’s found in almost all of our food today.
But now science is uncovering the rest of the story about soy. It’s a story that needs to be told, and a public that needs to be re-informed.
Soy Blocks Testosterone
Soy contains phytates, which impair the absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron and calcium. Zinc is one of the main minerals that aid in boosting testosterone, so you can see how phytates can be problematic for a male that’s looking to maximize his gains and improve his overall psychological health.3)http://www.anabolicmen.com/soy-and-testosterone/
Soy Causes Bloating and Indigestion
Think soy’s going to make you feel great? Think again. Soy contains oligosaccharides, which causes bloating and indigestion. So much for lean and mean.
But how could soy be so unhealthy when the FDA labeled soy as a heart-healthy food back in 1999? And how about Asians, in particular in Japan and China, who consume soy and yet have lower incidents of breast and prostate cancer?
These valid questions are answered beautifully in an article titled: Soy: To Eat of Not to Eat? by Mary Vance, on the site, ExperienceLife.com. The article answers these questions and more, so we highly recommend reading it after this one if you want to be further informed on this topic, and we’re providing a link for that at page bottom. 4)https://experiencelife.com/article/soy-to-eat-or-not-to-eat/
Soy is NOT Environmentally Friendly
The production of soy is harming the environment. There’s been a lot of attention drawn towards cattle farming and how it’s causing the mass deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, especially since the release of the documentary “Cowspiracy.” The documentary casts a negative shadow over meat products and encourages more people to become vegan.
The main source of nutrition for many vegans is soy. What they don’t know is that the production of soy over the period of one year causes a forest the size of New Jersey to be cut down. Yet soy is marketed as being environmentally friendly and the way to solve world hunger. Whoops!
Save Your Child From Abuse
In the early 1990’s, there are several documented cases where parents substituted formula milk for soy milk for their infants. In Arkansas, a child was admitted to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital whom was severely malnourished and suffered from heart failure, rickets, vasculitis and neurological damage. The child’s diet consisted solely of Soy Moo—a soy beverage produced by Harvest Foods.
All over the USA, similar cases popped up and caused the FDA to force these companies to place a label on their products that says “Don’t substitute formula milk with soy milk.” These soy milk products grossly lack the nutrients needed for the development of a healthy child. If you want a healthy child, you need to either stick to the old traditional way of breast feeding or use formula milk. You are placing your child’s health at risk by feeding them soy milk.
Soy May Cause Infertility
Studies have shown that males that have a large intake of soy have a lower sperm count than the average man that doesn’t eat soy at all. Soy milk has also been linked to infertility, so if you don’t want to shoot blanks, then you better avoid taking soy. Soy’s not only placing our current generation at risk, but the future of our species as well.
Have we stopped to consider or research why there’s a global increase in infertility, especially amongst developed nations?
The Daily Mail, UK, reports that the average sperm count of a European male has dropped by a quarter over the past 25 years and about 27,000 British couples seek treatment for infertility problems each year, an increase of 55 per cent in just five years. 5)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-176863/Soya-make-men-infertile.html#ixzz3vTEHLh36
UK infertility has increased 55% in just 5 years.
Margarine is Tainted with Soybean Oil
For years, margarine was touted as a healthy alternative to butter? Increasingly today, people are becoming aware that this is not true. Most margarine contains soybean oil, which not only causes reduced testosterone, but also has carcinogenic properties.
Soy is often disguised as a “vegetable” in products like margarine and cooking oils, as if to imply it is health. We all need more vegetables, right? During the 1930s and 1940s, the Germans, who were the main consumers of margarine at that time, opted out of including soybean oil in their margarine because they knew about the health issues it caused. If Nazi Germany didn’t even exploit soybean oil, why are most Western democracies doing so? Instead of picking up a tub of margarine, stick with a traditional block of butter.
Editor’s Note: This is what we use for our favorite butter coffee, which you can read about here.6)
The List of Negative Impact of Soy is too Large to Ignore
For most people, especially those with a skeptical mind, this information may be a lot to take in. You can find studies that indicate that soy is not problematic, however, many of these are conducted or sponsored by companies that have a vested interest in soy, such as soy product manufacturers.
However, if you start to cut soy out of your diet, you will likely begin to feel the positive effects. The list of negative effects from consuming soy is way too large to ignore. Soy causes reduced levels of testosterone, gynecomastia, malnourishment, disease, infertility and is a leading hormonal contributor to the feminization of men in our society.
Soy is not only injurious to the health of our citizens, it’s also responsible for causing harm to the environment through the clear-cutting of forests to create soy production plants, and even responsible for economic problems through the recent surge in the price of soy products. These companies are exploiting the public’s ignorance about these negative effects by promoting soy as a “super protein” that will cure cancer and prevent a multitude of diseases. Now that you have been equipped with this information, reading labels and avoiding soy like the plague should become a priority. If not for yourself, do it for the future generations to come. The future of masculinity may depend on it.
Natural Estrogen Foods and Products to Avoid
Dr. Axe says these are the top five most estrogenic foods or substances:
3.) Conventional meat
4.) Conventional dairy
5.) BPA plastic and Teflon Pans
There are some natural estrogen blockers you can find in herbal of supplement form, such as wild nettle root and grape seed extract. There are others purported to reduce estrogen, however without validating studies as yet. 6)
Source: DrAxe.com 6)
You Might be Mad but…
My Trainer Fitness Editors
We understand that many people are fiercely loyal to their protein powders and brands, and that our research here may conflict with what you’ve been doing and what we’ve all been taught. We look at the education process as a journey. We’ve all seen examples in history where the medical establishment… heck where every establishment ever, thinks and believes one thing, when something different ends up proven to be true. No one has all the answers, and every body is unique, so no one solution is the perfect one for everybody.
We don’t like to think there is any conspiracy or intentional deceit by any of the companies or organizations promoting soy and soy products, including folks like the respected fitness site, Bodybuilding.com. Rather, we think it may be that any such companies may be operating on more of the original research and FDA proclamation, and now need to invest in updating their product formulas to include healthier protein powders and protein bars. We’re posting our favorites below, for your convenience.
However, as indicated in the intro, so much of the pros and cons of soy has to do with how it’s processed and then how it affects your body in the context of the other foods you’re consuming. Our bodies are a bit like volatile test tubes in that way. So it’s best to educate yourself and test and observe what seems to work best for you.
There is a lot of conflicting information on many nutrition products, including soy. A reader who advocates for soy, pointed out that there is much good with it, so we’re adding these editorial comments for balance and elaboration.
Likely one of the reasons for the conflicting information is that not all things affect all people equally. Another key factor is that there are many different types of soy and soy processing. Currently 93% of US soy is GMO soy.6)http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx
93% of US soy is GMO soy.
The type, quality and preparation of soy makes a big difference, yet for most of the soy we consume in North America, that is an unknown. Asians who have consumed soy for centuries, have had the tradition of fermentation and processing for optimal absorption. That and the fact that they weren’t putting soy refuse and byproducts of every kind into their packaged foods accounts for the difference. Perhaps an example that too much of a good thing may not be good.
Once you start reading labels, it becomes apparent just how much soy proliferates packaged goods in America. From mayonnaise and bread, chocolate, ice cream, and chewing gum, vitamins, medicines and cosmetics, to cooking oils used by virtually all restaurants, soy is everywhere.
Just as some people a deathly allergic to nuts and for others they’re a virtual health food, perhaps so too it is with soy. In our family of vegetarians, 4/5 of us have developed allergic reactions to soy of varying intensity, after years of consumption with no noted issues. However, as symptoms began to show up and be investigated, blood tests showed that while our protein count was up, it was not assimilating, and subsequently was not a usable protein. More than that, it was becoming toxic to the system. If the body over time is bombarded with what it recognizes as a non-food or anti-nutrient, it tends to turn reactive toward that food and treat it as an invader to fight off, thus leading to allergenic reactivity.
This article shares the valid experience of some, corroborated by footnoted research and resources. However, for balance, we’re provide a link at the end of this article to a deep dive source that explains more on the ins and outs of the good and bad of soy. Bottom line? Test it for yourself. See how you feel with it and without it. Get blood tests done with it and without it and see what’s happening in your body.
If you want a deeper dive analysis, we respect the research and reporting of Examine.com and also, our naturopathic doctor and sports science and fitness expert, Dr. Jade Teta of MetabolicEffect.com.
Excerpt from Examine.com
“For men worried about isoflavone content and possible estrogenic side effects, soy protein concentrate is the option to seek. Caution should be taken to ensure that the selected brand of soy protein concentrate has been heat treated to eliminate trypsin inhibitors, as they may still be active.”7)http://examine.com/faq/is-soy-good-or-bad-for-me/
Excerpt from Dr. Jade Teta, MetabolicEffect.com
“Isoflavones in soy are potentially damaging to adults and especially worrying in children.”
“Additionally, we would like to offer several more reasons why we do not recommend soy to our clients and look to soy consumption as a potential cause of weight loss resistance in people with hypothyroidism.”
“It is also well established in the literature that soy interferes with thyroid medication, making it less effective. There is also anecdotal evidence that excessive soy consumption has the potential to cause thyroid problems in previously ‘normal’ individuals.” Now we will discuss these concepts point by point. [For more, read Dr. Jade’s illuminating article.]8)http://www.metaboliceffect.com/soy-things-you-should-know/
Leave a comment below if you wish to share your experiences with soy products. Or visit and chime in on our Facebook Page. We would appreciate hearing your soy story to further educate us all on this complex issue.
BOOKS & FILMS:
The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food – Kaayla T. Daniel
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret – documentary, Keegan Kuhn & Kip Andersen
The Sustainability Secret: Rethinking Our Diet to Transform the World – Keegan Kuhn
PRODUCTS – Our FAVORITE TRUSTED PROTEIN POWDERS, PROTEIN BARS & QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS
BioTrust – These guys over-market if you get on their email list, but they’re products are some of the best
Onnit – Onnit also has some of the best quality product, and very cool merchandise too. LOVE their primal gorilla kettlebells!!
Quest Nutrition (Best flavored of the soy-free, sugar free bars)
Editor’s Note on Affiliations: We use these and are affiliates for most of them because we’ve found these to be stellar companies founded by amazing millennials and Gen Xers doing big work in the world. We believe these are the best of the best, companies, and you can count on quality when it comes to these guys. If you click through the links provided for your convenience, we do receive compensation at no charge to you, which helps to support this site.
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