Soy May Be Harmful to Sexual Behavior

America has a love affair with soy especially women who believe it fights osteoporosis and that soy formula is a good choice for infants. Although promoted as a health food, soy has been linked with numerous diseases including infertility and cancer.

Soybean farming is a multibillion-dollar industry. In fact, many of the worlds rain forests were cleared to provide more land to grow them. And as with so many health issues, once enormous profits are involved, it becomes difficult to get to the truth

I have two concerns about soy products. One is the direct effect of all soy products on health. The second is that more than 80 percent of all soybeans used for manufacturing foods are GMO (genetically modified). Genetic modifications cause the plant to produce abnormal proteins as well as to overproduce toxins normally produced by the plant. (For a detailed discussion on food safety, read my report “How to Avoid Poisonous Foods.”

But it’s not just modified soy that poses problems. Even natural soybeans have real dangers for health. One study found that infant monkeys fed soy extract soon after birth exhibited increased aggressiveness later in life and were socially withdrawn. Bad dietary choices can have profound effects on behavior, even producing criminal and sociopathic behavior. Soy foods are major players in this process.

Because soy contains estrogenic compounds, there is worry that it may disrupt the normal development of the brain, especially the brain’s sexual development. One study found that soy extracts could alter the development of the male hypothalamus, causing males to act more like females. It is the hypothalamus that determines our sexual behavioral development, especially a nucleus called the sexually dimorphic nucleus of the preoptic area (SDN-POA). (

When newborn male animals were fed soy formula (similar to human soy infant formula), this critical nucleus was reduced in size. In addition, males had greater difficulty maneuvering a maze when fed soy formula as an infant. In humans, this would mean boys would have greater difficulty learning.

Some studies have found soy formula had no effect on testosterone levels, but others found they were decreased. Most found that the prostate gland was significantly smaller in the soy-exposed males. Of considerable importance is the worry that feeding soy infant formulas to babies may cause them to act more feminine.

The soy-fed males also were found to have lower levels of brain 5-alpha-reductase in the hypothalamus and amygdala. These areas of the brain play a major role in sexual behavior. Low levels of this enzyme reduce levels of deoxytestosterone in the brain, the more powerful form of testosterone. A careful balance between estrogen and testosterone in the hypothalamus during early development is critical to sexual behavioral development.

The females fed soy had their own problems. The study found that when soy was fed to female newborns there was a significant fall in the release of oxytocin (dubbed the love hormone) from their brains. At least in the mice, this caused a decrease in sexual receptivity  that is, they were less interested in sex. Oxytocin is also critical for normal social development. Among its many additional functions is protecting the brain from inflammation.

The females fed soy as infants also had much lower brain 17-estradiol (estrogen), which was found to have adverse effects on normal female behavior.

In essence, these studies clearly indicate that even small changes in estrogen and testosterone can have undesirable effects on the sexual behavior of both male and female animals. They also demonstrate that compounds such as soy extracts can have negative effects on these delicate hypothalamic nuclei even in adulthood.

Courtesy of Dr. Blaylock

What Are the Adrenal Glands?

The adrenal glands are the part of the body responsible for releasing three different classes of hormones. These hormones control many important functions in the body, such as:

  • Maintaining metabolic processes, such as managing blood sugar levels and regulating inflammation
  • Regulating the balance of salt and water
  • Controlling the “fight or flight” response to stress
  • Maintaining pregnancy
  • Initiating and controlling sexual maturation during childhood and puberty

The adrenal glands are also an important source of sex steroids, such as estrogen and testosterone.

What are adrenal gland disorders?

Adrenal gland disorders occur when the adrenal glands don’t work properly.  Sometimes, the cause is a problem in another gland that helps to regulate the adrenal gland.  In other cases, the adrenal gland itself may have the problem.  The NICHD conducts and supports research on many adrenal gland disorders.  Some examples include:

  • Cushing’s Syndrome – Cushing’s syndrome happens when a person’s body is exposed to too much of the hormone cortisol. In this syndrome, a person’s body makes more cortisol than it needs. For example, adrenal tumors can cause the body to produce too much cortisol. In some cases, children are born with a form of adrenal hyperplasia that leads to Cushing syndrome. Or, in some cases, certain medications can cause the body to make too much cortisol
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia – Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is a genetic disorder of adrenal gland deficiency.  In this disorder, the body doesn’t make enough of the hormone cortisol. The bodies of people with congenital adrenal hyperplasia may also have other hormone imbalances, such as not making enough aldosterone, but making too much androgen.
  • Pituitary Tumors – The pituitary gland is located in the brain and helps to regulate the activity of most other glands in the body, including the adrenal glands. In rare cases, benign (non-cancerous) tumors may grow on the pituitary gland, which may restrict the hormones it releases.

In some cases, tumors on the pituitary can lead to Cushing’s syndrome – this is called Cushing disease.  In other cases, the tumors reduce the adrenal gland’s release of hormones needed for the “fight or flight” response to stress.  If the body is unable to handle physiological stress—a condition called Addison’s disease—it can be fatal.

What are the treatments for adrenal gland disorders?

The treatment for adrenal gland disorders depends on the specific disorder or the specific cause of the disorder.  For example:

  • The treatment for Cushing’s syndrome depends on the cause. If the excess cortisol is caused by medication, your health care provider can change dosages or try a different medication to correct the problem.  If the Cushing’s syndrome is caused by the body making too much cortisol, treatments may include oral medication, surgery, radiation, or a combination of these treatments.
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia can’t be cured, but it can be treated and controlled.  People with congenital adrenal hyperplasia can take medication to help replace the hormones their bodies are not making.  Some people with congenital adrenal hyperplasia only need these medications when they are sick, but others may need to take them every day.
  • Doctors can successfully treat most pituitary tumors with microsurgery, radiation therapy, surgery, drugs, or a combination of these treatments. Surgery is currently the treatment of choice for tumors that grow rapidly, especially if they threaten or affect vision.  The treatment plan for other pituitary tumors differs according to the type and size of the tumor.

Hormone Replacement Therapy Beneficial for Postmenopausal Women

GENEVA –  Hormone replacement therapy might be beneficial for postmenopausal women at increased heart risk, say researchers.

“Although it is commonly understood that postmenopausal women, particularly those with early menopause, have an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease and it was thought that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) would help to remedy this, some well-known clinical investigations, such as the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS), were unable to demonstrate an improved outcome in postmenopausal women using HRT,” said Dr. Thomas Schindler, chief of nuclear cardiology at the University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.

“The exact mechanism behind this increased risk, however, remains uncertain,” he added.

Some of the factors putting women at risk are an accumulation of body fat, insulin resistance, inflammation, dyslipidemia (disruption of lipid metabolism) and increases in arterial blood pressure.

Another important factor is the deprivation of naturally occurring estrogen.

For the study, the researchers evaluated the effect of long-term hormone replacement therapy with estrogen, mostly combined with progestin, on heart vessel function in 48 postmenopausal women who had been treated for coronary risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) or arterial hypertension.

They were divided into groups according to HRT. The first group comprised 18 women who were on HRT at baseline and at follow-up positron emission tomography (PET) assessment of coronary endothelial function (the inner lining of the coronary vessels).

The second group comprised 18 women who were not on HRT; and group 3 comprised 12 women who were on HRT at baseline, but not at follow-up PET exam.

“Given that preventive medical treatment of coronary risk factors, such as statins (cholesterol-lowering agents) or angiotensin-coverting enzyme inhibitors, usually improves coronary endothelial function, it is not known whether HRT, which commonly promotes the release of endothelial-derived NO in postmenopausal women with already medically treated coronary risk factors, might still exert an additional protective effect on the function of the coronary endothelium and, thus, the development of coronary artery disease,” said Schindler.

Applying PET, the researchers found that HRT widely maintained coronary endothelial function, while those postmenopausal women without HRT experienced a worsening in the endothelium function.

In addition, postmenopausal women who gave up HRT during the observational period demonstrated the most severe drop in the coronary endothelial function.

Steroid Hormone Deficiency May be Behind Cardiovascular Disease

Steroid Hormone Deficiency May be Behind Cardiovascular Disease

BOSTON – The deficiency of steroid hormones called androgens, such as testosterone, may be behind cardiovascular disease, according to a study.

Published in the Journal of Andrology, a report on the study underscores the fact that a number of studies have linked androgen deficiency to an increased mortality in men.

Testosterone (T) is an anabolic hormone with a wide range of beneficial effects on men’s health.

However, according to Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers, the therapeutic role of T in men’s health remains a hotly debated issue for a number of reasons, including the purported risk of prostate cancer.

Working in collaboration with researchers from Lahey Clinic Northshore, Peabody, Massachusetts, they evaluated several relevant articles pertinent to androgen deficiency and vascular disease, and determined that a relationship did exist between androgen deficiency and CVD.

“In view of the emerging evidence suggesting that androgen deficiency is a risk factor for CVD, androgen replacement therapy could potentially reduce CVD risk in hypogonadal men. It should be emphasized, however, that androgen replacement therapy should be done with very thorough and careful monitoring for prostate diseases,” said lead author Dr. Abdulmaged M. Traish, a professor of biochemistry and urology as well as the director of Laboratories for Sexual Medicine, Institute for Sexual Medicine at BUSM.

To further elucidate the role of androgen deficiency in vascular disease, the researchers recommend large, long-term, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials be carried out.

“Although challenges might lie ahead regarding how data from such clinical trials are to be properly interpreted and whether long-term safety can be established with T supplementation, these findings warrant definite investigation into the beneficial role that androgens might have in preventing cardiovascular risk in androgen-deficient men,” added Traish.

PLEASE NOTE OTHER POSTS ON “HORMONES” AND “BIO IDENTICAL HORMONES”