The Truth About Soy



Exciting new discoveries are revealing soy’s mounting health benefits, and much of the excitement centers around lunasin, a naturally occurring soy peptide. Soy’s cholesterol-lowering properties, which are supported by an FDA health claim, can now be attributed to lunasin.

In fact, the American Heart Association, which once petitioned the repeal of the FDA’s health claim, recently invited Dr. Alfredo Galvez, the scientist who discovered lunasin, to present at its national convention.

Lunasin is now one of the most heavily researched and scientifically supported nutritional compounds available today. Since it was discovered in 1996, 50+ published studies have shown its multiple health benefits, including inflammation, improved immunity and overall cellular health.

And for those looking to incorporate more antioxidants in your diet, you’re in luck. Lunasin also demonstrates an ability to:

  • reduce the oxidation of linoleic acid that produces oxygen radicals
  • act like an oxygen radical scavenger
  • reduce oxygen radicals produced by macrophages (highly specialized cells that remove dying or dead cells and cellular debris)


Soy foods are also an excellent source of protein, and many are also good sources of fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. But despite the studies proving its benefits and the positive reaction of the scientific community, myths about soy persist. Let’s take a look at a couple common myths and learn the truth about soy:

Myth #1: Men shouldn’t take soy because it contains estrogen-like properties.

Truth: Soybeans are rich in phytoestrogens, a subclass of a group of antioxidants known as isoflavones. Because the structure of phytoestrogens is similar to the human sex hormone estrogen (found in both men and women), it can sometimes mimic the hormone in animals with estrogen receptors. Phytoestrogens mimicry of estrogen has led some to believe that soy can have a feminizing effect on men. A May 2010 study showed that soy isoflavones “do not exert feminizing effects on men at intake levels equal to and even considerably higher than are typical for Asian males.” The results report: “There is essentially no evidence from the nine identified clinical studies that isoflavones exposure affects circulating estrogen levels in men. Clinical evidence also indicates that isoflavones have no effect on sperm or semen parameters.”

Another study in 2010 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, investigated whether soy has an effect on reproductive hormones in men. The study found conclusively that neither soy foods nor isoflavones supplements alter measures of bioavailable hormone concentrations in men.

Soy has been a dietary staple for many cultures with no significant report of health effects in men. Reliv posts recommended serving sizes on all our products and encourages common sense and moderation to its consumers.

Myth #2: Soy isn’t safe for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Truth: Concerns about the correlation between soy and breast cancer risk are nothing new. Doctors recommending that breast cancer patients limit their soy intake have been waiting for years for conclusive evidence that a link exists. In November 2012, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) published their findings and proclaimed moderate amounts of soy safe for breast cancer patients and survivors. “Determining whether it is safe for breast cancer survivors to eat soy has been one of the big research questions under study and now we know it is safe — the evidence is so consistent,” said AICR Nutrition Advisor Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, an expert on diet and cancer prevention.

The AICR has reported that for all cancers, human studies have shown soy foods do not increase the risk. Overall, the seven recent epidemiologic studies examining soy consumption among breast cancer survivors — in six population studies and one combined analysis — show that consuming moderate amounts of soy foods does not increase a woman’s risk for poorer outcomes.

“These findings are great news for women who want to use soy as a source of protein while cutting back on animal protein such as red and processed meat for better health.” said Bette J. Caan, DrPH.

A Note from Dr. Carl: The Best Soy Available
As you’ve read above, the benefits of soy are undeniable as part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to reduce cholesterol or simply maintain your good health, soy is an effective way to give your body what it needs. That’s why soy has been a central component of Reliv’s approach to nutrition since the very beginning.

And now science has uncovered soy’s secret. The key is lunasin, a naturally occurring soy peptide. Lunasin is the first nutritional component shown to work at the epigenetic level to promote optimal gene expression in cells. In other words, it turns good genes on and bad genes off. And no other supplements available maximize lunasin content like Reliv’s LunaRich® products.

As a soy advocate for over three decades, I have heard the myths about soy repeated time and again. But good science always wins in the end. With lunasin research we now know what makes soy such a nutritional powerhouse, and we have one more reason why Reliv’s unparalleled formulas deliver real results.

To Your Health,

Dr. Carl W. Hastings
Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer



34 thoughts on “The Truth About Soy

  1. My breast cancer was estrogen/progesterone positive. I’m sure you know what this means. Trying to avoid cancer is a non issue with me because I already have it…and any soy product can feed my cancer. There is NO way I’m even going to “chance” it. The risk outweighs any “cancer prevention” that I might gain.

  2. Can you please provide references for the actual research studies that you’ve gathered you’re information from? Would be very handy to look a little deeper in to the issue. Thank you

    1. Adam – At the end of the article is a section called “Sources.” Those links will take you to the study information. Hope this helps!

    1. Katie – estrogen is not an ingredient in Reliv products. Please read the “truth” section about myth #1; it explains the truth about phytoestrogens (which are not estrogen).

  3. Could you please explain to me what GMO is? and I read something about soy that if it’s fermented that it is good. It’s the non-fermented soy that is bad for you. What can you tell me about that?

  4. Sheri – GMO refers to Genetically Modified Organisms. This means they are created by scientists when they genetically modify or engineer food plants. Reliv uses only non-GMO soy in our products as well as non-fermented soy. Our Product Information Department has some great studies to pass along regarding the safety and efficacy of non-fermented soy. Please feel free to contact them at

  5. Does Reliv also avoid using GMO corn in its products? I would like to assure my customers and know for my own use, that there are no GMO ingredients in Reliv products. Can I do that with 100% certainty?

  6. I used Re-liv for a year while I lived in Florida. Since moving back to Vermont, I discontinued it’s use. I have found a new distributor in Maine, (closest contact I could find). I plan on getting back on board a.s.a.p. I never in my 51 years of life felt better than when I took your product on a daily basis. once I get back on it, I will never stop until my clock has been punched.

    1. Reliv products are intended to provide balanced nutrition for a healthier lifestyle and overall wellbeing. Reliv products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Although many individuals have seen improvements in their health when consuming these products, individual results will vary. We feel that optimal nutrition is beneficial to all.

  7. Does this mean you no longer use the GMO corn in the Innergize formula anymore? And I was troubled deeply by the use of any GMO products, it spoils the trust I had in Reliv and that I had in the products and I believe Dr. Teds dream and goal has been damaged also. I do think when you set yourself aside and claim purity in your products, and then start bringing your product or products down in quality to meet a price or a lack of quality available in the quantities needed, then that product should be pulled,so as not to bring down the whole product line available. I do believe in trust and” Reliv we’ve got a problem!”

  8. I am a healthy 79 year old female.Accept findings subchondral cysts are in the superior acetabulum
    on both sides.This is consistent with osteoarththritis.There is also evidence of cartilage erosion acetabulum and femoral head.
    I have been taking Luna Rich twice a day NOW 2 a day and the Arthaffect also twice a day.for 10 days now.
    What do you recomment I am 5foot5 tall 120 Pounds i do Yoga every day. walk a least 4 miles a day. At this time i have almost no discomfort.What is your suggestion how much of this Product i should or could i take.Sncerely Olga Tavcar

  9. The thyroid has been associated with soy products if you are hypothyroid–meaning to avoid soy. Will this reliv have an affect? Pushing 80 I have to be careful as on Synthroid.

  10. I continue to receive questions about why Reliv soy is good for women who have had breast cancer, and people worried about sterility in boys who take Reliv, and those who are worried that it’s bad for you in general. How do I answer them, and what should I send them for their benefit and information?

    1. Hi Valerie! There are answers about breast cancer survivors in the article above. If you have further questions, please contact our experts at and they’ll be happy to help you.

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