Reliv Science & Health Today: Soy Good for You!

Soy, Reliv LunaRich, lunasin, Carl Hastings
Soy has been cultivated and eaten for millennia in China; and since the 1760s in the U.S. More recently, advances in research and manufacturing have created many new ways to enjoy the little round bean. Still, many remain unaware of the numerous health benefits of this remarkable superfood.

What makes soy good for you?

Soybeans are a good source of protein, unsaturated fats, and fiber. They are also rich in micronutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and B vitamins. More recently it has been discovered that soybeans contain a peptide called lunasin. Research has found that these powerful little bundles of nutrients benefit the human body in a myriad of ways, supporting the health of cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems at the cellular level.

Is soy a quality source of protein?

Soy is placed in the highest protein category by the FDA and WHO guidelines for evaluating the quality of proteins. It is a complete protein, which means it contains high amounts of all 9 essential amino acids. It is the only standalone plant-based source for complete protein. However, unlike many meat sources, soy is cholesterol free and low in saturated fat.

Is soy environmentally friendly?

From a perspective of the environment (which also affects our personal health), soy is also an exceedingly energy-efficient protein source. For every calorie of inputs that goes into production, beef generates 6.4 calories, chicken generates 18.1 calories and soy generates 415 calories, giving a much higher return on investment.

How much protein does soy offer?

That depends on what form it’s in when you eat it. A half cup of cooked soybeans contains about 14 grams of protein (as does one scoop of Reliv’s ProVantage® performance nutrition formula) and a half cup of soy nuts has about 30 grams. About 40% of the calories in a soybean come from protein.

How much soy should I eat?

The FDA recommendation states that 25 grams a day of soy protein as part of a diet low in saturated fat may reduce risk of coronary heart disease. Other than this approved health claim focused on cholesterol reduction, there isn’t much in the way of official soy intake recommendations. There have been studies of Asian countries’ soy consumption since those populations enjoy soy on a regular basis. In a 2006 review, Japanese women ate 6.0 to 10.5 grams of soy protein a day and men, 8.0 to 11.3 grams a day. Other studies showed higher intakes of 20 grams of soy protein a day.

Who should avoid soy?

Those who are diagnosed with an allergy to soy should follow their physician’s advice before consuming soy products.

Is soy safe for men? 

The myth that soy can negatively affect men stems from the fact that 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 some animals with estrogen receptors. A clinical analysis of compiled research shows: “There is essentially no evidence from the identified clinical studies that isoflavones exposure affects circulating estrogen levels in men.” Learn more.

Is soy safe for breast cancer patients and survivors?

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. To learn more, view this video from soy expert Dr. Alfredo Galvez.

NOTE: People diagnosed with or receiving medical treatment for breast cancer or any other condition should consult their physician before starting a nutritional supplement program.


A Note from Dr. Carl: Soy Much Better

Soy has been a key ingredient in Reliv products since the very beginning. The amount of macro-, micro- and phytonutrients delivered by those little beans is simply remarkable — a true wonder of nature.

We have heard the myths about soy repeated time and again since the first can of Reliv Classic® rolled off the line 27 years ago. But good science always wins in the end — not to mention 27 years of life-changing results for Reliv consumers! And with lunasin, the first nutritional compound shown to promote optimal health at the epigenetic level, science is revealing a whole new way to tap into soy’s nutritional power.

We’ve really just scratched the surface of lunasin’s potential. New studies continue to come out showing this amazing peptide’s range of benefits — inflammation reduction, improved immunity, cholesterol reduction, cellular health and so on. And nowhere can you find a more concentrated form of bioactive lunasin than LunaRich® from Reliv.

We’ve taken the nutritional benefits of soy to a whole new level. I look forward to seeing how our products can do the same for your health.

To your health,

Dr. Carl Hastings
Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer