Dr Oz: Does Soy Cause Breast Cancer & Heart Disease?

Doctor Oz did a segment called “Soy: Life Safer or Danger?” because soy has become somewhat controversial.  Does soy increase your risk for breast cancer?  Can soy cause heart disease?  Dr Oz said there is a growing source of critics who say that soy can increase your risk for cancer.  Soy is found in many products: edamame, soy milk, salad dressings, tomato sauce, bread and even tuna (who knew!).  Soy is high in protein, but is it a healthy substitute for meat?  People used to believe that soy helps to build strong bones and fights cholesterol.  In fact, Americans are so in  love with soy, $31 billion in soy crop was sold last year. Dr Oz Is Soy Safe

Does Soy Cause Breast Cancer?

Dr Oz said that the big fear is that the phytoestrogens found in soy may mimic regular estrogen and increase certain health problems like Breast Cancer.  Dr Oz was joined by Dr. Mark Hyman who thinks soy can fight breast cancer, as well as Kaayla Daniel (author of The Whole Soy Story) who thinks that soy can interfere with your hormone production and wreak havoc on your hormonal balance.  Dr. Hyman said that as long as you avoid soy cheese, soy burgers, soy dogs, and other processed soy products, soy is overwhelmingly better for you than harmful.  He also mentioned that if you drink alcohol, that increases your risk of breast cancer by 30%.  Dr Oz sai that he thinks we should eat whole food forms of soy like fermented soy, tempeh, miso, tofu or edamame – as long as we stick to just one portion a day, which contains 30 mg isoflavones (the phytoestrogens).

Does Soy Prevent Heart Disease?

The FDA says that 25 mg of soy, along with a healthy diet, can reduce LDL and may help prevent health disease.  However, the AHA (American Heart Association) says that it is impossible to eat enough soy to make any difference.  Kaayla Daniel said that soy is actually linked to  heart problems.  Dr Mark Hyman said that soy is certainly better for your heart than chicken nuggets or other alternatives.  The general rule of thumb that Dr Hyman offered is “If it grows on a plant then eat it, and if it is made in a plant skip it.”  Dr Oz said that at the end of the day, in small portions, soy is a good low fat protein source and a great substitute for higher fat protein.  I have to say that this segment of Dr Oz’s show did nothing to alleviate my fear of all of the negative things I have read lately about health issues related to soy, so for now at least, I will be avoiding soy.  What about you… will you be skipping soy or continue eating it? Leave a comment below!


  1. Lolaloves13 says

    Have been avoiding unfermented soy for 3 years now. Will continue to avoid it. The tide is turning and soon it will be common knowledge that it is not the health food people have believed it to be.

  2. Leslie says

    I will definitely continue to avoid soy. Actually I think it’s a good idea to avoid anything the FDA overwhelmingly endorses as good for us.

  3. Barbara says

    What did Dr Oz say about soy and A-fib? I am using the Medifast foods (which are soy) to lose weight. I had two A-fib incidents last week. Is that normal? Is that dangerous? Should I quit using it? Is using it in moderation OK? Is it the soy or high levels of protein? Help.

    Thanks. Barbara

  4. Jen says

    I will avoid it at all costs. It is a very cheap product to farm and can be put into almost anything which means it promises very large returns. This is the first red flag. It can cause issues with newborn babies (who are in need of saturated fat for brain developement) and it is filled with estrogen which (in abundance) is a stress hormone and can cause weight gain and bloating, irritability, (PMS type symptoms). The truth will come out… I just wish more people knew the scary truth about soy.

  5. meredith says

    I love love love soy and will continue eating it in place of meat, meat really does upset my tummy.

  6. Jeff says

    I want to know about soy products that have the isoflavones removed. Are these products beneficial health wise?

  7. Del Humphrey says

    I’ve had breast cancer, & one GYN told me not to drink soy milk (he was Japanese). I use almond milk on my cereal now. I think it tastes better than soy, anyway.

  8. Susie says

    Soy is EVERYWHERE….look at candy bar ingredients, brownie and cake mixes, almond milk sometimes sneaks it in. Read your labels everyone INCLUDING your pet food bags and cans!!! Your dogs and cats also need to completely avoid soy!!! If you will notice, the GOOD (premium) dog/cat foods DO NOT contain soy. What does THAT tell you?

  9. Mick says

    Most soybeans here in the US are GM (genetically-modified), so they are “Roundup” resistant.
    Farmers plant these soybeans, and then spray the field with Roundup later, which kills everything EXCEPT the GMO soybeans. Red Flag #1.
    Think there are traces of Roundup in your soybeans? Yep. That’s why they had to raise the maximum residue level (MRL) allowed for glyphosate (Roundup) in soy. Red Flag #2.
    Roundup has been proven to cause all kinds of health issues, even though our so called “friends” at the FDA says it’s safe. Red Flag #3.
    Something to think about…..

  10. Aaron says

    None of you have actually used any peer reviewed evidence. I think that a poor choice of evidence is a red flag.

  11. Lisa says

    I will continue to avoid soy. I do not believe that it is the big super food that vegans seem to believe. I will continue to enjoy my leans meats, fish, fruits, veggies, and low fat dairy for a more well rounded diet, with the occasional slice of home made cake or pie, or snack foods. Kinda funny how in the movie “Soylent Green”, the super food they give the people is SOYlent green!!! Just joking, that was made of people. I just think we need to not make our diets heavily reliant upon soy until the whole story is known.

  12. Dottie says

    I have been vegetarian for 23 years, about 10 years ago I was eating lots of soy beans, soy burgers, cooked soy for almost every day of the week. I read that Soy was not good for you and caused cancer and I ignored it, until I developed uterine cancer, I am 6 years clear now, my gynecologist told me to stop eating soy as it has been shown that the hormones in the soy can cause cancer in some people. I found that I got through menopause with no symptoms because I was having so much soy, but suffered later. Almost everything you see in the stores has some kind of soy in them, but I will never buy soy beans or any soy products again. Make up your own mind, but take your chances..

  13. Jeff says

    There is a product you can use for protien that uses a protien blend including a new soy that has had the gluten and isoflavins(estregen) removed, and it is blended with two different whey protiens for a prolonged absorbsion. It is great for weight loss and fitness. Find it at jkwilliams.myvi.net.

  14. Rose says

    Quote (per article) “Dr Oz sai that he thinks we should eat whole food forms of soy like fermented soy, tempeh, miso, tofu or edamame – as long as we stick to just one portion a day, which contains 30 mg isoflavones (the phytoestrogens).” Just a couple of week ago, Dr. Oz was telling his audience to eat “Soy Burgers” and those aren’t fermented! The education and information we receive about our health and foods to avoid changes with every corporate interest who pulls the financial strings for Dr. Oz’s show and well, just about everything in this nation!

  15. Susie says

    Dr. Oz can eat all the soy he wants and in any forms he deems safe. As for me, my home has been rid of soy and NONE will ever enter again.
    Additionally, I am hoping my husband’s ‘man boobs’ disappear now that soy is not a part of our intake. MEN: there is something to consider!
    I know Vegans and they would never touch anything soy.
    Sorry people…soy is simply no good for anyone.

  16. halibel says

    i have been eating the soy cheese and burgers AND sausages, and was scared to find out that eating them are linked to breast cancer!!! i told my mother immediatly, but i must look further into it… THANK YOU!!! 😀

  17. Kathy says

    Thirty years ago I was warned by my OB/Gyn to avoid soy. He was a physician and researcher at a prominent university hospital. I have avoided soy, and will continue to, tho I realize there may be some in other things I eat (as mentioned in these comments.) As for weight loss, I think I’ll increase my walks to 2 miles/day, and cut my portions of everything I eat. That’s always worked for me in the past.

  18. Gardenter says

    I drank over 5,000 protein shakes and 5,000 protein bars containing soy protein isolate on the HMR medically supervised diet. Sure I lost weight, but I was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer also. The first thing my surgeon told me at the Univ of Michigan was to never eat soy protein isolate with my breast cancer. My heart sank. I talked to several experts in the field. They cannot say my breast cancer was caused by the soy, however, they do feel it contributed greatly to its size and growth. Hidden soy is everywhere – like Hershey candy bars, cake mixes, most packaged foods, frozen foods, etc. BE AWARE!

  19. Susie says

    Check your mayonaise label. ALL mayonaise in your standard grocery store has soybean in it. Look for a VEGAN mayonaise. It is super tasty and has NO soybean in it. Trader Joe’s carries a VEGAN mayonaise. I am not Vegan but I am driven to some VEGAN products because of the absence of soybean.

  20. Rochelle says

    My best friend of 50 years, who also had breast cancer like me, told me to avoid soy. So I went to my frig and cupboard, and removed everything soy and gave the foods away. Looking at food labels, I realize, like others here have posted, it’s everywhere and in everything just about. I even got some $20 “Green Tea Fat Metabolizer” liquid gel tablets so I could get control of my belly fat, and lo and behold, there it is again in my dietary supplements. My breat cancer was agreesively growing fast, and after 4 months of Chemo in 2008, I don’t want anything in my diet to promote cancer. What am I to do now? All the foods I love have it, and I can’t afford to go totally organic. As a matter of fact, the news recently reported that organic foods ALSO have pesticides in them…allbeit low levels. However, it seems that nothing at all is safe.

  21. says

    I was at a dinner party last night and the woman who hosted was a breast cancer survivor. She eats super healthy, as do I, so I thought. I do not way meat, I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and take my multi-vitamins everyday. So, when I asked what kind of milk she would be serving, she said Almond, (which I also drink), I responded with, do you drink Soy and she said NEVER! She then went on to advise me that No one in her house drinks or eats soy products This all lead me to look it online and read your article, as I am a soy eater and drinker, I was frightened by this conversation. Thank you posted this information about SOY, I think we need to spread the word. It just seems like nothing we put in our bodies is safe now.

  22. Arlene says

    Years ago, they said that Asian women had very low incidence of breast cancer.
    Now….dont they eat a lot of soysauce and tofu?
    Doesnt make sense

  23. Michele says

    I agree with Arlene! How is it that Japanese women have very little breast cancer and they eat a lot of soysauce and tofu!! There must be some pieces of the puzzle missing!! But, I have stopped drinking soy milk and drink almond milk exclusively. I just checked the Blue Diamond label and it does NOT contain any soy, but, my Trader Joe’s reduced fat mayo DOES contain the isolated soy protein!!! I always read labels for nutrition & things to avoid and will now add this to my list!! :I

  24. says

    Here is a website that will help all you skeptics open your minds to the truth about “Soy Causing cancer” (www.Mercola.com). Type in Topic in search box: The truth about soy. Click on the fourth link from the top. When the page opens it should read: The “Miracle Health Food” has been linked to brain damage and breast cancer…… I hope one day we all can petition the white house,F.D.A /or the parties responsible for regulating the food products being consumed in the U.S.A to change how food may or may not be grown & processed.To ensure food is safe and healthy for present and future generations. Also to put a stop! “to shrewd marketing and outright lies taking root among the masses with the end result of producing large profits for the soy industry and impaired health for most who have been deceived into using unfermented soy long-term”(mercola.com, Kaayle T. Daniel PHD,)

  25. Sumer says

    No more soy milk for me. I’ve just realized the controversy behind soy. Lately, I’ve been complaining to my husband that my left breast feels a little lumpy. Slight pain. No breast cancer in family. I breast fed both my babies for a year each. I’ve never drank alcohol, coffee, tea, rarely ever drink soda. Always drink water!! Never smoked or drugs. Very healthy. I just turned 33. A few years ago I was checked for breast cancer but results came back as milk ducts from breast feeding. We replaced milk with soy a year ago but now I’m nervous it’s causing the change in my breast. I’m going to stop drinking soy and see if that helps.

  26. nov says

    I am Japanese living in Japan. Yes, most of us (probably except some younger generation) eats soy product daily and our breast cancer risk is so much lower.
    Every body know in Japan that Frequent soy consumption reduce a risk of breast cancer.
    Survivor are even courage more to eat them to lower the risk for 30%.
    Don’t forget, that we don’t consume so much animal fat, eat much more veggie and drink fresh green tea. We have extremely low obese rate. Soy is not the bad guy.

  27. nov says

    “In Asian countries where soy foods are part of the traditional meal plan, rates of breast cancer are much lower than in the United States. Research has shown that Asian women who consume the most soy are about 30% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who eat relatively little soy.
    The protective effects of soy foods are most apparent when soy is eaten in early life (as a child and/or teen).

    Some findings suggest eating soy may help reduce the recurrence and/or the risk of death in women with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states breast cancer survivors can safely eat moderate amounts of soy foods”

  28. Asian lady says

    I am in my late 20’s & recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I was on diet program having high contain of soy protein. I had replaced my plain water with soy milk on top of soy protein intake. And I stopped after a while & then continue again using another diet product contain high soy protein until I recently knew I got a breast cancer. A friend once told me to avoid soy protein intake but I ignored him & told him soy is good for ur health. I have now stopped taking any diet products of soy protein. Pls try to avoid soy protein intake if u can. Minimal intake may be ok, but pls try to avoid them..I learned my lesson.

  29. joyce smith says

    i had uterine cancer in 2009; had a hysterectomy (no chemo/radiation).
    have been eating a decent fishetarian diet: low-salt,- sugar, -processed. -fat, etc.
    have been avoiding soy other than fermented:
    soy sauce, miso, tempeh (are fermented).
    was recently advised, by a vitamin/supplement company (swanson’s) pharmacist that soy protein is to be avoided, NOT other forms: soy oil, lecithin, other?
    as i’m not sure what to believe, i’m still avoiding soy if not fermented. info is confusing ~ better safe than sorry… i hope!

  30. says

    I ate protein bars and used protein powder in my shakes post-workout in my mid-twenties (around age 23). Continued this for approx. three years. Gave the soy up because I realized it was causing my terrible adult acne and was causing me immense stomach pain (I’m talking about pain where you just beg God to kill you). My skin cleared up completely within a few days of eliminating soy from my diet, and my skin has been clear ever since. At twenty-seven years old, I found out I had a 7cm dermoid cyst in my ovary. When removed, pre-cancerous cells were found in the cyst. Within a few months, I was told, the cells would have indeed turned cancer. I have no family history of cancer whatsoever- everyone in all four sides of my family live into their 80’s or 90’s. None have ever died of cancer or had cancer in their lifestime. So I doubt it’s my genes that caused this mutation of cells within my ovary.

    I don’t eat junk or fast food- never have. I’ve never smoked, rarely drink alcohol and have never taken recreational drugs. While I can’t prove it, I can almost certainly say that the soy I consumed so frequently in the name of health and fitness (ironically) very likely altered my system at the cellular level for the worse. If the soy is potent enough to cause severe acne with consumption and create extraordinarily painful stomach distress and bloating, how good for ANYONE can this stuff be in the long-term, even if it didn’t cause cancer? Would it have eventually caused a tear in my GI tract? Anything’s possible. Perhaps not every soy food causes such an issue, but this unlimited use of soy protein isolate, soy milk, soy burgers, etc., is scary to me. I avoid all soy products, and have since around the age of twenty-seven. I’m now thirty-two and have had no further problems with cancer, acne or severe stomach pain.

    Look at all the drug recalls the FDA has made because they allow drugs on the market in a very short amount of time and drug companies are allowed to test their new drugs out of the U.S. You think the FDA is protecting the consumers’ interests? Please. They are in bed with big business- who do you think the lobbyists have lunch with every other day? More often than not, it’s with doctors, those in the Fed. Govt. and Congress! Those in Washington, D.C. Do NOT trust the FDA or any other government entity to provide you with unbiased, up-to-date, safe, honest information! And while some doctors are not going to peddle soy, some will. Never trust your doctor blindly, either.

  31. Debbie says

    What about the kids that love soy butter in place of peanut butter because of peanut allergies?

  32. Nandini says

    SMH. I have been eating soy for years, and will absolutely continue eating it. It is still healthier than eating meat in which the animals are pumped with antibiotics, live in extremely unsanitary conditions and are tortured and killed. Seriously think about it. years of eating meat accumulates in your body and causes many problems. I know many people who have cancer that avoided soy at all costs. Asians eat tons of soy and yet the cancer rate is lower ( for Asians in Asia). Don’t blame it on the soy, blame it on all of the processing methods that the FDA simply overlooks. Maintaining a healthy weight, sleeping on time, exercising and not eating a whole bunch of junk food will drastically reduce your risk for any disease. It was reported that foreign born Japanese women had a higher cancer rate but then again there was Hiroshima…

  33. Courtney says

    Liz… I think you have a soy allergy. Of course you are going to react to something you’re allergic to.

    As stated previously: Asian people eat a ton of soy in their daily diets. More than most Americans consume daily. If soy itself is to blame, it only follows that Asian people would be falling over with cancer at an alarming rate. Or they are somehow immune to the cancer causing effects of ingesting soy products.

    I have to think that the real culprit here is not only GMO seeds, but the heavily manufactured products that come from soy gown in and sold within/for the United States consumer.

  34. says

    I eat tofu, but it comes from Canada where GMO isn’t prevalent. It’s hard for me to believe all the anti-soy talk because (1) it’s a vegetable (2) it sounds like the type of talk that the pro-meat and cancer profiteers boast about.

  35. Randee says

    I am extremely sensitive to foods. I was having memory loss and was diagnosed as having the onset of Alzheimer’s at age 40. After much research and testing by my doctor, I found that my consumption of soy, to which I was found to be highly allergic, was actually the culprit of my mood swings and memory loss. Without ingesting soy, I was completely fine. Once I had any product with soy, neurological disorders began. I even had to give up chewing gum, because it contained soy. Any food based product that can cause this much damage is eye opening!.

  36. Lisa says

    I lost 30 pounds by avoiding soy. It’s not easy but I like being a size 4 rather than the 12 I was stuck at on other diets. I even start to gain when I consume small amounts of soy lecithin. I originally dropped the soy when my thyroid failed. I was 52 and 155 lbs. I am now 58 and usually under 130. I’m 5’4. Soy destroys the thyroid. It has been proven to cause scoliosis in children and grow breasts on men and boys. By the way, my 30 pounds melted off the first three months I stopped consuming it. It was and is well worth the effort.

  37. Rena says

    Has anyone noticed any breast pain/tenderness as well as increase in cup size from drinking soy milk? I have latte’s (de-cafe) with soy milk, one a day over the past year. My breasts hurt and I feel like I’m busting out of my bras..and I’m not liking it. I’m 40 and I was checked for hormone issues and was told all is normal. I’m trying to figure out why my breasts hurt all the time. Yes, all the time! Not because of pms etc. Has anyone else experienced similar issues and was told it’s soy related? My Dr. does not think soy is an issue???

  38. Erin says

    I had endometrial cancer. My doctor said absolutely no soy. Hardest part is not being able to eat candy. Only those bitter really dark chocolates are without soy and you have to watch out for those, too. Bread is hard, too, cause I love it. I don’t know why soy is pushed as a health food.

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