Are There Any Negative Effects of Eating Too Much Tofu?
There are studies that support theories of soy causing negative health effects as well as studies that show little to no link between soy and health problems. However, it's important to keep in mind that these effects would only occur after eating large amounts of soy on a regular basis.
Tofu, also called bean curd, is a curd made from the milk of pressed soybeans. Tofu is a highly nutritious food with a protein-dense curd made from soy milk. Tofu was first popularized in China over 2000 years ago between AD 25-220, and now Tofu is a popular meal in Asia such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu has a low calorie count, relatively large amounts of protein, and little fat. It is high in ironand, depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, may also be high in calcium and/ormagnesium.
Tofu contains a full spectrum of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals offering many health benefits.Soya beans are cholesterol-free and are a good source of protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins and iron. Calcium-fortified soya products such as soya milk and tofu provide a valuable source of this important mineral.
Negative health effects of tofu:
Too much of anything is not good for you, and that includes tofu. Despite its manyhealth benefits, consuming too much tofu, or any soy product, can have some negative effects.
Those same isoflavones that can lower LDL and the risk of some cancers can also do some harm if eaten in excess.
- Because isoflavones mimic estrogen, they can interfere with the thyroid and cause it to malfunction.
- Studies have shown that too much soy can also result in reproductive issues in males and females and could also cause early puberty.
- Although soy in small doses can reduce the risk of breast cancer, some studies suggest that eating too much of it could actually trigger the development of breast cancer.
Eating tofu, or any other soy product, in moderation is key and incorporating this superfood into your diet can have amazing benefits for your health.
High consumption of tofu has been linked with dementia in older age groups in more than one study, whereas in younger and middle-age age groups it might actually protect the brain. It has been stressed that there is no evidence that eating tofu in moderation can cause any problems, and that further research is needed to confirm both the negative as well as the positive effects.
Soy's effects on thyroid: According to Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D. Nippoldt advises people with hypothyroidism to avoid eating soy for four hours after taking thyroid medication, as soy can hinder the absorption of the medicine. Isoflavones found in soy impair the functioning of the thyroid and can contribute to or worsen hypothyroidism, according to Thyroid-Info.com. NYU's Langone Medical Center states that soy can adversely affect people with thyroid problems, and the center advises these people to use caution when eating soy products.
Some other negative health effects of soy that have been noted in studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services include increased menstrual cramps and digestion problems. The most frequently reported adverse events of soy among a total of 3,518 subjects in 49 studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services were gastrointestinal. Gastrointenstinal problems were reported in 33 of 41 of the soy studies. Other adverse effects of soy reported in the studies included headaches, rashes and dizziness.
There are studies that support theories of soy causing negative health effects as well as studies that show little to no link between soy and health problems. Soy research is complicated, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, because soy products contain varying amounts of isoflavones, depending on the way the soy crop is grown and processed. In addition, different populations eat different types of soy foods. Asian countries tend to consume more soy in the form of tofu and miso, for instance, whereas Western countries consume less soy and the type of soy they consume is more likely to be "second generation," processed soy.
Useful links for more studies: