Food Controversy: Soy

I stumbled upon the above video featuring Dr. Sherrill Sellman on rawmodel’s blog. Personally, I lose respect on anyone who draws a hypothesis without stating much correlative research to back it up. This woman goes on and on and on with her medical terms and generalized assumptions:

1. Asians eat so and so teaspoons and tablespoons a day (any study to prove this?). I know a lot of Asians who drink lots of soy milk, especially if they are lactose intolerant. Both my grandmothers make them for their kids and grandkids, I can assure you we drink more than what Dr. Sherrill had stated and I know not one person in the family who is suffering from Hypothyroidism.

2. “It was only used in times of famine when they had nothing else” Where on earth did she get this from?

3. Highly allergenic. There are a million other allergies that exist in this world! I encouraged my little cousin to eat raw that could help her eczema and she’s highly allergic to mangoes, cashews and macadamias. Are they toxic too simply because some people can’t tolerate them?

4. “We’re a society of thyroid issues” “We’re an allergic society” Let me guess, we are a society of heart diseases, sinuses and diabetes too?

5. There are lots and lots of other “nutritional star” foods that contain phytoestrogen other than soy. Flax seeds actually contains a higher level of phytoestrogen than soy beans. I’m excerpting the following table from this site.

phytestrogen foods list

There is no hard study evidence that soy leads to hypothyroidism. Dr. Todd Nippoldt, a consultant in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition and who has worked with patients with disorders of the hormone-producing glands including thyroid problems says this:

“Hypothyroidism is generally treated with synthetic thyroid hormone — and soy has long been thought to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb the medication. However, there’s no evidence that people who have hypothyroidism should avoid soy completely.

If you have hypothyroidism, take thyroid hormone replacement as directed by your doctor — typically on an empty stomach. Generally, it’s best to wait four hours after taking thyroid medication to consume any products that contain soy. The same guidelines apply to other products that may impair the body’s ability to absorb thyroid medication, including high-fiber foods, iron and calcium supplements, and antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium.”

Like all health controversies, there’s a pro and a con side to the story. But it is saddening to see people getting inaccurate information on certain types of foods, especially when they have been long known for its benefits. Almost every food has its bad side when consumed too much. Fish and mercury? Garlic and uric acid? Raw chocolate and caffeine? I’m not going to live life monitoring every food intake. Just enjoy and consume food moderately.


  1. Great stuff…I like your reasoning. Maybe long term exposure is negative? I drank lots of soy milk for a while (maybe only 2 years) so I didn’t notice that much. I love the chart…FLAX!! Wow!!

    Bali time???

      • paretoraw
      • June 13th, 2009

      I just put up another post following this one that features Mark Messina, PhD, who has been studying on soy since 1992. Take a look!

      yes. Bali time.

  2. Sir, Iam Mrs Krishna Sarkar I have one child 8yers.Iam a THS thyroid patients weight 64 kg & age 25years.Please kindly information per day diet shedule.

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