We know there are a lot of questions around soymilk's health benefits and the benefits of 8th Continent over competitive brands. Here we demystify the myths.
How is soymilk made with soy protein different than other non-dairy milk alternatives, such as rice or almond milk?
Nutritionally, they are quite different. Soy protein is a high-quality, plant-based protein, while proteins from rice and almond are considered low quality proteins, lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids. Besides being lower in protein quality, many of these products are also considerably lower in protein content, typically containing only 1-2g of protein per serving. The health and nutrition benefits of soymilk are also extensively documented in published nutrition research, whereas very little research exists demonstrating any particular benefits of consuming rice or almond milk.
How does 8th Continent® Soymilk compare to dairy milk?
Both have comparable protein quality and content. Dairy milk has naturally-occurring calcium, while calcium (added in process) is supplied by the isolated soy protein 8th Continent purchases from Solae. Thus, the level of calcium in 8th Continent is comparable to that in dairy milk. Both are fortified with Vitamin D. The carbohydrate in dairy milk is mainly lactose, while the carbohydrate source in 8th Continent® is sucrose. Individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy protein allergies often prefer soymilk over dairy milk for this reason. Finally, soy protein has been shown to offer heart health benefits - dairy milk does not offer a similar benefit.
I've heard soy is bad for children. What's that all about?
No worries. Soy-based infant formulas have been available for almost 100 years as a safe and effective alternative to provide appropriate nutrition for normal growth and development in full-term infants. Also, soy protein foods give children options for a high quality, lower fat, complete protein source, and many soy foods are fine for children.
Whole fat, vitamin-fortified soy milk is a good alternative for children over a year old who won’t drink or are allergic to dairy milk.
Is soymilk harmful to men? Does it make “man boobs”?
Nope. A common misperception exists that soy contains estrogen. Soy does not contain the hormone estrogen, but it does contain isoflavones, also known as phytoestrogens or “plant estrogens.”
While the chemical structure of isoflavones is similar to estrogen, the two function very differently in the body. Numerous studies with healthy, young men show that soy protein or isoflavone supplements do not increase estrogen concentrations in the blood. Numerous studies also show that use of soy protein and/or isoflavone supplements do not cause a decrease in testosterone.
I've heard that soy causes breast cancer. Is that true?
Quite the opposite. While there have been conflicting reports about soy and breast cancer, human studies in Asian populations consistently show that soy is protective against breast cancer. However, soy intake is shown to be unrelated to breast cancer risk or prevention in studies conducted in low-soy-consuming Western populations. The potential beneficial effect of soy against breast cancer may require that women consume levels of soy typical in Asian diets.
Recently, results of a study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association strengthening and reaffirming previous scientific findings from human studies that soy food consumption is safe and potentially beneficial for breast cancer patients. The study, which is the largest human study looking at breast cancer survival outcomes and soy consumption, adds new information to better understand what, if any, relationship exists between diet, breast cancer and breast cancer prevention. The study concluded, “moderate soy food intake is safe and potentially beneficial for women with breast cancer.”