Reputed to be high in nutrients, soy-based foods are increasingly popular these days, particularly with vegetarians and vegans. However, these foods are also high in phytoestrogens, plant-based substances that mimic the effects of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone.
Concern has been voiced about the effects of these phytoestrogens on male sexual function, a subject that remains under study. However, no conclusive evidence has yet been found, one way or the other, so it’s probably too early to panic.
It should be noted that while testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, the counterpart to estrogen in women, these two sex hormones are present in varying amounts in both men and women. As men age, their levels of testosterone gradually decline, while their levels of estrogen rise.
Soy-Based Foods High in Protein
Meanwhile, quite apart from any hormonal considerations, soybeans and many soy-based foods contain high amounts of protein, vitamin C, and folate, a member of the family of B vitamins. These foods are also low in saturated fats and calories, making them an ideal substitute for meats for those whose diets exclude animal products.
Additionally, as pointed out in an article at HealthyFocus.org, several of the tests that suggest soy foods could adversely affect male sexual function used extremely high levels of soy in their testing. For now, it seems that men can continue to include moderate amounts of soy-based foods in their diets with little worry about ED.
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