Yes. Soy contains phytochemicals called isoflavones that produce biological effects in humans who consume them. The two main types of isoflavones found in soybeans are genisteins and daidzeins. These substances are believed to help reduce the risks of many cancers, in particular cancers of the breast, lungs, colon, rectum, stomach, and prostate.
According to studies, genistein (an estrogenic isoflavone) appears to play a role in inhibiting cancerous tumours in several different ways. It may affect the activity of the enzymes in the body that turn normal cells into cancer cells, including tyrosine kinases, a type of enzyme that is involved in controlling cell growth and regulating cell activity. Genistein may also attack cancers that depend on hormones to grow, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Genistein may counter the effect of these hormones and block the development of cancer cells and the growth of tumours. Some studies have shown that genistein may even turn existing cancer cells into normal cells.
Soy-based foods may reduce the risk of osteoporosis by contributing to calcium intake. The isoflavones in soybeans may also help to prevent bone deterioration and calcium loss, because soy proteins help the body to retain calcium. Together with regular physical activity, a healthy diet including a sufficient intake of calcium and Vitamin D can strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
The prebiotics used in Natur-a Almond and Natur-a S2 beverages also helps increase calcium absorption.
The low-level estrogenic activity of the isoflavones in soybeans can help to offset the effects of reduced estrogen production by the ovaries that is associated with menopause. These isoflavones can thus reduce certain symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats and hot flashes.
Soy is recognized as reducing both the total cholesterol level and the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, commonly known as “bad cholesterol”), especially in people with slight or severe hypertension. It can also reduce the total serum cholesterol level.
Research has also shown that soy raises the level of “good cholesterol” (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL). Recent studies have shown that isoflavones are the active ingredients in soy that are responsible for reducing the levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. (Source: “The Healing Power of Soy”, Health Foods Business, July 1998).
We recommend that you try both Natur-a Soy Unsweetened and Natur-a Almond Unsweetened. The other Natur-a flavours contain evaporated organic cane juice. This natural sugar is regarded as a monosaccharide, or simple sugar, that you must take into account if you need to limit your sugar intake. We advise you to discuss your dietary restrictions with your doctor.
Isoflavones are currently the subject of intensive research, because of their physiological effects: they help to reduce the risks of certain chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis, and also help to ease the symptoms of menopause.
Some sugars contained in soybeans do cause increased intestinal gas in people who have a low tolerance for beans. However, soy beverages contain very little of these sugars compared with whole beans. If you know that you have a low tolerance for beans or for other foods that cause gas, try easing soy into your diet gradually. Start by drinking smaller portions of soy beverages (1/4 to 1/2 a cup), and then increase your consumption gradually until your body becomes accustomed to digesting this healthy whole food.