The Safety of Soya
The VVF examines the latest science on soya. We give you the facts on the wealth of health benefits and the supposed risks of the humble soya bean.
By Dr Justine Butler
VVF Senior Health Campaigner
Over the last few years we have heard how soya is a very good source of nutrients and can protect against heart disease, certain cancers and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms – it might even help boost brain power. However, not all the reports on soya are favourable and the health benefits have been questioned by some while others have gone even further, launching a vigorous anti-soya crusade. The result is confusion – people don’t know what to believe. The VVF has looked at the research in its entirety and this fact sheet sets the record straight.
The history of soya consumption
There is a long history of people safely consuming soya beans, dating back to the 11th century BC (3,000 years ago) in the eastern part of Northern China. The period from the first century AD to the 15th-16th century saw the introduction of soya beans in many parts of Asia, including Japan and India, and in 1765 the soya bean was introduced to the USA (JHCI, 2002). Since then, it has become an important part of the diets of many populations and in more recent years has found favour with vegetarians and vegans because of its many nutrients and health benefits. However, as the popularity of soya has grown, so has the number of critics questioning the benefits of this humble bean. Continue reading