Wikipedia: "In January 2006, an American Heart Association review (in the journal "Circulation") of a decade long study of soy protein benefits casts doubt on the FDA allowed "Heart Healthy" claim for soy protein.
The panel also found that soy isoflavones DO NOT reduce post menopause "hot flashes" in women nor do isoflavones help prevent cancers of the breast, uterus or prostate. The original paper is in the journal Circulation: January 17,2006
Abstract--Soy protein and isoflavones (phytoestrogens) have gained considerable attention for their potential role in improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This scientific advisory assesses the more recent work published on soy protein and its component isoflavones.
In the majority of 22 randomized trials, isolated soy protein with isoflavones, as compared with milk or other proteins, decreased LDL cholesterol concentrations; the average effect was 3%. This reduction is very small relative to the large amount of soy protein tested in these studies, averaging 50 g, about half the usual total daily protein intake.
No significant effects on HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein(a), or blood pressure were evident. Among 19 studies of soy isoflavones, the average effect on LDL cholesterol and other lipid risk factors was nil. Soy protein and isoflavones have not been shown to lessen vasomotor symptoms of menopause, and results are mixed with regard to soy's ability to slow postmenopausal bone loss.
The efficacy and safety of soy isoflavones for preventing or treating cancer of the breast, endometrium, and prostate are not established; evidence from clinical trials is meager and cautionary with regard to a possible adverse effect. For this reason, use of isoflavone supplements in food or pills is not recommended.
Thus, earlier research indicating that soy protein has clinically important favorable effects as compared with other proteins has not been confirmed. In contrast, many soy products should be beneficial to cardiovascular and overall health because of their high content of polyunsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low content of saturated fat.Full text of the article
It seems that for the last decade, we've been dupes of the soy industry, who mounted a highly successful campaign to convince the public that the by-product of manufacturing soy oil is a health food.
The article abstract above states that many of the specific health claims for soy products are largely baseless, but still endorses many soy products as possibly beneficial to health. The question is which soy products?
Personally, I think I'll continue to stick with traditional fermented whole soy products such as tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy sauce, made with organic soybeans, but not as my principle source of vegetarian protein. And skip the TVP/TSP soy isolates made from GMO soybeans.
Consider this article a cautionary tale, of the know-what's-in-your-food variety. If you're a TVP fan, feel free to ignore me, keep eating soy isolates, and support GM foods, DuPont, and industrial agriculture.
Or think about what you could eat instead, like tempeh, or seitan, both of which you can actually make in your kitchen. Or several of the hundreds of varieties of beans and lentils.Pt 1 - What Is TVP or TSP? Pt 2 - This Is A Health Food?