Concerns about Soy Cultivation: What is Known and What is not Known

There is a discrepancy in how phytoestrogens and soy products are viewed in science and medicine. Among edible plants, phytoestrogens are most abundant in soy, and are structurally and functionally analogous to estrogens, with their biological action mediated by estrogen receptors. Soy products are widely used in infant food and other foodstuffs; and, at the same time, phytoestrogens have been applied for compensation of hormone deficiency in menopause. Furthermore, soy is applied as livestock fodder, and residual phytoestrogens and their active metabolites can remain in meats. There are only few reports on modified gender-related behavior or feminization in humans as a result of soy consumption. In animals, the intake of phytoestrogens was reported to impact fertility, sexual development and behavior. 

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