Q: Hi there, now I know soy protein research shows it can increase estrogen levels. But will soy protein isolate still increase estrogen levels? I’m a male bodybuilder and obviously don’t want any estrogen levels to raise.
A: This has been a controversial topic within bodybuilding circles for the longest time. The fact is, there is no credible published scientific research showing soy protein increases estrogen levels in healthy males. Soy contains compounds called isoflavones with the predominant ones being genistein and daidzein. Isoflavones, and the related compounds, are quite different from phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) and do not show hormone imbalances in human clinical studies. There is no scientific evidence that either soy foods, isoflavones, soy protein or soy protein isolate adversely affects hormone function in healthy males. There is also no published scientific evidence that soy reduces testosterone (total or free), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and the free androgen index (FAI) levels in males or raises estrogen levels. Soy is a high quality protein which is low in saturated fat and a great alternative to animal proteins. The health benefits clearly outweigh any purported negative effects so you can enjoy the benefits of soy protein or soy-based products as a male bodybuilder without worrying about reduced testosterone or increased estrogen levels.
Q: Are any of your protein shakes safe to eat during pregnancy? For example I frequently eat your Max Pro for a snack/meal replacement.
A: Maxpro would be a safe protein snack to take in-between meals during your pregnancy. I would not recommend Maxpro as a meal replacement since it does not contain added vitamins, minerals or fiber. If you are looking for an all natural option, we have a Natural Vanilla flavor. It is always advisable to let your doctor know of any supplements you are taking during each trimester of your pregnancy.
Latest Science News for May 2012
Josse AR, Atkinson SA, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Increased consumption of dairy foods and protein during diet-and exercise-induced weight loss promotes fat mass loss and lean mass gain in overweight and obese premenopausal women. J Nutr. 2011 Sep;141:1626-34.
Researchers sought to determine how daily exercise and a reduced-calorie diet varying in total protein and dairy foods affected the composition (i.e., muscle and fat) of weight lost. Ninety otherwise healthy, premenopausal, overweight and obese women who were habitually low dairy consumers were randomized into one of three groups: high protein/high dairy, adequate protein/adequate dairy and adequate protein/low dairy. All participants achieved a net reduction of 750 calories per day through a combination of reducing food intake and increasing exercise.
All groups lost similar amounts of body weight and total body fat over the 16-week study. However, the high protein/high dairy group, which obtained half their protein intake through dairy foods, lost more abdominal fat compared with the adequate protein/low dairy group. This is important to note as there is a strong association between abdominal or centrally located body fat and the risk for cardiovascular disease. The high protein/high dairy group also experienced an increase in lean body mass, while the adequate protein/low dairy group experienced a decrease in lean body mass.
While calorie reduction alone can lead to weight loss, the weight lost often includes not only fat, but also lean muscle. This research supports previous studies showing that higher protein diets during weight loss may help preserve muscle while losing fat. Additionally, this study demonstrates that this higher protein diet can be achieved through an increase in dairy foods.
Read Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21775530
Salehpour A, Shidfar F, Hosseinpanah F, et al. Vitamin D3 and the risk of CVD in overweight and obese women: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2012 Feb 9:1-8.
Evidence indicates that vitamin D deficiency contributes to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and body composition changes. In this study, healthy premenopausal overweight and obese women were randomly supplemented with 1,000 IU (25 mcg) vitamin D3 or placebo for 12 weeks. Results showed that supplementation with vitamin D3 can significantly improve HDL-cholesterol, apoA-I concentrations and LDL-cholesterol:apoB-100 ratio, which remained significant. Additionally, body fat mass was significantly decreased in the vitamin D group more than the placebo.
Read Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22317756
Xu Q, Parks CG, DeRoo LA, et al. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89:1857-63
Telomere length has been proposed as a marker of biological aging. Shorter telomeres have been linked with higher mortality within a given period of time and an increased risk of some chronic diseases. This study was conducted by researchers at the N.I.H. and provides the first epidemiologic evidence that the use of multivitamins by women is associated with longer telomeres: the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that shorten with the aging of a cell. The researchers found 5.1 percent longer telomeres on average in daily users of multivitamins compared with nonusers. Increased telomere length was associated with one a day and antioxidant formula use, but not with stress-tabs or B complex. Individual vitamin B12 supplements were associated with increased telomere length and iron supplements with shorter telomeres. When nutrients from food were analyzed, vitamins C and E emerged as protective against telomere loss. This study provides preliminary evidence linking multivitamin use to longer telomeres.
Read Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19279081
Yours In Health,
Phillip W. Harvey, PhD, RD, FACN, CNS
Chief Scientific Officer
Max Muscle Corporate USA