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Uh oh, Tofu Trouble?

 
 
Reply Fri 4 Jul, 2008 01:03 pm
from BBC News,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/7490202.stm


Tofu 'may raise risk of dementia'


Tofu is a widely eaten soy product
Eating high levels of some soy products - including tofu - may raise the risk of memory loss, research suggests.

The study focused on 719 elderly Indonesians living in urban and rural regions of Java.
The researchers found high tofu consumption - at least once a day - was associated with worse memory, particularly among the over-68s.
The Loughborough University-led study features in the journal Dementias and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders.

Soy products are a major alternative protein source to meat for many people in the developing world.

This kind of research into the causes of Alzheimer's could lead scientists to new ways of preventing this devastating disease.
But soy consumption is also on the increase in the west, where it is often promoted as a "superfood".
Soy products are rich in micronutrients called phytoestrogens, which mimic the impact of the female sex hormone oestrogen.
There is some evidence that they may protect the brains of younger and middle-aged people from damage - but their effect on the ageing brain is less clear.
The latest study suggests phytoestrogens - in high quantity - may actually heighten the risk of dementia.

Lead researcher Professor Eef Hogervorst said previous research had linked oestrogen therapy to a doubling of dementia risk in the over-65s.
She said oestrogens - and probably phytoestrogens - tended to promote growth among cells, not necessarily a good thing in the ageing brain.
Alternatively, high doses of oestrogens might promote the damage caused to cells by particles known as free radicals.
A third theory is that damage is caused not by the tofu, but by formaldehyde, which is sometimes used in Indonesia as a preservative.

The researchers admit that more research is required to ascertain whether the same effects are found in other ethnic groups.
However, previous research has also linked high tofu consumption to an increased risk of dementia in older Japanese American men.


Professor David Smith, of the University of Oxford, said tofu was a complex food with many ingredients which might have an impact.
However, he said: "There seems to be something happening in the brain as we age which makes it react to oestrogens in the opposite way to what we would expect."

The latest study also found that eating tempe, a fermented soy product made from the whole soy bean, was associated with better memory.
Professor Hogervorst said the beneficial effect of tempe might be related to the fact that it contains high levels of the vitamin folate, which is known to reduce dementia risk.

"It may be that that the interaction between high levels of both folate and phytoestrogens protects against cognitive impairment."
She also stressed that there was no suggestion that eating tofu in moderation posed a problem.

Rebecca Wood, of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, which funded the study, said more research was needed to pin down the potential risks and benefits of so-called superfoods.

However, she said: "This kind of research into the causes of Alzheimer's could lead scientists to new ways of preventing this devastating disease.
"As over half a million people have Alzheimer's in the UK today, there is a desperate need to find a new prevention or cure."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,769 • Replies: 13
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 05:22 pm
i recall that some years ago , concern was expressed about high consumption of tofu .
this report was originally published in the year 2000 !

link :
DANGERS OF EXCESSIVE TOFU CONSUMPTION

i eat tofu perhaps 3-3 times a year - have you noticed any changes in my postings during that time :wink: ?
hbg
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 05:44 pm
Nah, you're ok; in fact, you're only getting smarter.


I remember that excessive amounts of soy powder had bad med press for people who had had breast cancer with identified estrogen receptor (excuse me if I don't remember to summarize that precisely) but that occasional soy milk or tofu was ok.

Of course, a lot of women don't know they have starter breast cancers...

Soy byproduct is in a lot of our packaged foods now, so I suppose this is something for more research.
0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 05:48 pm
I've practically ceased eating tofu for some time--it used to be my fave food. Sad i still eat natto--fermented soy beans--which doesn't have the degenerative effects of tofu, as far as i know.
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 05:57 pm
osobucco wrote :

Quote:
Nah, you're ok; in fact, you're only getting smarter.


please , please ! stop those compliments or my head will swell even more "
hbg


(ok , ok , let the applause continue :wink: )
http://www.magicity.com/images/1ApplauseCard.gif
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 06:26 pm
Applauding more...



Yitwail, that article said tempe (I don't know if that is different than natto) had beneficial results re memory..
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 07:28 pm
I think eating tofu moderately does not have a negative effect. After all, tofu and derivatives (soybean milk, soy sauce, etc.) are staples in Asian food and the Asian people don't really show signs of sickness from them.

Just like eating anything else, moderation is key, you can't really go wrong.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 07:35 pm
anything in high amounts is bad

I wonder sometimes about the 'anti tofu' people and... ( yes here comes a bit of a conspiracy theory.. but living in america, can you blame me?)
I wonder if it is really that 'dangerous' or is it just more dangerous to the beef industry's' pocket?

or am i just smoking something ?
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 07:46 pm
Agreed, cello.

I'm a little sorry to have tangented on to talking about indications re soy and breast cancer survivors when the article is about memory. Couldn't help it....

As a older breast cancer survivor of seven years with an undeterminable reading re estrogen receptor on the pathology report, I do use soy sauce and tofu sometimes, and the occasional carton of soy milk, as my surgeon said was fine, but I wouldn't even call it moderate - more "light". My dairy milk alternate is almond milk, when I can find it, and I still drink regular milk too.

The onus of the report against soy with estrogen rec + breast cancer survivors was not against the milk or tofu, etc., but on the powders, which apparently some people use a great deal. I'm just careful.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 07:58 pm
Well, I think you're smoking on this one, not that both things aren't going on, but there are legitimate papers re the kind of thing I was talking about with the powder. And, if I remember right, plenty of papers re the beneficial aspects of soy et al for those without bc already.

On the memory thing, I think it at least bears further more elaborate study, but it was talking about high use.

And on the powders, I never read the paper(s) but understood that the caution was about overuse of them.
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 07:59 pm
Quote:
anything in high amounts is bad


that just about sums it up , doesn't it ?
you can even drink too much water !

the report/study i recall was based upon the population of a small village on a small japanese island ( :wink: ) , where tofu was the predominant diet . apparently , seniors on that island suffered more from dimentia than japanese seniors in general - but perhaps there may have been other factors involved .

just recently listened to a food scientist who claimed that science knows relatively little about the effects of eating certain foods upon people .
comparing it to medical science , he said that food science is where medical science was about 250 years ago .
he claimed that science also knows relatively little about the human digestive process .

(i can attest to that ! i was referred to the G.I. department at our local university teaching hospital for some tests . when i mentioned that certain foods caused digestive problems , they provided a simple answer : STOP EATING FOODS THAT DON'T AGRE WITH YOU ! Laughing . that was AFTER i had had a couple of colonoscopies and other "pleasant" examinations - wish they'd advised me before ! Rolling Eyes - guess they needed a guinea-pig ! ) .
hbg
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 08:05 pm
Sorry, floated over the high use sentence, shewolf. Agreed....


I suppose I should look up some papers. Yawwwwwn.


Meantime, I'll still put tofu in my miso soup.
0 Replies
 
cello
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 08:09 pm
I would not trust powders as they may have been treated chemically or they may have destroyed the good nutrients of soy or changed the molecular composition of it, such that it could become unhealthy if taken in big doses.

Maybe the Japanese people who were tested had dementia because they did not eat other food, since they ate so much tofu, or it could be any other reason.

Nowadays, I don't believe these kinds of reports any more, they have not settled yet the question of whether coffee is good or bad for me, keep changing every day. Laughing
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2008 08:38 pm
(Indonesian....)


Well, I have a lot of alzheimer's disease history with the women in my family as well. Some of the estrogen or phytoestrogen connections with disease states seem age related, and I have some years accruing. I'm not waiting for years' more studies to go for light use. But I'll agree cheerfully that this topic post was about just one study.
0 Replies
 
 

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