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Soy Milk not so good for you??

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi all,

Two things I have heard recently :
- many people have a hard time digesting soy milk
- soy milk can impair the immune system???

I'm not so sure about the immune system part - would love to hear more info about this if anyone has any.

But in my ongoing digestive saga post ileostomy reversal / colon re-section, I've discovered that I likely have problems digesting soy milk. My mom had noticed when doing an elimination diet looking for food sensitivities. I finally did the elimination diet myself. I cut out soy and voila no gas!! So now I have switched to Lactose-free cow's milk. I seem to be tolerating it pretty well.

I'm wondering what people think of this. I need to talk more with my naturopath. I had heard that cow's milk was kind of a baddie as far as nutrition for a colon cancer survivor. I think it is the fat - casein? But I really would like to drink it for the added calcium as I am in early menopause.

Any input much appreciated -

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi maria!

Soy is controversial. There are two passionate camps on this. So it gets confusing.

Fact is though that soy is one of the biggie allergy problems, therefore you see many packages declaring soy in the product as a heads-up.

Non-organic cow's milk is actually not good for you and there are other better ways to get calcium into your diet.

Cow's milk is mucus forming and gunks up your pipes making it harder for nutrients to be absorbed.

Have you tried goat's milk?

A really good book with a ton of intestinal info is The Makers Diet by Dr. Jordan Ruben. He talks a lot about this stuff. He cured his chronic (and life threatening) Crohn's Disease through diet after traveling around the globe searching for a cure. I think it's one of the best books thaat I have read for intestinal info. It's not geared towards cancer per se, but it sure gives a lot of Ah-ha moments.

If you drink cow's milk I suggest you try to find organic that hasn't been pumped full of hormones.

Back to the soy milk issue--in macrobiotics it's considered "processed" so they suggest you don't rely heavily on it. Personally I cannot do the cow's milk so when I want something made with milk i will use it or rice milk or almond milk.

As a colon cancer survivor my biggest focus is to keep my pipes in great working order and as you said, cow's milk is kinda a colon cancer no-no (along with red meat, potato chips, french fries) so maybe you can try the goats' milk or have you tried almond milk?

hope this helps.

peace, emily who hasn't had cow's milk in 23 years and doesn't miss it. :-) moo!

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hellooo Emily! Moooo : )

Yes, I knew I remember you telling my about milk and mucus! : )

And I have heard that there are many places to get calcium including kale and other veggies. But I like cereal in the morning too. I only buy organic cow's milk. I tried rice milk but it seems like it has got a bunch of junk in it (chemicals) and I couldn't find an organic version. Rice dream is not organic. I haven't seen almond milk. I'll look for it.

Thanks as always Emily!

rthornton's picture
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005


If you really want to know about the bad effects of milk, here's a facinating video that you can watch: http://www.comedycentral.com/sitewide/media_player/play.jhtml?itemId=12717

You will be enlightened.


Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Rodney -

For a minute I was worried - this post seemed somewhat out of character. THEN I checked out the video. I still feel like I know you!

Funny and "enlightening"!


markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Hahahaha....gotta love the daily show's investigative journalism..heehee

thanks Rodney for the laughs!

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006


Nice post. I must admit that I do cheat and have a drop of milk in my tea a couple of times a week.

On soy, I agree the information out there is very confusing at best. I eat a lot of this stuff coz I don't eat meat.

There's a good articles on many aspects of soy, with a lot of references cited. You can find it at http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soymessina.

Off to having a large piece of tempeh :)


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

oh yum! I love tempeh! but that's fermented and not considered processed. I eat a lot of tofu too and that's more processed, but not as much as say soy cheese (which I also indulge in on occasion).

There is now an Organic Rice Dream. I like having muesli too or wheat germ with blueberries for breakfast so I have the soy milk or rice milk or almond milk. It's all considered processed. Personally I cannot drink goats milk--I cannot digest it (must be lacking the enzyme) because it makes me burp something fierce and nothing worse than burping up barnyard tastes! haha! (we used to raise goats--I know from whence I speak!) :-) baa!

I think having a drop now and again is much different than having glasses per day and living on cheese products.

Do you put avacado on your tempeh sandwich? yum!!

peace, emily who is getting hungry now.....

Posts: 55
Joined: Jul 2006

I have read that soy has a plant estrogen which is considered not good for breast cancer treatments involving hormone therapy and have heard nutritionists talk about this estrogen not being good for cancer survivors in general (don't know exactly why).I don't know what role, if any it plays in colon cancer. If I can find any info about it when It's not so late in the eve, I'll post it here.


Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

My nutritionist told me to watch my intake of soy milk and to limit it to 1 serving a day. It is in the milk, I can't remember the exact name, but it starts with a C and it is a long word. Some brands have more in it than others.

For your calcium needs try yogurt! But stick to the organic milk products. :) And do weight bearing exercise to build your bone strength. AND, get a Dexa scan done to assess your bones. At 34 years old I discovered I was osteopenic; and I used to be a gymnast and did weight training... I think it is because of the steriods given with the chemo.

Good luck. All this nutritional info can get very overwhelming! jana

chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

I don't have anything enlightening about soy milk or cow milk... I'm just as confused or more than the rest; but I wanted to respond to lev.

I recently had my women wellness exam in October. We were discussing the different options for birth control and the different pills available. After discussing, she decided not to prescribe me any pills because of the Estrogen and my having cancer.

She told me, in her words, "Estrogen can feed cancer and cause it to grow." To me, it sounds like it can have the same effect as sugar.

It's still interesting how many doctors push drinking cow's milk.

How to you get or make almond milk?

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Any Whole Foods Market will carry rice and almond milk; actually, a lot of regular grocery stores do as well - or will probably order anything you would like.

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jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

My daughter and I are allergic to soy and what I've read says(if we can go by statistics) that about 6% of people are. Try eliminating all soy for a while. It is hard to do because it is in everything. The new labels help. It is sometimes called miso, shoyo sauce, soy flour, soy grits, soy nuts, soy sprouts, soy protein, soy sauce, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, tofu, flavorings, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrlyzed vegetable protein, vegetable broth, vegetable gum, vegetable starch, and others I haven't even named. You might try eliminating it for a little while since the milk bothers you. jams

markatger's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Feb 2005

Thanks everyone for replies!

I personally am not too concerned about the estrogen in soy milk, considering my doctors want to prescibe HRT to me for early menopause.

It was this weird thing about it impairing the immune system that I thought was intereting. Especially since I have been drinking plenty of soy milk and my White blood cells haven't come up since I finished chemo more than 6 months ago. Well the count is right below normal so it has come up some but I wish it was healthily back in the normal range.

Thanks again!

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Howdy, Maria -

I just can't drink soy mild or rice milk due to it's consistency - I don't even care for 2% for that matter. A lot of the concern with bovine milk - beyond the fat content - is that it does or may contain various chemicals/steroids/etc. I know there are some studies that frown on excessive soy consumption due to the risk of cancer associated with soy's natural estrogen (Emily - think about that as you eat your Thanksgiving Tofurkey!)

You might try organic milk if that's a concern for you. If you are just looking for a calcium supplement check out the Viactive chocolate chews. They're pretty good (I tried one once, but don't enjoy them regularly for fear my voice will get high and my adam's apple will disappear!).

Although they are a good source of Calcium, they probably don't add much value to a bowl of Cheerios.


- SpongeBob

2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

you goof SB!! I have never had Tofurkey! HA! I am not vegan anymore--that was during my detoxing! I won't be eating turkey on thanksgiving this year though anyway since I will be going to relatives and most likely it will be some pumped up Butterball junk. IF I were to have turkey it would be free range organic naturally! :-) (I make a fab stuffing if I may say so myself)

Miso was found to facilitate the removal of radiation from the body after the Big Bomb in Japan was dropped so anytime any of us has radiation from our testing a little miso soup is a good idea.

I read that there is a chemical in chocolate that actually inhibits absorption of calcium so when you're drinking all that chocolate milk or chewing those Viactive candies then supposedly you aren't getting any calcium.

Easily assimilable calcium foods: broccoli, chestnuts, clams, dandelion greens, most dark green leafy veggies, flounder, hazelnuts, kale, kelp, molasses, oats, oysters, salmon, sardines, (with the bones), sea veggies, sesame seeds, (tahini too), shrimp, turnip greens, and wheat germ. (and soy but I skipped any soy products).

peace, emily

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