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activated soy isoflavones in fermented foods  RSS feed

 
Burra Maluca
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Sorry, I'm joining in a bit late, but I've just been 'prescribed' True Food® Soyagen Fully activated, organic, whole Soya isoflavones as a bit of a last ditch attempt to control my endometriosis which seems to have progressed to a rather advanced level and is starting to freak me out a bit.

The blurb says that "Most Soya supplements offer 35-40mg isoflavones, but these are not active. The Japanese only eat fermented Soya foods, a process which activates the isoflavones. Soyagen® offers a high concentration of fully activated isoflavones because it has been activated by a special Saccharomyces cerevisiae (food yeast) fermentation"/ My new doctor, who is both a medical doctor and a natural health practitioner says that in Japan they get these same 'activated' soy isoflavones through their diet, by eating fermented soy products.

I've sent off for the tablets, but I'd also like to try to produce my own fermented soy products which contain their own activated isoflavones. Do you know anything about them? Which products are the best for my to try to make? Tempeh? Any others? Does your book have recipes in them which would guide me (the archetypal 'complete idiot' when it comes to such things) to make them myself? What about starer culutures? The blurb on the tablets mentions Saccharomyces cerevisiae - isn't that just ordinary brewers or bakers yeast? Is that the stuff I need to buy to make my own fermented soy foods?

Any light you could shed on the subject would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance.
 
Tim Crowhurst
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Location: Bedford, England: zone 8/AHS 2
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I just had a quick google and the fermented soy foods I could find include tempeh, soy sauce, natto and miso. I don't know which ones would contain activated isoflavones, but since natto, miso and tempeh all contain the entire bean I'm guessing they're the most likely. That said, it might be sensible to check with your doctor before going down this route. Soy products contain high levels of phytoestrogens, which could make the endometriosis worse since they act like oestrogen within the body. If your diet is high in soy foods you might like to try eating none for a month and see what effect that has. Very often a physical problem can be solved not by eating something as a cure, but by not eating something that's causing/exacerbating the problem. I have to limit my dairy intake due to IBS; my mother can't eat onions, wheat, rye or barley as they cause lethargy and headaches; my aunt has to avoid anything with high levels of oxalic acid as she has rheumatoid arthritis; my father has to limit his intake of oily fish as he's highly sensitive to mercury; and so on. Also, find out if soyagen is free of phytoestrogens - if so that should be a better option than fermented soy foods.
 
Burra Maluca
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From what I remember about phytoestrogens, they generally fit onto the oestrogen receptors but only have some, not all, of the effects of our own oestrogen. And each one will have a slightly different effect, which might differ from person to person. The idea is that if you have too much oestrogen, (which is basically my problem, even though I'm supposed to be entering menopause) then if you eat foods with phytoestogens they may effectively block some of your own oestrogen as they fit onto the receptors instead of your own. I've messed about a bit with a few things and have found a combination of herbs which do seem to help - some had entirely the wrong effect so it took a while! I've had the endo for over 30 years and it's been pretty progressive but every now and then I find something which turns the clock back a few years. It's all finally catching up with me though and I need to find a few more magic bullets so I can hold off the worst of the damage for as long as possible until I finally achieve cronehood.

I used to eat quite a lot of soy in the form of soy milk as my son was allergic to cow's milk for many years, but when his allergy wore off we switched back to cow's milk as the old man preferred it and as his appetite was failing we used to make lots of milk-shakes and things for him. I didn't notice any improvement when I stopped taking soy, so I'm quite happy to experiment taking it again in case it helps. It's very hard to judge results these days though as hormones seem to be in a free-for-all rollercoaster ride rather than a cycle and it's very hard to judge what effect anything has as everything is just too random.

I spoke to my doctor about it all today and he basically shrugged at the soy milk and said it probably wouldn't do much for me, but was pleased that I'd managed to source some miso and told me to eat as much as I could. I think learning to make miso is now one of my new ambitions!
 
Judith Browning
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I keep buying a starter for miso and chickening out even after reading Sandor Katz. But I have been making tempeh for five years or more and we are really happy with it. The starter is available from GEM, a family owned business, on the west coast along with other interesting starters. The hardest part for me was the incubation temperature ...too cold stops the ferment and too hot makes something the dog loves but not us. I had some failed batches in the beginning but then really consistant until the last couple and I think my oven needs to be lit to sterilize so we had to buy a new burner. I only used the oven with the light and a kettle of hot water to get the incubation temperature correct. The miso is a bit more complicated but my concern was the long incubation ...six months to a year instead of twentyfour hours for tempeh. We drive south to buy organic soybeans by the fifty pound bag at a really good price right where they are grown.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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