A Boring Update and a(n even more boring) Rant

Day 26…Seriously.  I’m almost 1/3 of the way through, that’s just crazy talk.  I’ll be honest and say this weekend I ate cheese and some baked goods that had eggs and butter in them.  A friend was in town and we don’t get to see him very often so I went crazy.  But, back on the vegan train and and feeling good and also kind of proud of myself that with him here I still only missed 1 day of working out.

Today starts working out twice a day because I can and it’s that awesome.  I’m sort of feeling ashamed that I didn’t do this sooner, I mean, it’s this easy to get healthier and feel better…I’m embarrassed that I didn’t do it before now.  But, there’s no time like the present or something like that.  The other day a friend who I see fairly often told me that she’s never seen one lose weight this fast.  Which was really sweet.  Thanks friend.

I know I said that I wouldn’t talk about Body By Vi while talking about my health, but I have a need to wrap it up at this point and a blog post is the most efficient way to do it.  First and foremost, if anyone reading this knows the answer to my question, please, please share it.  I really would love to know, it just would be a little obsessive of me to continue with this whole thing.

I contacted Visalus and a couple local people who sell it locally to ask where their soy is sourced from because of the way we process it here and the other top soy producing countries.  The one who contacted me back (thank you for that) told me the same thing that the website told me and the same thing that another Vi supplier told a different blogger.  Here is the stock answer that I got from all three sources:

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about soy in the marketplace today. In countries where consumption of soy is high (like Japan) the populations are healthier and have fewer health issues than in America today. So we know that there is misinformation, and facts being taken out of context. (Just an additional comment by Char here, in Japan, they eat edamame and not the mature soybean that we consume here, and most importantly, they ferment it which makes it an entirely different product than we consume here.)

Of the concerns over soy, there are a few common ones. First, is referring to raw soybeans, that can contain a form of phytic acid that can block certain minerals absorption. However, that is based on massive consumption quantities, and of the raw soybean and only occurs in those animals that lack the digestive enzyme phytase. It is only an issue for people who consume those foods to get minerals in their diet, and in massive quantities. The issue is in developing countries, and may have a genetic basis as well because they are lacking the digestive enzyme (which can be supplemented and therefore alleviate the concern). It is not an issue for our products because of how we process the ingredients.  (As an additional note from Char, no culture on the planet consumes “massive quantities of raw soybeans.)

The second common concern with soy are due to some of the components of soy, particularly the isoflavones genistein and dadzein which can affect and inhibit thyroid peroxidase which is necessary for the production of T3 and T4. Thus there is some evidence that it could lead to thryoid enlargement (Goiter) . Our soy has been processed to remove the isoflavones, so this is not an issue.  (Additional note, the isoflavones really are what present a lot of the problems that come from soy, you can find them all in soy milk, so I’m going to have to ask you to switch to almond milk, because it’s freakin’ delicious.)

A third common concern about soy is the effect it may have on estrogen levels in the body. This is again due to the isoflavones, which we have had removed. So this is a non-worry. We should note that many menopausal women do supplement with isoflavones, as it has been shown to help them experience fewer side effects of menopause. (Additional note, soy may help in menopausal women, BUT, here in this country, again with the process we put it through, doctors tell women with endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, PMDD, and other hormonal fluctuations to consume ZERO soy.)

Lastly, our Soy is not genetically modified (it is non-GMO). Many people worry about genetically modified soy, and if any of the ingredients got altered in the breeding process. We use the most natural form we can get, that has not been genetically modified.  (Additional note, I believe them, but this is another reason why I wanted to know where the crap they found non-GMO soy.)

Seems solid, right?  Except none of these things answer my question.  Which is indicative of 1) how much they really educate those who sell their products and 2) how highly they think of the person consuming their products.

In order to isolate the protein in soy, (soy protein isolate is the first ingredient listed on Vi’s shakes) we use a method called solvent extraction.  Also, soy protein is just a by product of manufacturing canola oil and in the information I’ve found, which may be outdated at this point, has only ever been approved as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA in the manufacturing of cardboard.  That’s a little alarming to me because I feel like the FDA approves almost anything…ie pink slime.  But, in the interest of fairness, there are lots of herbal supplements out there that I consider to be safe that haven’t been considered by the FDA also, so, eh, take it or leave it.

OK, solvent extraction, it’s how we get the soy protein isolate without the isoflavones.  The solvent?  Hexane.  A know neurotoxin.  But, again to be fair, I have read a few things that say they no longer use hexane in the extraction of soy proteins for human consumption.  They use methanol.  A known neurotoxin.  Also, I have a friend who works at USSEC (United States Soy Bean Export Council) and tells me that yes, this is how we process soy in this country if they are a part of the conglomerate of soy farmers that export their crops (51% of all soy we produce is exported, and less than 10% of it is raised for human consumption, fun facts :)).  Also, we got the solvent extraction process thing from the Canadians, so they process this way also.

Also, in the interest of fairness, Visalus says that their soy doesn’t come from GMOs which is pretty hard to come by in this country, which is why my question wasn’t how do you process your soy but rather where does it come from?  No answer…but, to put your mind at ease solvent extraction is also how they isolate the proteins in soy in Brazil, Argentina and China so all 4 top soy producers in the world use this method.  So, you can pretty much guarantee that if you drink a BBV shake, you’re getting a little dose of neurotxin that’s just sitting in your poor liver and one day, if your liver gets triggered and dumps that stuff into your blood watch out kidneys!  You may be toast.  That’s admittedly a doomsday scenario, but it could, hypothetically happen.  More likely, what will happen is you’ll get sick.  How sick?  I don’t know.  All of your muscles are going to hurt, you’re going to be fatigued and there will be stress on your kidneys as they try to filter out the additional toxins flowing in your blood.

Also, I’d like to stress that this isn’t just a Visalus issue, it’s a soy issue.  Canola oil, soy milk, tofu, etc., etc., they need not be consumed.

More to the point is that we’re responsible for what we put into our bodies.  Read ingredient labels and be informed.  The more something doesn’t look the way it did in nature the less you should consume it.  Find out the way your food is processed, plant or animal.  It’s important.

Oh, and one other thing in regards specifically to Vi.  This whole thing about it curing type two diabetes.  Look.  A type two diabetic probably is someone who doesn’t really care all that much about what they eat.  You take that person and tell them to drink two shakes a day and then a healthy meal in the evening and healthy snacks between they’re going to get rid of it.  It’s not rocket surgery (that’s is my favorite wrong thing to say, rocket surgery, you can’t do surgery on rockets, it amuses me).  Besides that, it’s the lifestyle change that heals their body, not the Vi.  The same thing would happen if they just plain ate better.  But it’s always cool when people get healed of something.

Now, unless someone knows the answers, this is me, washing the soy blood off of my hands.  Ahhhhh, that feels good.


~ by skoobiandmister on April 25, 2012.

3 Responses to “A Boring Update and a(n even more boring) Rant”

  1. Not boring at all. Jordan Rubin is adamantly against soy, by the way, so you’re in good company.

  2. That was great Char. I have been researching myself because I was interested in promoting and have to believe in the things I promote. Urgh. It’s getting harder and harder to believe as I research. Thank you.

  3. So glad to help Janna!

    Dale, thanks, you’re the best. I do think that Jordan is a whey fan though, which I’ve also been researching and have actually found a few at least intriguing studies that have said that caseins cause cancer. (caseins are the primary proteins in whey/cow’s milk.) Which made me think of you because you never drank milk when we lived with you.

    But, in the same breath casein also contains a ton of very good amino acids. Which leaves me in a “what to do, what to do?” situation because my children are milk fiends.

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