Re: Tofu: Bad News

Ian Goddard (
Sat, 27 Nov 1999 15:04:53 -0500

At 01:55 PM 11/27/1999 -0500, Harvey Newstrom wrote:

>Ian Goddard <> wrote:
>> Too much tofu induces 'brain aging,' study shows
>> A Hawaii research team says high consumption
>> of the soy product by a group of men lowered
>> mental abilities
>> By Helen Altonn
>> Star-Bulletin
>I have been watching this recent research with some concern, because I
>am a vegetarian and eat tofu. However, we have to be careful when a
>single new study comes out that refutes previous studies. Most studies
>show soy foods helping fight cancer and aging. ...

IAN: I'm also a tofu-eating vegetarian and very concerned by that study!! However, I'm inclined to believe it's accurate BECAUSE the soy-phytochemical genistein has been shown to fight cancer, and it has a property that many anti-cancer drugs have, which is reducing the rate of DNA synthesis. That property is great for reducing the proliferation of cells and promoting their death; unfortunately the evidence cited suggests the cytotoxic properties of genistein are nonspecific.

DNA synthesis is a critical attribute of the

  life cycle of a cell. Here's some data on that: 
Again, research shows genistein reduces DNA synthesis. There appear to be many health benefits of soybean products, however, I believe that brain atrophy is not an acceptable trade off unless genistein treats an otherwise untreatable fatal illness.

Evidence also suggests that curcumin may kill cancer cells. If true, I wonder how? It is possible that our explorations into health foods could run into unforeseen disasters. A good strategy is probably to eat a wide variety of foods, then if one should prove harmful, you haven't been overexposed to it.