Researchers link soy beans with production of sperm
A naturally-occurring ingredient of soy beans has been found to interfere with a part of the male reproductive system involved in sperm production.
Soy products are increasingly sold as substitutes for dairy-based food but there is evidence to suggest they contain natural chemicals that mimic the effect of female sex hormones. Soy contains genistein, known to interact with the "receptor" molecules on cells designed to respond to oestrogens.
A laboratory-based study by Ren-Shan Ge of the Wenzhou Medical College in China found that genistein can interfere with the production of vital enzymes involved in producing sperm.
"Following ingestion, soy isoflavones are known to reach the reproductive organs. Thus, excessive exposure to agents that exhibit oestrogenic activity may affect male reproductive tract developments and functions," the researchers say in the study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology.
"With regard to this concern, it has been estimated the genistein and daidzein can reach high concentrations in infants who consume large amounts of soy-based products," they say.
The concentrations of genistein used in the laboratory study are roughly equivalent to the levels that can build up in the human body following a diet rich in soy products.
However, Professor Ieuan Hughes of the University of Cambridge said that a comprehensive inquiry into the oestrogenic chemicals found in soy and other food has failed to find any adverse effects on male reproductive health.
"I suspect the genistein effect is of little relevance to male human health... there was no evidence that soy products had adverse effects on male reproductive health, either via testis function or any other mechanism such as androgen [male hormone] action," he said.
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says 'they messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive + incentives + uncapped comms: SThree:...
£34000 - £36000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Analytics & Reporting Tea...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a world leader ...
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...