Ovarian Cysts and the Use of Soy Products

There is a great confusion about one of the main cause of ovarian cysts. Excess estrogen! Or what we know in alternative medicine as estrogen dominance. Prior to ovulation, there is supposed to be a surge of progesterone to help the egg to be released and at the same time prevent the formation of permanent cysts. When this does not happen, these cysts will grow with every menstrual cycle. The problem becomes chronic. We see health practitioners recommend hormone to shrink these cysts with no attempt in trying to get the body to regulate its own hormonal problem. Estrogen is the culprit. Progesterone is the good guy (or should I say gal). There are many factors that cause estrogen dominance:

  1. Obesity – Fat is a producer of estrogen
  2. Diet high in fat – the more fat you eat the more fat you have and as a result more estrogen
  3. Lack of Fiber
  4. Dysfunctional liver
  5. Not eating enough cruciferous vegetables such as Broccoli and Cabbage
  6. Lack of exercise – woman who are athletic tend to not get their menses

Since the discovery of Soy and its benefits many have started to use Soy products liberally. We also have some form of Soy almost in everything we buy in the supermarket (soy oil, soy isolates, soy lecithin to mention a few). Studies have shown clearly that cultures that use soy as part of their diets have less:

  1. Heart attacks
  2. Lower cholesterol levels
  3. Lower incidence for female cancers such as breast cancer
  4. Stronger bones
  5. Lower rates of prostate cancer

These studies found out that the main reason for this was a substance called genistein which had phyto-estrogenic properties. In other words, Soy has a form of estrogen that binds to receptors and blocks the bad estrogen of the body preventing these diseases. So after this discovery Americans started using Soy products excessively. Soy milk for the cereal, soy yogurt, soy patties, soy burgers, soy everything! The result of this was the opposition of what was expected and opposite to the results that the other cultures were obtaining.

What is the Reason?

Most Asian and oriental cultures that use Tofu or Soy products use it in small amounts. It is more like a once or twice a week condiment or used in small amounts of food. Used this way soy is beneficial. Soy and Ovarian cysts So the question is: Can a woman who has ovarian cysts use soy products. If Soy has a substance that acts like estrogen would not soy cause more estrogen dominance? My answer is if you use large amounts of soy products on a daily basis you find yourself in trouble and causing those ovarian cysts to grow. The phyto-estrogen in soy will stimulate too much these cysts and cause trouble.

But if you use Soy products in small amounts no more than 2-3 times per week, then the answer is soy will actually help in preventing this problem and may even help improve. Small amounts of Soy protect while large amounts of Soy cause trouble. This is why we see these opposite reports of the bad and the good of soy. Some defend it and some hate it.

Conclusion: Use small amounts of soy 2-3 times a weeks and you will not have any trouble or make your ovarian cysts get worse. Tamoxifen is a medication that is given to young woman who have breast or female cancers that are due to estrogen. Tamoxifen is a weak estrogen that prevails the estrogen of the body to stimulate cancer growth. The same principle applies to Soy. Use small amount and it will protect you. Large sizes will hurt you!