Soybeans are high in phytic acid, present in the bran or hulls of all seeds. It's a substance that can block the uptake of essential minerals - calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc - in the intestinal tract. Although not a household word, phytic acid has been extensively studied; there are literally hundreds of articles on the effects of phytic acid in the current scientific literature. Scientists are in general agreement that grain- and legume-based diets high in phytates contribute to widespread mineral deficiencies in third world countries.15 Analysis shows that calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are present in the plant foods eaten in these areas, but the high phytate content of soy- and grain-based diets prevents their absorption.
The soybean has one of the highest phytate levels of any grain or legume that has been studied,16 and the phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking.17 Only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans. When precipitated soy products like tofu are consumed with meat, the mineral-blocking effects of the phytates are reduced.18 The Japanese traditionally eat a small amount of tofu or miso as part of a mineral-rich fish broth, followed by a serving of meat or fish.
Vegetarians who consume tofu and bean curd as a substitute for meat and dairy products risk severe mineral deficiencies. The results of calcium, magnesium and iron deficiency are well known; those of zinc are less so.
Zinc is called the intelligence mineral because it is needed for optimal development and functioning of the brain and nervous system. It plays a role in protein synthesis and collagen formation; it is involved in the blood-sugar control mechanism and thus protects against diabetes; it is needed for a healthy reproductive system. Zinc is a key component in numerous vital enzymes and plays a role in the immune system. Phytates found in soy products interfere with zinc absorption more completely than with other minerals.19 Zinc deficiency can cause a "spacey" feeling that some vegetarians may mistake for the "high" of spiritual enlightenment.
The article already mentions the important role that zinc plays. As for CALCIUM, it is needed for normal development/maintenance of bones & teeth, clotting of the blood, normal heart action, normal muscle activity, and serves as an activator of important enzymes. A deficiency in calcium can cause [slow] growth, poor tooth/bone formation, Rickets, slow clotting time of blood and Tetany. MAGNESIUM is a constituent of bones, muscles & red blood cells, necessary for healthy muscles/nerves, and for proper body metabolism. A deficiency in magnesium can result in mental, emotional & muscle disorders. IRON is essential for formation of hemoglobin of red blood cells/provision of oxygen to cells and is a constituent of cellular enzymes. A deficiency in iron can result in anemia. COPPER is also essential for formation of hemoglobin/red blood cells and is an essential component of several enzymes. Copper is found in all tissues but its heaviest concentration is in the liver, kidneys, heart & brain. A deficiency can result in anemia, bone demineralization & impaired growth.
The importance of this article extract is:
1)soy products contain much higher amounts of Phytates than other grains/legumes.
2)phytates in soy are highly resistant to normal phytate-reducing techniques such as long, slow cooking & only a long period of fermentation will significantly reduce the phytate content of soybeans but may not elminate it sufficiently.
3)phytic acid can block the uptake of essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper & iron.
4)When precipitated soy products like tofu are consumed with meat, the mineral-blocking effects of the phytates are reduced.
For those interested in added protein for their gliders, you may or may not know that there are COMPLETE PROTEIN sources & INCOMPLETE PROTEIN sources. Complete protein sources come from animal food sources such as meats, fish, poultry, & eggs (studies have shown animal food sources provide the highest quality/most complete proteins)while incomplete protein sources come from plant foods like corn, grains, nuts, sunflower seeds, and legumes such as soybeans, navy bean, split peas, chick peas & peanuts. So for those using the BML diet, your gliders are getting COMPLETE PROTEINS via the Gerber/Heinz chicken baby food & egg used in the mix. Additional complete protein sources in the BML diet comes in the form of the insects being fed as part of the diet(crickets, mealies) so you should have no worries about protein deficiencies.
As for using soy products as a way to supplement calcium levels, if you're using the BML diet, remember that the Rep-Cal Phosphorus-Free Calcium with Vit. D-3 & the Rep-Cal Herptivite are added in the BML mix & both contain calcium. Also, excessive calcium should be avoided as it can cause constipation/kidney stones and may inhibit the absorption of iron and zinc. Finally, believe it or not, lack of physical activity reduces the amount of calcium absorbed. This is why night-time play and exercise for your glider is so important. Studies have been done showing that exercise helps increase calcium absorption and can improve bone density.
In summary, the phytates/phytic acid in soy products may actually impede the uptake and absorption of calcium as well as other necessary minerals in the digestive tract defeating the very purpose for which the soy product was being added. This could possibly lead to potentially serious health problems for your gliders. Please take the above information into consideration if using or planning to use soy products such as tofu or bean curd as a means to supplement protein/calcium for your gliders.
ON TO SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE:
Soy Protein Isolate is a highly-processed protein isolate where the soy protein is removed from defatted soybean flakes. Soy protein isolate contains over 90% soy protein. It commonly contains GENETICALLY-MANIPULATED SOY. While the soy protein in the isolate is easily-digestible, the use of genetically-manipulated soy and the heavy processesing which removes much of other elements of the soybeans make soy protein isolate a product to avoid where possible.
DANGERS RE: GENETICALLY-MANIPULATED SOY:
1)A recent experiment conducted by independent expert Dr. Alpad Pusztai in the United Kingdom has shown that genetically-manipulated foods can, when fed to animals in reasonable amounts, cause very gradual organ damage and immune system damage.
2)A separate followup experiment conducted by Dr. S.W.B. Ewen, a Senior Pathologist at the University of Aberdeen, has confirmed that it was not the "GNA lectin," but toxic or infectious by-products of the genetic manipulation process which led to the immune system damage and organ damage in the animals fed genetically-manipulated potatoes. Because it was not the lectin in the potatoes, but the genetic manipulation process itself which led to toxicity, similar results might be seen in animals or humans fed genetically-manipulated soy, canola, and corn over a long period of time.
3)there are several differences between the normal breeding process and the artificial genetic manipulation process. One key difference is the USE OF HIGHLY INFECTIOUS VIRUSES for artificial genetic manipulation as a promoter to switch on the introduced gene. One commonly-used virus is a highly-infectious form of the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV). (The form of CaMV virus found in normal foods is not highly-infectious and cannot be absorbed by mammals.)
4)another key difference between normal breeding and artificial genetic manipulation is that the genetic manipulation greatly increases the RISK that the PLANT (e.g., soy)WILL DEVELOP TOXIC OR ALLERGY-CAUSING COMPOUNDS. Such unexpected changes have already been shown to occur in some genetically-manipulated crops.
5)the insertion of a new gene can sometimes alter the synthesis of chemicals in the plant. Such an alteration can lead to the change in existing chemical compounds in the plant (including a possible significant increase in existing levels of toxic compounds) or the development of new toxic or allergy-causing compounds. There would be no way to predict these effects in advance and it would be difficult to test for these effects without many years of careful, independent research on human test subjects. Gradual toxic effects could occur over weeks, months, years, or even decades and society would not be aware of the health damage until it was too late.
6)another major risk from genetically-manipulated foods is the possibility that regular exposure to foreign DNA and RNA material inserted into these artificial foods could cause allergic reactions or autoimmune diseases. Recent scientific research has shown that fragments of DNA from genetically-manipulated food ingredients can be detected in the brains of animals fed these food ingredients. There is evidence that DNA and RNA fragments can cause adverse immune system reactions including autoimmune disorders in Immunological Reactions to DNA and RNA. Scientists in the United Kingdom measured a 50% increase in soy allergies in one year. They believe that the increase in soy allergies may be caused by the increased use of genetically-manipulated soy ingredients.
7)finally, some genetically-manipulated crops are changed so that they produce their own high levels of pesticides. For example, genetically-manipulated "Bt" crops have been shown to emit very high levels of toxins. Plants genetically-manipulated to produce Bt toxin produce at least 1000 times more Bt toxin per acre than does a heavy application of Bt directly on the plants. This may lead to problems with long-term ingestion of such foods (such as non-organic corn and corn-based sweeteners). It has also been shown conclusively in scientific research that the HERBICIDES USED on some of these non-organic, genetically-manipulated plants (e.g., soy, canola, corn) ARE EXTREMELY TOXIC & CAN CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS.
RISK OF KIDNEY STONES?:
oo much soy could lead to kidney stones
New research indicates that soybeans and soy-based foods, a staple in the diets of many health-conscious consumers, may promote kidney stones in those prone to the painful condition. The finding will be published in the September issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
The researchers measured nearly a dozen varieties of soybeans for oxalate, a compound that can bind with calcium in the kidney to form kidney stones. They also tested 13 types of soy-based foods, finding enough oxalate in each to potentially cause problems for people with a history of kidney stones, according to Linda Massey, Ph.D., at Washington State University in Spokane. The amount of oxalate in the commercial products easily eclipsed the American Dietetic Association’s 10 milligram-per-serving recommendation for patients with kidney stones, with some foods reaching up to 50 times higher than the suggested limit, she noted.
“Under these guidelines, no soybean or soy-[based] food tested could be recommended for consumption by patients with a personal history of kidney stones,” she said.
No one had previously examined soy foods for oxalate, thus the researchers are the first to identify oxalate in store-bought products like tofu, soy cheese and soy drinks. Other foods, such as spinach and rhubarb, also contain significant oxalate levels, but are not as widely consumed for their presumed health benefits, Massey said.
During their testing, the researchers found the highest oxalate levels in textured soy protein, which contains up to 638 milligrams of oxalate per 85-gram serving. Soy cheese had the lowest oxalate content, at 16 milligrams per serving. Spinach, measured during previous research, has approximately 543 milligrams per one-cup (2 oz. fresh) serving.
Soy, a natural source of protein, fiber and healthy oils, is used to enhance a myriad of foods, ranging from hamburgers to ice cream. It can be ground into flour and used in a variety of grain products, or formed into chunks and ground like meat. Soy is also being studied for its potential to lower cholesterol, reduce bone loss and prevent breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new label on foods containing at least 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving that boasts of a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Oxalate, however, cannot be metabolized by the body and is excreted only through urine, Massey said. The compound has no nutritional value, but binds to calcium to form a mass (kidney stones) that can block the urinary system, she said. Further research is needed to find types of soybeans with less oxalate, or to develop a processing method to remove the compound before it reaches consumers, she added.
No one knows precisely why kidney stones occur in particular individuals. But Massey said high levels of oxalate in the urine increase the risk and those with a family history of the ailment are more likely to suffer from the condition; individuals with a low probability of kidney stones are unlikely to be affected by oxalate in soy-based foods.
More than one million people were diagnosed with kidney stones in the United States in 1996, the most recent available data, according to the National Institutes of Health. Stones can range in size from the diameter of a grain of rice to the width of a golf ball. An estimated 10 percent of the U.S. population, mostly men, will develop a kidney stone at some point in their lives, according to the NIH.
1) Based on all the above info., the possible health risks of using soy products/soy protein isolate for your gliders seems to outweigh the possible benefits. However, each member must research the pros and cons of Soy and ultimately make their own decision in the matter.
2)For those using the BML and/or another proven diet, there should be no calcium/protein deficiency issues.
Just do your research and make the decision for yourself - that's the best thing you can do for your suggies.