5. Cognitive Problems
Soy tofu has been linked with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, two cognitive health concerns that negatively impact the brain and basic daily functioning. One ongoing study of Japanese Americans residing in Hawaii found a significant statistical relationship between two or more servings of tofu per week and “accelerated brain aging.” Additionally, the study subjects who ate tofu in mid-life had lower cognitive function in the later years of their lives. They also had an increased occurrence of both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. (11)
According to a study published in Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders, eating high amounts tofu was linked to a worse memory while eating high amounts of tempeh was shown to improve memory. The researchers hypothesize that tempeh’s high folate levels have protective and counteractive effects on phytoestrogen content. (12)
6. Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D Deficiencies
Soy contains a B12 analogs, which means that tofu contains compounds that resemble vitamin B12. However, these B12 analogs cannot be used by your body the way it would use real B12. This is why soy foods like tofu can actually contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency, especially among people who avoid animal protein like vegetarians and vegans.
You probably already knew how widespread vitamin D deficiency is in this country, but you probably didn’t know that unfermented soy foods are part of the problem. Soy foods like tofu also increase your body’s vitamin D requirements, which means that eating tofu can make a vitamin D deficiency even worse. (13)
7. Digestive Difficulty
Unfermented soy products like tofu contain strong enzyme inhibitors, which block the action of the pancreatic enzyme trypsin along with other proteolytic enzymes needed for protein digestion. This not only disrupts a healthy digestive process, but can also causes problems with the pancreas.
I’ve written a lot about how crucial digestive enzymes are to our overall health and well being. When it comes to tofu, most people lack the enzymes necessary to digest this unfermented soy food, similarly to how many people are lactose intolerant. This causes indigestion, gas, bloating and a whole slew of gastrointestinal issues.
Many people also have soy sensitivities or even full-blown allergies due not only to the genetic modification of soy, but also due to overexposure since soy is lurking in many more products than we realize.