Soy is a controversial food to eat. And one concern is that soy is the main ingredient in a wide variety of parrot foods. Most importantly, be aware of this. The danger is that the phytoestrogens in soy can have adverse effects on your bird or yourself.
Phytoestrogens are a group of plant compounds that have a structure similar to the animal hormone estrogen. In other words, these similarities mean that phytoestrogens can mimic hormones. There are several types of phytoestrogens, these include isoflavones, lignans and coumestans.
Soy contains one of the highest levels of isoflavones. The soy industry has paid for the studies that show that isoflavones can promote health. Most importantly, other studies have reported a variety of negative effects in animals.
Adverse Effects of Soy
Human and animal studies have linked phytoestrogens to numerous health problems. For example, they can stimulate existing cancer cell growth in the body. Likewise, they can adversely affect thyroid functioning. And they cause harmful effects by changing the timeline of an animal’s sexual development. Phytoestrogens also adversely affect an animal’s fertility cycles and ovarian functions.
When you think about feeding soy to your birds remember these known health risks. Also, a malnourished bird can be more vulnerable to those conditions.
For More Information
Read Leslie’s detailed discussion on soy and phytoestrogens in The Holistic Parrot number 236.
You can also get a copy of this issue of Parrots magazine HERE.
Or, you can buy a PDF of Leslie’s article, “Never Feed Soy: Understanding Phytoestrogens”, HERE.
Non-organic Soy is GMO & Destroys the Rainforest
All non-organic soy grown today is a genetically modified (GMO) crop. Additionally, these fields are sprayed with the chemical glyphosate, which is known to cause cancer in animals. (1), (2) And to meet the growing demands of the soy industry, Brazilian and Argentinian rainforests are being destroyed to create farmlands. As a result, nesting sites and feeding areas of native parrots, such as the Military Macaw and the Alder Amazon parrot, are also destroyed. (3), (4)
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