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July 3, 2002

Meal Planning, Food and Diet, Thyroid

Question from Massachusetts, USA:

My 14 year daughter old has had type 1 diabetes for about a year and a half. We're both vegetarians (no red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and very little dairy), and I am concerned because a friend told me that soy can cause thyroid problems. Is this true? I know that people with diabetes have a higher instance of thyroid troubles, and since our diet contains a goodly amount of soy (soy milk with our cereal and tofu as a protein source), I'm a little concerned.

Answer:

No reason to worry. Vegetarian food choices are significantly more healthy than meat eaters. As far as soy and the thyroid gland, the problem is that soy containing foods/drinks can interfere with thyroid hormone absorption. If you and your daughter are not actually taking a thyroid pill, then you don’t have anything to worry about with regards to soy.

SB