Is Soy or Soya Bean Bad for Male Fertility ?- Ayurveda View

Based on principles of ayurveda Soy is unfit for human consumption. It is very heavy to digest and pacifies vata. But it can cause indigestion and may lead to formation of sticky toxin “ama” . Hence it affects male fertility.

Read this article in Kannada ಸೋಯಾಬೀನ್ – ಪುರುಷರು ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಬಹುದೇ ? Soybean for Men ?

Also Read Male Infertility – Ayurvedic Ways to Increase Sperm Count and Motility

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Soy Bean and Chinese medicine

Soy Bean and Ayurveda

Soy Bean and Male Fertility- Soybean and men’s health

Soy Bean and Chinese medicine

Historians have traced the origin of Soybean to the North China. Even ancient Chinese medical science considers soy as unfit for human consumption. At present it is one of the main plant food used by Chinese people along with Barley, millet, rice and wheat. According to Principles Traditional Chinese Medicine raw soybean, a legume is unfit for human consumption. They prefer fermented form of soy to raw form.

In Chinese medicine traditional doctors praise benefits of these beans. These have been used in treatment of  edema, common cold, diarrhoea, skin sores,  constipation, leg ulcers, iron-deficiency anemia,  and complications of pregnancy . In the chinese Materia Medica book, written by naturopath Shen-Chen Li, soy has been highly lauded for its effective remedy for “kidney diseases, water retention, and poisoning”. These beans are fed to cows, in china , to increase lactation. Chinese traditional medical practitioners opine this can be used in women to promote lactation. But they recommend to fry these beans first and then to cook.  

Soy Bean and Ayurveda

Soybean has nowhere been mentioned in texts of ayurveda. When we analyse soybean on principles of ayurveda we find it is very heavy to digest and pacifies vata dosha. But it can cause indigestion in many and may lead to formation of “ama” a sticky toxin which clogs micro channels of our body.

Ayurveda also do not recommend fermented foods. So fermented foods of soy are also not recommended as they may produce toxin ama.

Ayurveda acharyas strongly recommend not to eat foods, which cause indigestion. Indigestion leads to improper formation of rasa dhatu (nutrient filled liquid which nourishes the body tissues). Rasa dhatu which is poor in quality fails to nourish successive dhatus like Rakta dhatu (blood), mamsa dhatu (muscles), medha dhatu (body fat), asthi dhatu (bones), majja dhatu (bone marrow) and shukra dhatu (semen). Lack of nutrients leads to impotence ( Read Benefits of Walking for Men Suffering From Impotence), low sperm count, weak muscles and bones. It is always a wise man’s choice to eat what suits him.

Soy Bean and Male Fertility- Soybean and men’s health

Soybean contains many anti-nutrients which inhibit the digestion and absorption of its nutrients. These beans also contain other chemical compounds which mimic our body hormones and cause hormonal imbalance. Here is a list of anti nutrients present in soybean which do not get destroyed even after processes like soaking and boiling.

Isoflavones – soy side effects in males:

Soy contains isoflavones which is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens mimic human estrogen and affect the production of other hormones which are estrogen dependent. Men differently respond to phytoestrogens. Their testosterone ( Read Natural Ayurvedic Ways to Increase Testosterone) level decreases and sperm count plummets. Reduced testosterone level ( Read Top Ayurvedic Foods That Boost Testosterone Level and Libido) also causes erectile dysfunction. (Read Ayurvedic Medicines and Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction) The use of soy was popular in Chinese monasteries as it reduces testosterone and kills sex drive or male libido. Monks used these beans to promote abstinence from sexual activities. A research conducted by swiss health services say that 100 grams of soy protein contains estrogenic like substance equivalent to a birth controlling pill. Isoflavons are also known to interfere with liver function. Men suffering from low sperm count, do not use soy in any form like soy milk, soy chunks or tofu. It is a strict no in male infertility.

Phytates – an answer to does soy lower sperm count ?

Phytates are usually present in all legumes. These compounds bind minerals like zinc (Read Zinc (Jasada Bhasma) in Ayurveda- for Erectile Dysfunction , PCOS) , calcium, magnesium, iron, copper (Read Ayurveda Copper Water Benefits, Sperm Count and Motility) etc and make them unavailable for absorption. But these compounds can be eliminated by few processing techniques like soaking, boiling, sprouting etc. But phytates present in soybean do not get eliminated easily with these processes. Hence consumption of soybean can cause deficiency of minerals like zinc, iron and calcium which are needed for healthy sperm production.


Soybean contains another anti nutrient Goitrogen. This inhibits thyroid function and may cause goiter. Many researches have proved that continuous consumption of soy can increase the level of thyroid hormone. Disturbance in thyroid function can cause infertility in men and women.

Soy is also not recommended for women who suffer from PCOD or PCOS (Read Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS or PCOD at Home). Men with low sperm count and low sperm motility (Read How to Improve Sperm Motility? – An Ayurveda View) please keep away from this. This can be eaten in moderation by normal people.

Consult Dr.Savitha Suri for ayurvedic remedies.  Email [email protected] . WhatsApp + 91 6360108663

Author –Dr.Savitha Suri

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