There is an ongoing debate on whether soy is harmful or beneficial for those suffering from PCOS. The proposed benefits of soy include improved cholesterol, decreased risk of cancer and improved menopausal symptoms among others. Yet, if you do an internet search for PCOS and soy and you will see many people confused about it, with some saying that soy is terrible for PCOS and should be avoided at all costs.
Soy is a plant food that is also a complete protein, meaning it has all the required amino acids. It is also low in fat, contains essential fatty acids, numerous vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Soy foods include soy milk and cheese, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, and edamame. Another form of soy, soy protein isolate, is often added to energy and granola bars and meat-alternative products. Soy protein isolate may contribute to oestrogen dominance commonly seen in PCOS.
More studies need to be conducted on soy consumption. Soy in the form of soy protein isolate should be avoided for all women with PCOS. Women with PCOS who struggle with infertility, hypothyroidism, consume few calories or eat a poor diet may want to avoid or limit soy products.