For those who seek to maintain optimum health and wellness, turning to purified and organic foods is often the best way to stay strong and healthy. Every day, people flock to alternative grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s, and foods that are grown organically. For those who want a healthy alternative to traditional cow’s milk, soy milk is another option. But some things are not always what they seem, and soy milk is no exception.
Soy drinks are water extracts of soybeans. Studies that have been looking into the safety of soy milk may have found that soy milk could actually harm your teeth. The University of Melbourne in Australia recently found that soy milk is worse for your teeth than cow’s milk and does in fact hurt teeth. This is primarily due to the fact that soy milk is more acidic and exposes teeth to six times the acid that is commonly found in cow’s milk.
However, this conclusion has been drawn from limited research, and more evidence is needed to confirm the negative effects of soy on teeth. But in addition to eroding your teeth, studies have discovered a link between soy milk and the thyroid. Soy milk is believed to contribute to thyroid disease—a problem that for many, could significantly impact the quality of life. There is also some controversial evidence that soy contains estrogen like compounds that could be harmful to men or women who have a history of estrogen-positive breast cancer.
Acids that are in our diets have a significant impact on the health of your teeth. Most commonly, there is an epidemic of enamel erosion from phosphoric acid containing soda pop as well as acidic sports drinks. In addition, the amount of acidic bacteria found in soy milk can speed the buildup of plaque and also fuel the process of tooth decay. There are indeed valid arguments that soy milk may be better for you than cow’s milk generally, but the acid issue certainly raises concerns for our teeth. For the present, until we know more it may be wise to limit the amount of soy milk we consume or feed to decay prone children.
That’s all for this week! Until next time,
Dr. Mark W. Langberg, DDS, MAGD
26206 West 12 Mile Road, Suite 303
Southfield, MI 48034