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Podcast – Further Investigation of the Shocking Link Between Soy and Thyroid Disease, Part 3 with Anthony Dissen, MA, RDN

soy and thyroid disease

Further Investigation of the Shocking Link Between Soy and Thyroid Disease, Part 3 with Anthony Dissen, MA, RDN

Description: Between the latest online fads and the crazy media headlines, it’s easier than ever to get confused about your health. If you want to make better decisions about your health today so you can feel better and live longer, you’ve come to the right place.


On this episode we’re going to continue our examination of the link between soy and thyroid disease. I want you to consider the sum total of knowledge on this topic and the general scientific consensus of evidence from real human studies, not just the shocking results of one or two outlier studies. To help with the conversation I’m joined by Anthony Dissen, professor of public health at Stockton University. He is a nutritionist and is active in many non-profits in the cancer world, and is a scholar of plants and specifically soy.


Anthony offers an overview of the general misunderstandings about soy, how soy got its bad name, and why eating a meat-based diet does not equate to avoiding a plant-based diet. We talk about the dangers of eating any one food in excess and how the body works in healthy but non-intuitive ways. We take a look at the link between soy and GMOs, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, and menopause, and discuss what ideal soy consumption amounts should look like for both omnivore and plant-based diets. Anthony’s shares his favorite way to eat soy, and offers two of his favorite quick recipes. I will then wrap up our conversation by sharing some of the findings that I’ve discovered in the years that I have spent studying soy and its effect on the health of the human body.


Key Takeaways:

[:35] Today’s topic is the second of three segments on the correlation between soy and thyroid disease.

[1:48] Introducing Anthony Dissen, who shares my perspective on the general misunderstanding from the medical community and the population at large about soy and its effect on the body’s overall health.

[6:11] When did soy start to get such a bad name?

[9:48] Eating a meat-based diet does not mean that you are avoiding a soy-based diet — consider what animals are fed before they are butchered.

[11:28] What is in soy formula for infants, and how is it affecting child development?

[14:28] Examining the link between soy and thyroid disease, including iodine deficiency, dietary goitrogens and autoimmune diseases.

[18:42] The danger of eating any one food in excess is the same for soy, flaxseed, bok choy, mustard seeds or kale, because of their common goitrogenic properties.

[25:08] Cooked or raw? How to enjoy your vegetables while minimizing goitrogenic properties.

[26:00] GMOs and soy — understanding the difference between soy produced for animal and human consumption.

[27:40] Parameters for normal soy consumption, healthy sea vegetables and safe iodine content.

[32:45] Soy and breast cancer — are there benefits of soy for reducing risk of recurrent breast cancer, and what exactly are phytoestrogens doing to our bodies?

[37:51] Soy and menopause — how does soy protect and maintain the health of an aging body?

[42:22] Human studies that have proven that antinutrients are a non-issue with soy consumption.

[45:55]  Anthony explains how increasing permeability could possibly be is a good thing.

[49:02] What is the ideal amount of soy intake for a plant-based diet and an omnivore diet?

[55:51] Is there any relevance between fermented and non-fermented soy?

[58:15] The findings from my research on thyroid disease included three categories that I couldn’t explain away — soy formula with iodine, one study on siblings, and one study on hypothyroidism.

[1:02:17] Wrapping up with Anthony — whether it’s soy food or not, any food that is being consumed in normal quantities can only be of benefit to your health.

[1:04:06] Do you have a topic you’d like me to cover? Contact me on Facebook or Instagram using #medicalmyths.


To learn more:

Dr. Christianson on Instagram

Dr. Christianson on Facebook

The Comprehensive (and Shocking) Guide to Soy and Thyroid

Anthony Dissen, MPH, MA, RDN



“Soy is portrayed as either the miracle food that’s going to cure everything, or the prolific poison that’s going to kill us all.”  — Anthony Dissen


“The body is just not intuitive. Things don’t always play out the way we think they should.” — Dr. Alan Christianson


“Soy is just one of a number of plants that we can consume as part of an overall, diverse diet that can be quite protective against disease and degeneration over time.” — Anthony Dissen


“Someone would have to try really hard to eat enough soy that it would have any possible negative impact on their health.” — Anthony Dissen


“We are in a state now that we suffer more from nutritional excess than deficiency but our discussion and research hasn’t quite caught up with that yet.” — Anthony Dissen


“It is so important to actually read the study. So many people get their health information via the news or social media posts, which are just not the full story.”  — Anthony Dissen