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Thread: Phytic Acid and demineralization

  1. #1
    Mizz Ella
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    Default Phytic Acid and demineralization

    Has anyone heard of phytic acid before? My mother has recently become a holistic nutritionist and has told me about the potential danger of eating foods that are prepared incorrectly which contain phytic acid. It is found in the outer layer of all seeds (beans, grains, nuts, peas, and legumes included)... and it apparantly doesn't allow the minerals that you eat with a meal containing phytic acid to be absorbed. Soy has the most amount of phytic acid of all beans... however, if you soak the 'seeds' in water and then discard the soak water, most of the phytic acid will be neutralized, and as an added benefit, enzymes will be activated as the water starts the sprouting process in the seed. Fermentation also neutralizes the phytic acid. Unfortunately, my mother's teacher said that the way tofu and soy milk are processed, most of the phytic acid remains intact...

    I'm wondering if anyone has heard of this, as all the people I've talked to in person have not heard of it. I think if it is true, it is quite an alarming discovery for vegans and vegetarians, as we tend to eat quite a lot of soy. I was raised as a vegan and ate tofu and soy milk everyday... and I became anemic and lacked in all minerals in general... I suffered from headaches everyday until my early 20's and was tired all the time. Now I'm not sure if this is cuz of all the soy I ate or not, but I have a feeling it is...

    If anyone has heard of phytic acid or has had any problems with mineral content in their body, I'd be very interested to hear your comments.

    And if your interested, here is a link that talks about the dangers of soy... phytic acid is only one of the dangers apparantly...

    http://www.mercola.com/article/soy/avoid_soy.htm

  2. #2
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phytic Acid and demineralization

    Quote Mizz Ella View Post
    Has anyone heard of phytic acid before?
    Hi Ella, and welcome!

    If you search for the word 'phytic' you'll see that we have discussed this in several other threads...


    I'm wondering if anyone has heard of this, as all the people I've talked to in person have not heard of it. I think if it is true, it is quite an alarming discovery for vegans and vegetarians, as we tend to eat quite a lot of soy.
    I don't think it's alarming - but it could be alarming if it's true that so many veg*ns rely on one particular bean for nutrition - from what I've seen on this site, lots of vegans don't eat much soy at all. There's no reason to, really.


    I was raised as a vegan and ate tofu and soy milk everyday... and I became anemic and lacked in all minerals in general... I suffered from headaches everyday until my early 20's and was tired all the time.
    Since there are so many vegans that have been vegans for many years and who have not have the symptoms you describe, I think what you write reflects a relatively common situation: if someone eating a not-so-common diet gets ill, many people (including herself) may think that their symptoms are due to their not-so-common diet, but if a person eating a common diet gets the same symptoms, they don't think it's due to their diet because their diet is 'normal'. They forget that people on a normal diet often get ill.

    It's totally possible, and common, to be vegan for many years without having a headache every day (my son is also a life-long vegan and never has a headache) or being de-mineralized: my doctor seemed to be surprised about my good nutrient levels, and assumed that I had been taking mineral supplements... I hadn't for many years. The confusion about the nutrient levels in the vegan diet is that there isn't one vegan diet.

    There is a realistic chance that vegans - like everyone else - may get sick, and - like everyone else - lack essential nutrients (both minerals and vitamins) - but there's no study suggesting that we should worry about more nutrients than non-vegans, which often have alarmingly low levels of several nutrients. Since there is no such thing as 'a vegan diet', your nutrient levels are totally dependent on what you eat or what your parents feed you if you are a child. Unfortunately, many parents (vegans and non-vegans alike) don't know much about nutrition - or about all the natural and unnatural chemicals that in the wrong amounts can deprive our bodies from nutrients. I've mentioned a number of them in the '50 ways to develop B12 deficiency'-thread (including phytic acid: too much phytic acid apparently may reduce B12 levels. Vegans normally have lower B12 level than non-vegans. B12 levels are linked to anemia - but B12 isn't a mineral - B12 is highly exposed to all kinds of 'B12-killers' and should definitely get some extra attention, which is why we have several subforums dedicated to that vitamin).


    Now I'm not sure if this is cuz of all the soy I ate or not, but I have a feeling it is...
    Maybe, maybe not. We have a whole subforum and many threads dedicated to the ongoing discussion about the positive and negative sides of soy here - if you have a look, you'll see that phytic pcid and many other aspects of high consumption of soy are being discussed. I'm sure you'll find some interesting info there.

    You mentioned anemia - we have a thread about anemia here.)

    I don't know much more about phytic acid than what I've seen in the various links mentioned on our site (and from what can easily be found on Google), but if you feel that high intake of soy is a problem, and still have some of the health issues you describe, maybe cutting dramatically down on soy would be worth a try?

    Good luck, and I hope you don't have that headache anymore. Maybe others can chime in with more specific info about phytic acid?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  3. #3
    Brocolia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Phytic Acid and demineralization

    I'm trying to learn more about phytic acid. For now there's one solution wide mentioned:
    fermentation + cooking/frying

    Bad thing is that grains/seeds that way get bad taste, smell, and look. So, if you have any advice on.. perhaps sesame and flax preparation I would be thankful.

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