Soy Milk: Prevents or Causes Hair Loss? First, let’s talk about the soy milk you drink, not soy applied to hair. Second, let’s admit that there are very strong opinions on both sides. Here’s the latest on what’s going on . . .
Why Soy Milk Causes Hair Loss
1.) Iodine Overdose – Soy Milk causes hair loss when it has too much iodine in it. Because regulations can vary, some makers of soy milk have sold soy milk that causes hair loss due to the iodine. So it’s not the soy milk itself that causes hair loss, but the manufacturing by-products.
There are currently several lawsuits about soy milk and hair loss where people claim that soy milk or the iodine in it caused their hair loss, like in Australia. If you suspect soy milk hair loss, you should get a blood test and check your own iodine levels and look over common causes of female hair loss.
Soy Milk Prevents Hair Loss
1.) Phytoestrogens – Soy has phytoestrogens in it – they are plant chemicals that mimic the hormone estrogen. Some researchers tested mens hormones who consumed soy for changes possibly caused by soy. A 2010 tested the hormone levels of men before, during and after consuming soy. They concluded, “soy protein or isoflavone intake on T, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), free T, and free androgen index (FAI) in men.” One way of combating hair loss is to increase the free androgen index and soy milk does not do this.*
Soy Milk is Neutral
There’s not really enough studies done about the direct relation between hair loss and soy. However, one recent study showed that, “dietary soy consumption during early pregnancy is not associated with the development of thyroid dysfunction or autoimmunity.**” Since either of these could conditions could cause hair loss, we can at least know that soy isn’t related to those conditions. But still, there’s lots more to learn.
The best way to figure out if soy milk could be the cause of your hair loss is to see if you can correlate your hair loss to large changes in soy consumption or other causes of hair loss. Or try elimination. If you stop drinking soy milk and your hair regrows, then it could be related. Paying attention to your own body’s reactions can be the most helpful thing you can do. It’s also important that you get blood tests that may indicate other problems. The thyroid function test should indicate if iodine poisoning is a problem.