6. Thyroid Disruption
Tofu is made from soy, and soy contains goitrogenic compounds, specifically isoflavone genistein. Goitrogens are thyroid hormone blockers that are known to interfere with thyroid hormone production and cause hypothyroidism. Precautions should also be taken when feeding soy-based formula to infants, as this can cause early organ damage. A 1994 study showed concerning results, as a patient with congenital hypothyroidism continued to be persistently hypothyroid while on a soy formula diet even though the patient was receiving large doses of L-thyroxine (T4). T4 is a standard treatment for hypothyroidism.
Tofu contains phytate, which has been shown to contribute to tofu’s firm texture, and phytate is essentially a phytic acid bound to a mineral. So what’s the big deal? Phytate and phytic acid are known anti-nutrients, and products like tofu contain several high concerning anti-nutrients, including lectins, oligosaccharides, oxalates, protease inhibitors, and phytates.
4. Cognitive Problems
Soy tofu has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, two cognitive health concerns that deeply impact the brain’s daily functions. An ongoing study of Japanese Americans living in Hawaii found a significant correlation between two or more servings of tofu per week and “accelerated brain aging.” Additionally, the study subjects who ate tofu in mid-life had a lower cognitive function in the later years of their lives. Not to mention, they also had an increased occurrence of both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.