It has been accused of being tasteless and having a strange texture – but tofu could even hurt men’s fertility.
Eating soy seriously lowers sperm count, research suggests.
The count of men who consumed the most soy was about a third lower than those who ate none, a study shows.
Overweight men are even more vulnerable, which is worrying as soy products such as veggie sausages are often sold as low-fat alternatives to meat.
‘If you start with a very high sperm count it may have less of an effect but many men will still be concerned,’ said Dr Jorge Chavarro, who led the Harvard University research.
The intake of 15 soy-based foods by 99 men who attended fertility clinics between 2000 and 2006 was analysed by Dr Chav arro and his team.
Those who ate most of the product had, on average, 41million fewer sperm per millilitre than non-soya eaters.
The soy bean has been cultivated for thousands of years.
It is made into Chinese and Japanese foods such as tofu and miso.
Soy is also used to make flour, oil, milk and countless vegetarian products, including burgers and mince.
The high protein bean has been touted as a health food for many years.
But the new findings are bad news for those who may want to hear the patter of tiny feet.
More research is needed, said Dr Chav arro.
But he warned the change in sperm levels, ‘was a relatively large difference’.
Well, it is certainly a new revelation, tofu is now identified as the culprit in lowering sperm count. The Chinese must be the main tofu eaters, it would not be a bad idea for the researchers to focus their research on tofu’s effect on the Chinese. Are the Chinese’s genes made up differently? But for those having problems having babies, it may not be a bad idea to watch their eating and drinking habits to see if their intake of tofu is in the excessive level. No harm in cutting down on the tofu intake if it can help you have a baby in your arms after reducing the intake.