© Kitty - Fotolia.com

© Kitty – Fotolia.com

Many people decide to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, whether for health or ethical reasons. But one substitution for meat products, soy, has been brought under scrutiny for an unusual reason.

Some people believe that eating too many soy-based products, such as tofu, can cause gynecomastia (man boobs), while others think there’s no weight to the idea.

So how much truth is there to the claim that consuming excessive soy can cause male breast enlargement?

The Basis

Gynecomastia development is caused by an abundance of the estrogen hormone in the male body. When there is a hormone imbalance, the estrogen can signal to the body that it should begin producing breast tissue.

Once breast gland tissue grows and becomes established, it will not go away on its own. Soy is allegedly linked to breast growth in males because it contains an antioxidant that can mimic the hormone estrogen. But does soy cause gynecomastia?

Is it True?

With all the ways gynecomastia can be triggered, such as by drugs or the hormonal changes that come with the natural aging process (puberty & after 50), the last thing men need is to worry about how diet can affect gynecomastia.

The good news is that research has shown that diet has no significant basis in the development of male breasts. While it is true that massive amounts of soy can cause male breast development, almost no one can consume enough soy products to make any noticeable difference.

The one case of gynecomastia that has been linked to soy involved a man who ingested three quarts of soymilk a day–far more than the average person would ever think of consuming. Other men who eat normal, even high amounts of soy products do not appear to suffer ill effects.

Remember that soy, when consumed in its most natural form, does not significantly raise estrogen levels. Tofu and edamame (whole soy beans) are a good example of soy in its natural form. Soy cheese, soy milk, and hydrolyzed soy protein (in veggie patties) are examples of highly processed soy and should be consumed in moderation.

Treating Gynecomastia

Just because gynecomastia is almost never caused by soy-based foods doesn’t meant that the problem isn’t significant for the millions of men who are affected by the condition.

Unfortunately, special exercises, herbal supplements, topical creams, and other “treatments” don’t actually work. They are simply a waste of time and money for patients. Currently, the only way to successfully treat gynecomastia is with male breast reduction surgery.

This surgery is performed by a plastic or cosmetic surgeon and involves the removal of breast gland tissue and fat from the chest area for a smooth, flat contour.

It’s important to choose an expert that specializes in male breast reduction to get good results and avoid complications. If you’re looking for talented cosmetic / plastic surgeons in the New York area, come meet with our gynecomastia specialists at our Long Island and NYC offices.

You’ll learn more about your candidacy for gynecomastia surgery, costs, risks, and more. Call either (212) 206-0023 or (631) 499-1831 today to schedule your free consultation.

We now have easy-to-qualify financing available to approved patients with low monthly payments.