A study from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey set out to determine if a commonly used soy protein supplement exhibits biological activity. Researchers studied healthy male volunteers, aged 18 years or older that were in good health. They consumed two scoops of pure soy protein powder daily for 28 days. It turns out soy protein powder actually decreased testosterone levels, thanks to the estrogen. This same estrogen may also cause testicular shrinkage. The good news is, when study participants discontinued the soy protein powder, testosterone levels increased within two weeks.
This obsession has become so common that Dr. Pope has come up with a term for it: Adonis Complex. What fuels it, he says, are the ridiculously outsized bodies purveyed by Hollywood, magazine covers, and even action-toy manufacturers (just check out the size of . Joe these days). "One of the biggest lies being handed to American men today is that you can somehow attain by natural means the huge shoulders and pectorals of the biggest men in the magazines," says Dr. Pope. "Generations of young men are working hard in the gym and wondering what on earth they're doing wrong. They don't realize that the 'hypermale' look that's so prevalent these days is essentially unattainable without steroids."