Vegetables protein powders have become popular in recent times. A large number of protein powders made from oats, peas and other vegetables have been formulated and marketed. Generally these are useful to the vegetarian or vegan as they provide a useful source of protein that can be used to supplement the diet. This may be particularly relevant where the consumer does not want to consume proteins of animal origin. However, care must be taken when purchasing and using vegetable proteins as many are based on, or contain, soy protein. Soy protein can be damaging to the health because soy contains phytoestrogens that may cause hormonal imbalance, particularly in men. In addition, soy often contains enzyme inhibitors and some evidence suggests these may disrupt thyroid function. Generally using a vegetable protein that does not contain soy is recommended. Soy products should only be consumed in their traditional fermented state, as with the preparations misu or tofu, for example.
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