Exposure of infants to phyto-oestrogens from soy-based infant formula
Health problems linked to soy Among the many health problems linked to a high-soy diet are:
• Thyroid problems, including weight gain, lethargy, malaise, fatigue, hair loss, and loss of libido
• Premature puberty and other developmental problems in babies, children and adolescents
• Brain damage
• Reproductive disorders
• Soy allergies
Meanwhile, studies have found that soy does not reliably lower cholesterol, and in fact raises homocysteine levels in many people, which has been found to increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and birth defects. In fact, according to Dr. Daniel, soy can increase your risk of heart disease.
As a result, experts have sent a 65-page petition to the FDA asking them to retract the “soy prevents heart disease” health claim that they approved back in 1999, and let’s hope they do the right thing and comply.
It’s very important to know also that children and babies, who are still developing, are particularly vulnerable to soy’s hormone-mimicking effects. A Lancet study showed that the daily exposure to estrogen-imitating chemicals for infants who consume soy formulas was 6-11 times higher than adults consuming soy foods.
And the blood concentration of these hormones was 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than estrogen in the blood. An infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of up to five birth control pills per day. So please do not feed your baby soy infant formula, or your toddler soy foods (if you can’t breastfeed and are looking for a formula alternative, here’s a recipe for a healthy homemade infant formula). The effects are so potent that even pregnant women should avoid eating soy products for the safety of their unborn child.
And there’s more:
• Soybeans are high in natural toxins, also known as antinutrients. This includes a large quantity of inhibitors that deter the enzymes needed for protein digestion. Further, these enzyme inhibitors are not entirely disabled during ordinary cooking. The result is extensive gastric distress and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake, which can result in dangerous pancreatic impairments and cancer.
• Soybeans contain hemaglutinins, which cause red blood cells to clump together. Soybeans also have growth-depressant substances, and while these substances are reduced in processing, they are not completely eliminated.
• Soy contains goitrogens, which can frequently lead to depressed thyroid function.
• Most soybeans (over 80%) are genetically modified, and they contain one of the highest levels of pesticide contamination of all foods.
• Soybeans are very high in phytates, which prevent the absorption of minerals including calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, all of which are co-factors for optimal biochemistry in your body.Summary Background
The isoflavones genistein, daidzein, and thier glycosides, found in high concentrations in soybeans and soy-protein foods, may have beneficial effects in the prevention or treatment of many hormone-dependent diseases. Because these bioactive phyto-oestrogens possess a wide range of hormonal and non-hormonal activities, it has been suggested that adverse effects may occur in infants fed soy-based formulas.
To evaluate the extent of infant exposure to phyto-oestrogens from soy formula, the isoflavone composition of 25 randomly selected samples from five major brands of commercially available soy-based infant formulas were analysed, and the plasma concentrations of genistein and daidzein, and the intestinally derived metabolite, equol, were compared in 4-month-old infants fed exclusively soy-based infant formula (n=7), cow-milk formula (n=7), or human breast-milk (n=7).
All of the soy formulas contained mainly glycosides of genistein and daidzein, and the total isoflavone content was similar among the five formulas analysed and was related to the proportion of soy isolate used in their manufacture. From the concentrations of isoflavones in these formulas (means 32–47 μg/mL), the typical daily volume of milk consumed, and average body-weight, a 4-month-old infant fed soy formula would be exposed to 28–47 per day, or about 4·5–8·0 mg/kg body-weight per day, of total isoflavones. Mean (SD) plasma concentrations of genistein and daidzein in the seven infants fed soy-based formulas were 684 (443) ng/mL and 295 (60) ng/mL, respectively, which was significantly greater (p<0·05) than in the infants fed either cow-milk formulas (2·2 [0·7] and 2·1 [0·3] ng/mL), or human breast-milk (2·8 [0·7] and 1·4 [0·1] ng/mL), and an order of magnitude higher per bodyweight than typical plasma concentrations of adults consuming soy foods.
The daily exposure of infants to isoflavones in soy infant-formulas is 6–11 fold higher on a bodyweight basis than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults consuming soy foods. Circulating concentrations of isoflavones in the seven infants fed soy-based formula were 13 000–22 000 times higher than plasma oestradiol concentrations in early life, and may be sufficient to exert biological effects, whereas the contribution of isoflavones from breast-milk and cow-milk is negligible.