The Hazards of Feeding Soy to Children
Do you feed your baby something besides breast milk? Does it contain soy or Soy Protein Isolate (SPI)? Isoflavones in these soy milk replacers are a serious reason for concern. Approximately 25% of bottle-fed children in the United States receive soy-based formula.
Soy and Children:
Feeding soy milk replacer began in the 1970’s. By 1998, investigators reported that the daily exposure of infants to isoflavones in soy infant formula is six to eleven times higher on a body-weight basis than the dose that has hormonal effects in adults consuming soy foods. Circulating concentrations of isoflavones in infants fed soy-based formula were 13,000 to 22,000 times higher than plasma estradiol concentrations than infants fed cow’s milk formula.
One researcher estimated that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day. Almost no phytoestrogens have been detected in dairy-based infant formula or in human milk, even when the mother consumes soy products. So, what does this do to our children? Read the list below and be concerned if your child is showing any of these signs and symptoms.
In children, soy milk and formula anecdotes have included:
- Changed patterns of sexual orientation (influenced by the early hormonal environment)
- Extreme emotional behavior
- Immune system problems
- Impairment of spatial perception
- Infantile leukemia
- Irritable bowel
- Learning disabilities—especially in male children
- Pituitary insufficiency
- Precociousness—Male infants undergo a “testosterone surge” during the first few months of life, where testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male.
- Thyroid disorders
- Visual discrimination tasks required for reading
Can’t have dairy? There are options. Other combinations of formulas that may take a bit more time to make for your baby include mixtures of carrot juice, oat milk, almond milk, goat and rice milk.
See: https://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/#homemade (lots of reference articles here)
If the mother is large-breasted, it also helps to use a breast pump, complete the milking process and combine all three fractions of milk. If the baby only gets the first fraction, which is more watery and has less protein, it makes the baby gassy. Also, if the mother eats lots of raw fruits and vegetables, she will have lots of milk and the milk will be healthier for the baby. I’ve personally seen a midwife adopt a newborn baby, take milk-producing herbs, and nurse the baby herself for a year using her own breasts! Herbs can be very powerful when you know which ones to use.
Other purists recommend raw, unpasteurized milk, saying that the baby will not be allergic to this since the proteins within the milk have not been modified from the pasteurizing process or from using microwave ovens. You will have to make your own decisions and choices with this (know your source!) as this type of milk can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria.
The new Ultra Pasteurized Milks and products that have been microwaved are another issue totally. I do not advocate either of these options either. But, that’s for another day.
Helpful Links and References Soy and Children:
- Feeding babies soy formula: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-soy-milk-babies-8529.html