Anytime you have a little one who demonstrates an allergy to commercial milk based formula, the typical recommendation by conventional docs is to put the baby on a soy formula. And there are several reasons why that’s a terrible idea. To touch on just a few:
Phytates are present in the outer portion of all seeds. They block the absorption of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and particularly zinc. It also happens to be very irritating to the digestive tract. Soybeans, unfortunately, have extremely high amounts of a particular type of phytic acid that is resistant to deactivation.
Testing done in previous years on babies fed soy formula has shown them to develop zinc deficiency (from being blocked by the phytic acid). And because zinc is known as the intelligence mineral, critical for optimal development & functioning of the brain and nervous system, you could see why a deficiency of this mineral during the developmental stages could have lifelong implications.
Soybeans contain plentiful amounts of trypsin inhibitors. These large proteins, which require application of high heat for long periods of time to neutralize them, inhibit digestion and absorption of nutrients. During the industrialized processing of soy formula, many of these proteins are deactivated, but not all.
Unfortunately, even small amounts have been found to prevent normal growth in rats. And given that a baby’s brain grows at its most rapid rate the first year of life (growing to around 75% of adult size), even a slight retardation of growth could be devastating.
Protease inhibitors in soy are also a problem as they hinder the digestion of protein and can cause potential harm to the pancreas.
Phytoestrogens or Isoflavones
The most serious problem with soy formula are the phytoestrogens. These estrogen-like compounds have the ability to cause estrogenic and/or antiestrogenic effects by sitting in and blocking receptor sites against estrogen. The Weston A. Price Foundation states:
Toxicologists estimate that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of a least five birth control pills per day.
Need I say more? Soy can have serious and lasting detrimental effects on your little one, boy or girl.
New Study Published In March
Now, a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that infants who consumed soy-based formula as newborns had differences in reproductive-system cells and tissues when compared to those who used cow-milk formula or were breastfed.
Soy protein contains high amounts of genistein, an estrogen-like compound. Like other estrogen-mimicking chemicals found in the environment, genistein can alter the body’s endocrine system and potentially interfere with normal hormonal development. In laboratory studies genistein causes abnormal reproductive development and function in rodents, but little is known about its effects on infants. (But why would you take that chance?)
According to the senior author, Virginia A. Stallings, MD, director of the Nutrition Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the main differences that they found were among the girls. Those who were fed soy formula had developmental trajectories consistent with responses to estrogen exposure. Vaginal cell MI was higher and uterine volume decreased more slowly in soy-fed girls, both of which suggest estrogen-like responses.
She added, “For new and expectant mothers deciding on how to feed their infants, as always, we strongly support breast-feeding, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Just say no to soy.