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The health risks of soy infant formula


Soy versus milk formula?

Breastmilk is the healthy and green choice. However, if a baby does need formula, what next? The issue isn’t being talked about enough in the right circles because mom’s still have lots of questions, despite the fact that the research in this case gives us a clear answer to questions like soy vs. milk-based and other questions (like make my own or buy it) that no one even asks about anymore.

I would not not not feed a baby soy formula (unless it is truly medically necessary. For instance because the baby has a congenital lactose intolerance—which is VERY, VERY rare and diagnosed in the testing they do right after birth).  There is mounting research that soy formula can cause harm to a child’s developing endocrine system, could be linked to ADHD and early onset of menses in girls and early formation of breast tissue, and that soy formula might have dangerous levels of aluminum and manganese.

soy formula

In the U.K., Isreal, France, and New Zealand they have severely restricted or banned the use of soy formula for babies because of the mounting research on the adverse health effects. In the U.S. and Canada, the outcry has been much weaker and slower in response, but nevertheless, the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated their stance on the use of soy formula to be far more restrictive and cautionary than before. First, they remind readers that: “The AAP is committed to the use of human milk as the ideal source of nutrition for infant feeding.” Then, they go on to say that despite there being very few cases when using soy milk is really indicated medically it still makes up more than 20% of formula sales in the U.S.  (REMEMBER: your baby isn’t lactose intolerant and you just don’t know it–remember breastmilk is very high in lactose so a truly lactose-intolerant baby would have never survived its first few weeks of life until very recently). The AAP goes on to acknowledge the: “potential harmful effects of soy protein-based formulas and the phytoestrogens they contain.”

They conclude by saying that you should NOT feed your baby soy formula unless it is truly necessary (either medically in the case of a diagnosis of galactosemia or hereditary lactase deficiency” or if parents insist on soy due to religious or cultural beliefs against all animal products.

Soy versus milk formula?

Breastmilk is the healthy and green choice. However, if a baby does need formula, what next? The issue isn’t being talked about enough in the right circles because mom’s still have lots of questions, despite the fact that the research in this case gives us a clear answer to questions like soy vs. milk-based and other questions (like make my own or buy it) that no one even asks about anymore.

The research is clear.  Do NOT feed a baby soy formula (unless it is truly medically necessary. For instance because the baby has a congenital lactose intolerance—which is VERY, VERY rare and diagnosed in the testing they do right after birth).  There is mounting research that soy formula can cause harm to a child’s developing endocrine system, could be linked to ADHD and early onset of menses in girls and early formation of breast tissue, and that soy formula might have dangerous levels of aluminum and manganese.

In the U.K., Isreal, France, and New Zealand they have severely restricted or banned the use of soy formula for babies because of the mounting research on the adverse health effects. In the U.S. and Canada, the outcry has been much weaker and slower in response, but nevertheless, the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated their stance on the use of soy formula to be far more restrictive and cautionary than before. First, they remind readers that: “The AAP is committed to the use of human milk as the ideal source of nutrition for infant feeding.” Then, they go on to say that despite there being very few cases when using soy milk is really indicated medically it still makes up more than 20% of formula sales in the U.S.  (REMEMBER: your baby isn’t lactose intolerant without you knowing, ‘cause breastmilk is very high in lactose so a truly lactose-intolerant baby would have never survived its first few weeks of life until very recently). The AAP goes on to acknowledge the: “potential harmful effects of soy protein-based formulas and the phytoestrogens they contain.

 

Yet, if formula is your only option, how does one actually avoid soy?

Health sciences aren’t an exact study: they aren’t nearly as simple as many would like to believe. When I am trying to discover what is truly healthy, especially for a baby, I truly want that magic mix of traditional wisdom and modern science. I’ve linked to more information from  sources I trust on this topic.

If you don’t want to read on, I’ll keep it short: commercial formula is a last-resort. Babies who are fed any commercial formula are worse-off than babies fed exclusively breastmilk, and it would seem, even from babies fed real food (and healthy, safe alternatives to commercial formula) along with breastmilk. (Listen, that doesn’t mean you should start feeding your baby food before he/she is ready which is usually around six months but that there is no reason, after this point, to supplement with commerical formula if you are also breastfeeding.)

It is hard to avoid soy in commercial formula.

Find Better Options

There are betterformula options. Learn more at https://thegreenmama.com/feeding-baby-formula/   including how to make your own dairy-free formula, or your own home-made formula. Bone broths are also great options for children and babies.

Read more about breastfeeding, breastmilk resources, and all things breasts on this site, including if you were still in doubt, why breastfeeding is the green choice

And when and if you use bottles, learn how to find safer baby bottles.

 

Don’t miss these resources for further reading

Replacing Mother: Infant Formula Report

 

The Scandal of Infant Formula

https://foodbabe.com/2013/05/28/how-to-find-the-safest-organic-infant-formula/

 

 

Make your own dairy-free milk formulas for infants, toddlers, children

 

By Manda Aufochs Gillespie, The Green Mama.  Wish you could  help someone you know with their new baby experience? The Green Mama books are baby-tested and mama approved! The Green Mama is perfect for those with children (or grandchildren) of all ages and Green Mama-To-Be is a fascinating read for those pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or in their postpartum period (and I’ve caught more than one elderly man enjoying it too–in other words there is something for everyone interested in life’s beginnings, the microbiome, and epigenetics in it. )( enjouyihng

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