Dr Mercola writes –
Why You Should Avoid Feeding Your Baby Soy Infant Formula
Nearly 20 percent of U.S. infants are now fed soy formula, but as demonstrated in the featured study, the estrogens in soy can cause serious long-term harm to your baby’s sexual development and reproductive health. It’s important to realize that feeding your baby soy formula is like giving her an estimated four to five birth control pills’ worth of estrogen every day. Infants fed soy formula have up to 20,000 times the amount of estrogen in circulation as those fed other formulas!A 1997 study in The Lancet3 found that infants who consume soy formulas were exposed to phytoestrogen levels that were 6-11 times higher, on a body weight basis, than in adults consuming soy foods. And when you consider the fact that drinking two glasses of soy milk a day for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle, I’m sure you can see what a massive problem soy formula can be.Male infants are also adversely affected by phytoestrogens. Male babies undergo a testosterone surge during the first few months of life, when testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male.During this period, baby boys are programmed to express male characteristics after puberty, not only in the development of their sexual organs and other masculinity traits, but also in setting patterns in the brain characteristic of male behavior. Flooding his system with female hormones during this time can have severe ramifications on his development, including potentially smaller testes and significantly reduced testosterone levels.Today, about 15 percent of white girls and as much as 50 percent of African-Americans girls show signs of puberty, such as breast development and pubic hair, before the age of eight. Some girls are showing sexual development before the age of three! Such premature development of girls has been linked to the use of soy formula and exposure to other environmental estrogen-mimickers such as PCBs and DDE.
Soy Infant Formula May Reduce Your Baby’s IQ
Aside from harmful endocrine disrupters, soy infant formula can also contain over 1,000 percent more aluminum than conventional milk-based formulas. Aluminum is a potent neurotoxin that has been implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders. According to a study in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics4:“Aluminum is now being implicated as interfering with a variety of cellular and metabolic processes in the nervous system and in other tissues.”But that’s not all. Many soy foods also have toxic levels of manganese. Soy formula contains up to 80 times more manganese than is found in human breast milk, and according to recent research, high concentrations of manganese can lead to brain damage in infants and altered behaviors in adolescents.5I rarely talk about absolutes but this is one instant where I will say: I encourage you to NEVER give your child soy formula. (I guess the only exception would be if there was a catastrophe and soy formula was the only food source temporarily available to keep your baby alive.)
The Benefits of Breast Feeding, and Healthier Alternatives
One of the best gifts you can give your child is to start out their life with a sound nutritional foundation, and the best way from a health perspective to do this is by breastfeeding if you can. In fact, statistics show a clear correlation between feeding infantsartificial formula and increased infant mortality within the first year.It’s important to realize that there are at least 400 nutrients in breast milk that are NOT found in formula. Of course, the healthier a mom’s diet is, the healthier her breast milk will be, too. While any amount of breastfeeding is better than none at all, it is clearly to your advantage, and best for your baby’s health, to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first 6 months. Then, at the age of 6 or 9 months, you can begin to supplement with solid foods (while still continuing to breastfeed as well).As you can see from the chart below, breast milk, and animal milk are far superior to commercially available infant formulas. What exactly does your baby stand to gain by being breastfed?
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.