Soy is everywhere in the adult diet. From 100% soy, like soy milk and tofu, to soy as an added ingredient, everything from chicken sandwiches to bread to ground beef.
THIS AMAZING PLANT IS SO VERSATILE WE GET PROTEIN, LIQUID (MILK), OIL, AND MUCH MORE FROM ONE HUMBLE BEAN
In recent years, more soy has been added to baby formula to increase the protein value. This doesn't seem like a problem unless you ask some researchers and physicians.
“Soy formula contains high concentrations of plant-based estrogen-like compounds, and because this formula is the sole food source for many babies in the first six months of life, it’s important to understand the effects of exposure to such compounds during a critical period in development,” said Virginia A. Stallings, MD, Director of the Nutrition Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
This sounds like an alarming problem, but it only tells half the story.
“Federal officials said that if the evidence becomes convincing that environmental estrogens do pose a health hazard, then agencies such as the EPA will have to develop new regulations to minimize people's exposure to the offending compounds.” - The Washington Post, January 25, 1994.
In other words, it’s impossible to separate the potential estrogenic effects of soy from the effects of thousands of estrogen mimicking chemicals in the environment.
WHILE WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THESE ISSUES FOR A LONG TIME, THERE IS NO PROVEN CAUSE AND EFFECT BETWEEN SOY IN BABY FORMULA AND CHANGES IN REPRODUCTIVE ACTIVITY, PUBERTY, ETC.
As the EPA notes and the article in the New York Times dig deep into, there are many estrogen-like chemicals in our environment that might be responsible for early onset of puberty or reproductive issues.
While Dr. Stallings caution is great, the problem might be broader than simply soy in baby formula.
- Reducing the amount of soy protein, thus mimicking chemicals in a baby’s formula, is probably a good idea. Just to be safe. Look for a formula that doesn’t use soy as a source for protein.
- Soy oil is used to replace fats that are naturally found in breastmilk. It doesn’t contain the potentially problematic compounds.
- Soy lecithin is an emulsifier. It also doesn’t contain these estrogen mimics, so they’re safe for babies. In fact, there’s some evidence that soy lecithin is very good.
- If you’re going to choose a formula with soy in it, it must be organic. Soy can be full of pesticides and herbicides. Properly raised organic soy is much safer for your baby.
- There are lots of formulas, particularly in the European organic formulas, that don’t contain soy. This can be an option if you’re at all concerned.
We offer a lot of soy-free options that offer complete nutrition and no soy. They use goat’s or cow’s milk as their protein sources, providing nutrition much closer to breastmilk.
Are you still feeling a little unsure? A parent's formula-feeding journey is so personal, unique, and can be challenging. We at OBF24 are proud to have a team that can help guide you along the way. We typically answer your email within a couple of hours. Get in touch