A hormone-like compound foundin soy products, including soy-based infant formulas and menopause remedies,may impair immune function.
When mice were injected withthe "plant estrogen" genistein, which is found in soy products,levels of several immune cells dropped and the thymus, a gland where immunecells mature, shrank.
Of course, people eat ratherthan inject soy products, but the thymus also became smaller in mice thatconsumed genistein in their diet. This is particularly concerning, researcherssay, since the resulting blood levels of genistein in the mice were lowerthan those reported in human babies fed soy formula.
A few reports from the late1970s and early 1980s suggested that a soy-based diet impaired infants'immune functions. About 15% of infants in the US, or roughly 750,000 children,consume soy-based formula each year.
Proceedingsof the National Academy of Sciences May 21, 2002;99:7616-7621
It is quite amazing thatthis study was actually published as the findings were quite negativefor soy and yet it was funded by the United Soybean Board and the IllinoisCouncil on Food and Agricultural Research.
Amazing, it seems that eventuallythe truth on soy does reach the service, despite the massive funding bythe edible oil industry to convince the public that soy is the greatestthing that ever hit the planet to improve your health.
A 1997 Lancetstudy showed that soy has glycosides of genistein and daidzein orplant based chemicals that mimic estrogen. They possess a wide range ofhormonal and non-hormonal activities. The daily exposure of infants whoconsume soy formulas was 6-11 times higher than adults consuming soy foods.
The blood concentrationof these hormones was 13,000 to 22,000times higher than estrogen in the blood. The authors of this articlespeculate that this concentration may be sufficient to exert biologicaleffects, whereas the contribution from breast-milk or cow-milk is negligible.
Soy formula is one of theworst foods that you could feed your child. Not only does it have profoundlyadverse hormonal effects as discussed above, but it also has over 1000%more aluminum than conventional milk based formulas.
I don't recommend either,but if one, for whatever reason, cannot breast feed, then Carnation GoodStart until six months and Carnation FollowUp after that seem to be thebest commercial formula currently available. The milk protein is hydrolyzed80% that tends to significantly decrease its allergenicity.
It is also important tonote that when breast-feeding it is wise to avoid drinking milk as ithas been shown for several decades that the milk will pass directly intothe breast milk which can cause potential problems in the infant.