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Soy Formula for Babies: Any Good?

We have discussed giving children soy milk as opposed to cow's milk, so I thought I would share with you the latest study, at least in regards to babies. From Parents magazine:

As many as 25 percent of formula-fed babies drink soy formula, even though very few really need it, according to a recent statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This is a concern because there are possible health risks: Soy products contain isoflavones, plant compounds that can act like a weak estrogen in the body, says Ruth Etzel, M.D., Ph.D., professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.

In animal studies, high soy intake has been shown to affect reproductive development, including breast growth in males. Though some parents may use soy formula in the hope of easing colic or preventing allergies, it hasn't been proven to  work -- and babies who don't tolerate cow's milk typically do better on a hydrolyzed formula (such as Enfamil Nutramigen or Similac Alimentum) instead of soy. Parents should only use soy formula if a baby has documented lactose intolerance or cannot metabolize the sugar in milk due to a rare genetic disorder called galactosemia.

The bold is the magazine's and not mine.

As for the soy vs. cow's milk debate in my household -- I know, only in Berkeley, right? -- we have made room in our fridge for both. My husband drinks soy milk and always gives the kids soy milk, whereas I drink 1% cow's milk and always give my kids cow's milk. They have yet to show a preference so they are drinking both.

What is your milk of choice at home?

In somewhat related news, I was thrilled to see that the California legislature is poised to vote on a bill next week that would eliminate the synthetic and estrogenic chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA), from among other items, the inside lining of formula cans. A year ago, I worked with MomsRising to push for the bill, which narrowly lost. The California Watch Blog outlined the aggressive campaign against it by the chemical industry.

Keep your fingers crossed, ladies...


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