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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Default Soy and Early Puberty

    I've noticed a lot of people in this forum feed their babies a lot of soyfoods. I fed my baby Isomil early on sometimes when I couldn't breastfeed until someone told me about soy possibly causing precocious puberty. I don't know how true it is, but it concerns me and I wanted to share this article in case anyone else was interested.


    I realize there are infants who have sensitivities to cow's milk who have to have soy formula, but I just wanted to put this out there because it was news to me and I love soyfoods. I had every intention on feeding DD anything soy for her protein but I'm scared to now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Dublin, Ireland


    interesting article...it just so happens that i just bought a can of soy formula today b/c i was suspecting that DD was having an allergy to the other formula i was giving her. i haven't read the whole thing but i will probably hold off now. we are seeing the ped. on tues so i am interested to hear her take on it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    Thanks for posting the article. I was just starting to feed DS tofu chunks for dinner. It's so easy to prepare, store and for him to chew. I'm will certainly be limiting how much get gets now!
    Mom to 3 boys
    9/05, and twins 1/09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005


    I did some research based on this post and found that a 2001 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found not significant link. I linked to the abstract.

    Medically speaking I found articles stating that theoretically the link is there but it has yet to show up in medical research. Now, on the other hand there is a wealth of resources that say it is bad. Most of the medical research say that obesity is far more of a contributor to early puberty compared to any other environmental agent.

    I just want to show the other side.

    Thanks for posting this. You made me go off and do some research. I have been buying organic dairy because of the link to early puberty only to be unable to find any research that links puberty and milk consumption.

    I will be going back to my regular milk and will still continue to give my children soy. More importantly, I will watch their overall diet and make sure it is not to heavy in one thing or another and to watch that they stay within their health weight limits.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    The main problem with soy from what I have read -- which admittedly is very little -- is that there hasn’t been enough research done on the long-term effects of the baby who is primarily fed soy in the first year of life who then transitions to soy milk after the first year. (I’m sorry if this is repetitive – I haven’t read the article yet). I believe there were two separate research studies being done on this at the time of my pregnancy (2005) but it will take a few more years before any conclusions can be drawn. Also, at least one of those studies was being sponsored by Nestle.

    More importantly, I will watch their overall diet and make sure it is not to heavy in one thing or another
    this is what i think is ultimately most important.
    Catalina 2005/Mateo 2009/Beatriz 2012

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Thanks for posting this article. Its always good to try to stay informed. However...

    I found this article to be a little to (okay way to) over the top for me to easily accept (It sounded waaay too alarmist/biased) I checked the link providing her references and they looked good. Very reputable journals. Then I checked the other link... its articles written to the author/magazine by readers. Many of the people responding the actual scientists she quoted (or misquoted) in the article, basically telling her that she "grossly misread and misused" their data to support a possible "hidden" agenda.

    Here are a few of them...
    I have a few comments about last month's article by Kaayla Daniel on soy. In regard to a set of data that I collected, to which she refers, she has grossly misread and misused these numbers in a way that indicates either a "hidden" agenda to distort facts or an ignorance of food processing and ingredient labeling. For example, she takes numbers from an old report of ours for kilos of soybeans consumed per person per year in China, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan and equates these into grams of soybeans per day. That she does correctly. But 36 grams of soybeans, at 40 percent protein, is equivalent to 14.4 grams of soy protein per day, or about two glasses of soy milk. And this is the high end of the spectrum she refers to. Dr. Daniel makes a big mistake by thinking of soybeans, soy protein, and finished food products like tofu and soy milk as being one and the same. Soy milk contains 90 percent water and about 10 percent solids and is only 3 percent soy protein, or about 7 grams of soy protein per serving, not 240 grams of soy as she states.

    Likewise, tofu is 85 percent water and 15 percent solids and contains about 9 grams of soy protein per serving, not 252 grams of soy as she states. These soybean equivalents, not the ones Dr. Daniel claims, are indeed equivalent to what many people in Asia consume daily: one or two servings of soybean-based foods that deliver 5 to 15 grams of soy protein per day. Over the years, writers like Dr. Daniel, and indeed even noted researchers, have confused consumers by equating grams of soybeans to grams of soy protein, grams of soy isoflavones, and, in extreme cases like Dr. Daniel's, finished products such as soy milk, which contains 90 percent water, on a one-to-one basis.
    Peter Golbitz
    Soyatech, Inc.
    We are writing in response to the article by Kaayla Daniel entitled "The Whole Soy Story." We firmly congratulate Dr. Daniel for seeking to shed scientific light on misleading claims and uses of supplements, which the public feels are safe, generally without data to support that impression. However, we are disappointed that Dr. Daniel did not apply the same standards of scientific accuracy to her own work and claims. While we cannot comment on the many issues and studies she referred to, we can comment in detail on her misleading statements about our work.1 As she indicates, "most of the evidence damning soy formula can be found only in animal studies." To that end, it is disappointing that she chooses to dismiss, misquote, and misinterpret data from the one large study in humans and a study subjected to peer review by one of the most prestigious journals in the medical literature. The "buried" findings regarding thyroid problems, cervical cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, blocked fallopian tubes, and pelvic inflammatory disease specifically mentioned by Dr. Daniel were all based on a very small number of events. The differences between the patients with these medical conditions receiving soy formula and those receiving milk formula did not even approach statistical significance-that is, the data did not meet the minimal scientific criterion for suggesting an increased risk. Thus, our data were certainly not compatible with an increase in risk. However, since we felt we could not definitively prove the absence of risk with these small numbers, our conclusions on these outcomes were indeed not highlighted. If we had highlighted them, we would have pointed out more explicitly that there was no increased risk identified in this study.

    Most importantly, our study, in contrast to Dr. Daniel's paper, met all scientific criteria for rigorous peer-reviewed scientific research.

    1. B. L. Strom et al., "Exposure to Soy-based Formula in Infancy and Endocrinological and Reproductive Outcomes in Young Adulthood," Journal of the American Medical Association 286 (2001): 807-814.
    Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH
    Rita Schinnar, MPA
    The article contains statements that are alarmist and are not well documented, such as "thousands of studies link soy to malnutrition [and] digestive distress." A search of the scientific literature does not support this statement. In other cases, study results are twisted to support the author's stance. For example, the statement "soy has been shown to pass through the placenta of pregnant women to their unborn babies" is true, but the author implies this is something to be concerned about. Is there evidence that it is? In several instances, the author makes sweeping conclusions based on very limited data. For example, her conclusions about soy formula use as a cause of early puberty, especially in African American girls, are not supported by any research and require a number of leaps of faith.

    Space constraints do not allow me to address every point that this article makes. Readers should be aware that scientists from several countries recently examined more than 200 studies on soy safety and concluded: "The available scientific evidence supports the safety of isoflavones as typically consumed in diets based on soy, or containing soy products."1

    1. I. C. Munro, M. Harwood., J. J. Hlywka, et al., "Soy Isoflavones: A Safety Review," Nutr Rev 61 (2003): 1-33.
    Reed Mangels, PhD, RD
    Nutrition Adviser
    Vegetarian Resource Group
    Baltimore, Maryland
    The article "The Whole Soy Story" was filled with so many inaccuracies about soy foods that it is possible to reach only one conclusion: the author was intentionally misleading readers. Although Dr. Daniel cited scientific articles, she did so selectively-that is, using only those sources that supported her points and ignoring any study that would have forced her to present a more balanced and accurate viewpoint.
    Mark Messina, PhD
    Adjunct Associate Professor
    Department of Nutrition
    Loma Linda University
    President, Nutrition Matters, Inc.
    Port Townsend, Washington

    I could go on and on... (I just didn't want to make this too long.) We just have to remember to not take everything at face value... not believe everything that we read. Please, do not stop feeding your DCs soy based on one bad article.

    Here is the link to the letters I quoted...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005


    Here is a link to a recent article about "the dangers of soy." It's British, where they call it "soya," just so no one is thrown off. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but did get to the part where they say that a baby on soy formula is getting the equivalent of five birth control pills a day!
    B. & C. ... Met 2000 ... Engaged 2005 ... Married 2010 ????
    *** Pumpkin baby born Halloween 2006 *** It's a boy!***

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Mothering is not an unbiased source. Thanks for pointing that out, Batgirl.

    It seems to me that a better message would be that processed mystery nuggest are not a great thing to feed your child, whether they are "chicken" or soy. Don't we all know it's better to eat foods as close to their natural form as possible? As far as soy formula, there are infants who aren't BF and have severe dairy allergies. Soy formula isn't for everyone but for those who need it, thank goodness we have it.
    My guys: 2/05, 10/08
    My girl: 10/11

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