Soy Based Infant Formula May Cause Infertility
Soy has penetrated the food supply in a bad way. It can be found in nearly three quarters of processed foods used as a filler for meats, in vegetable oil, mac and cheese, salad dressings and as an emulsifier in nearly everything. The soy industry has become a powerhouse and with doctors touting it’s benefits for a low-calorie diet its demand grew beyond tofu lovers.
But those glory days for soy are slowing down as research in the passing years has linked it to numerous problems such as cancer, low-testosterone levels and of course, infertility. There is still debate going on about whether soy products such as tofu, tempeh and edamame also pose such risks since these products have been used as a part of healthy diets for centuries. But what is certain of the soy found in processed foods is that it is not going to hold any of the potential nutritional benefits and instead poses major risks to health. This is especially true since most soy consumed today is genetically modified and doused heavily with herbicides and pesticides, then its often put through a hydrolyzing process turning the soy into something that really isn’t soy anymore, just a chemical sludge.
“The extraction process of hydroliysis involves boiling in a vat of acid (e.g., sulfuric acid) and then neutralizing the solution with a caustic soda. The reultant sludge is scraped off the top and allowed to dry. In addition to soy protein it contains free-form excitoxic amino acids (e.g., MSG) and other potentially harmful chemical processes described above. There is a possibility that gentically-manipulated bacteria may be used.
“The food industry sometimes uses large amount of hydrolyzed proteins as a “taste enhancer” because it contains significant amounts of MSG (monosodium glutamate). This is what is known in the food industry as “Clean Labels” — adding MSG to food, without having to list it as “MSG” on the label. “In almost all cases, hydrolyzed soy protein contains a significant amount of genetically-manipulated soy. The hydrolyzed protein products currently added to foods should be considered a detriment to one’s health. There are much healthier sources of soy protein and soy nutrients.”- soyinfo.com
People are repeatedly exposing themselves to these harmful chemicals while consuming soy, under the guise that it is a diet enhancing alternative and a beneficial ingredient when added to other foods. This belief was fueled by the American Heart Association’s approval of it in the year 2000 along with the FDA touting “Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease.” I wonder if they were wearing their ‘I’m with stupid’ t-shirts when they made that move. In 2006, the AHA withdrew it’s pro-soy proclamations, but quietly, leaving many people in the dark about the risks.
Studies continue to produce evidence of it’s issues though, alternative news sources have been reporting on the benefits and dangers of soy for years; like this past article from Health Freedoms, The War on Soy: Why the ‘Miracle Food’ May be a Health Risk and Environmental Nightmare. Unless you are consciously avoiding it, chances are you’re eating more soy then you think. Unfortunately the consumers focused on in the article below have no idea or control of what their fed and they are the most susceptible to it’s harm.
Soy has been used as the go-to alternative for lactose sensitive babies for years but it is now being called out for the dangers it poses. In a study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences they reveal the effects of plant estrogen found in soybean on the reproductivity of mice and the results have spurred the NIEHS to advise that we scrap soy formulas altogether and allow no more than just a few servings per week for those under 18 years of age.
Santa Fe, NM: Research published in this month’s Biology of Reproduction shows that genistein, a plant estrogen found in soybeans, can disrupt the development of the ovaries of newborn female mice, causing reproductive problems and infertility.
“This is a wakeup call for parents and pediatricians,” says Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. “Soy infant formula contains high levels of phytoestrogens that can adversely affect the development of a baby’s ovaries and other reproductive organs. This study adds to a growing body of evidence linking soy genistein and other phytoestrogens to endocrine disruption. Clearly soy consumption must be considered a factor in America’s epidemic of infertility.”
The study, conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), involved giving injections of soy genistein to three different groups of female mice during the first five days of their lives. The researchers found adverse effects at all levels, including at doses comparable to the amount of genistein found in soy infant formulas given to human infants. Mice treated with the highest dose were infertile and mice treated with the lower doses were subfertile, meaning they had fewer pregnancies and fewer pups per litter. Mice receiving the highest level of genistein showed a high percentage of oocyte (egg cell) clustering, making fertilization much less likely to occur.
“We knew that genistein was linked to reproductive problems later in life but we wanted to find out when the damage occurred,” says Retha R. Newbold, a developmental endocrinologist at NIEHS. “The study showed that genistein caused alterations to the ovaries during early development, which is partly responsible for the reproductive problems found in adult mice.” A previous NIEHS study showed that newborn mice given genistein grew up to experience irregular menstrual cycles, erratic ovulation and other problems indicative of infertility.
“I don’t think we can dismiss the possibility that these phytoestrogens are having an effect on the human population,” said Wendy Jefferson , PhD, lead author of the study. NIEHS director Dr. David Schwartz commented, “Although we are not entirely certain about how these animal studies on genistein translate to the human population, there is some reason to be cautious.”
“The NIEHS is not alone in recommending caution,” says Dr. Daniel. “Last July the Israeli Health Ministry warned that babies should not receive soy formula and that children up to age 18 should eat soy foods or drink soy milk no more than once per day to a maximum of three times per week. The ministry was most concerned about adverse effects on fertility. The French government has also taken these dangers seriously, and is now implementing regulations that will require manufacturers to remove most of the soy estrogens from soy formula and from soy foods targeted to children under 3.“
The evidence is mounting that soy formula puts infants at risk for reproductive problems, including infertility,” says Dr. Daniel. “I hope this important new study will encourage the United States to follow the examples set by the Israeli and French governments and issue warnings that will discourage the sale of soy formula. A good policy is ‘Better safe than sorry.’”
By: Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN
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