Is Soy Formula OK To Use?

Q. I’ve been avoiding giving my infant a dairy-based formula. Is soy formula a better alternative? – Kyla

A: Not necessarily. Most medical experts recommend, except in unusual circumstances, breast feeding until the infant is six months old. Long-term research has proven that formula-fed babies are at greater risk for obesity, and respiratory, intestinal and other bacterial infections. They also tend to have middle ear infections, lower cognitive development, and weaker immune systems. Although infant formulas are designed to mimic human breast milk, they miss the mark. Cow’s products have been implicated in a number of infant-related health issues including asthma and ear infections. Soy, however, has its own issues.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that cow’s milk and dairy-based formula is the next best thing to breast milk. They recommend that parents feed soy-based formula only to infants who cannot digest cow's milk. The popularity of soy formula continues to increase, however, with 1 in 4 now choosing soy. The main concern about soy formula is the phytoestrogen content - estrogen-like compounds found in some plants. There is some concern these substances could interfere with a child's development and may cause early puberty, thyroid problems, breast development in male children, and other problems. In spite of the arguments, soy milk has been given to infants for centuries in Asian countries and has been used in the United States since 1909, so many experts feel the controversy has gone too far.

Whichever route you choose, be sure to select an organic formula to protect your baby from early exposure to pesticides, hormones, and chemicals fertilizers.

By Lisa Tsakos| January 27, 2009
Categories:  Nest

About the Author

Lisa Tsakos

Lisa Tsakos

Lisa has been in her own practice for over 15 years and specializes in weight management. She teaches natural nutrition in both corporate and educational environments and is a shining example of someone who practices what she teaches.

Lisa is a nutritionist and educator specializing in weight management. After losing weight several years ago through a more natural diet and by improving her digestion, she committed to sharing her new-found knowledge and returned to school to study nutrition. Over the past decade, her Nu-Vitality Weight Program has helped employees at numerous corporations lose thousands of pounds. In addition, Lisa regularly consults for groups and individuals with unique nutritional needs such as police officers and athletes. Lisa has been featured on the Discovery Channel, numerous radio programs and is a contributor to various publications. Additionally, she teaches nutrition at multiple post-secondary schools, has taught natural food cooking workshops, and authored two books.

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