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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPACT OF EARLY DIETARY FACTORS ON CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: Developmental status of one year old infants fed breast-milk, cow's milk formula or soy formula

Authors
item Andres, Aline -
item Pivik, Rudolph -
item Casey, Patrick -
item Tang, Xinyu -
item Badger, Thomas

Submitted to: Pediatrics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 14, 2012
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Andres, A., Pivik, R.T., Casey, P., Tang, X., Badger, T.M. 2012. Developmental status of one year old infants fed breast-milk, cow's milk formula or soy formula. Pediatrics. 129(6):1134-1140.

Interpretive Summary: Although soy formula has been reported to support normal growth, concerns still exist. This study characterized growth, body composition, and behavioral development of breast-fed (BF), milk-based formula-fed (MF) or soy protein-based formula-fed (SF) infants during the first year of life. A total of 347 healthy infants were tested between ages 3 and 12 months. This unique study showed that all measures were within accepted normative ranges. SF infants grew at rates equal to those of MF infants. Furthermore, scores on behavioral testing were nearly identical in MF and SF groups, suggesting the phytochemicals in SF, such as isoflavones, may not adversely affect these measures during the first year of life.

Technical Abstract: Although soy formula has been reported to support normal growth, concerns exist regarding potential adverse effects of phytochemicals associated with soy protein. This study characterized growth, body composition, and behavioral development of breast-fed (BF), milk-based formula-fed (MF), or soy protein-based formula-fed (SF) infants during the first year of life. Healthy infants (N=347) were assessed longitudinally between ages 3 and 12 mo. Body composition was determined using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Behavioral development was evaluated using Bayley Scales of Infant Development and the Preschool Language Scales-3 (PLS-3). BF infants had lower body weight and higher percent fat mass than MF and SF infants overall (p<0.05). Fat free mass was greater in MF and SF compared to BF infants at 12 mo of age. All growth and body composition measures were similar between MF and SF infants. There were no significant differences in mental, psychomotor, and language development between feeding groups at 12 mo of age. Transient differences in developmental status present between age 3 and 9 mo were mostly between BF and formula-fed infants. This unique study combining a characterization of growth and behavioral development of BF, MF, and SF infants, showed that all measures were within accepted normative ranges. SF infants grew at rates equal to those of MF infants. Furthermore, scores on behavioral testing were nearly identical in MF and SF groups, suggesting the phytochemicals in SF, such as isoflavones, may not adversely affect these measures during the first year of life.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014