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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Health Consequences of Soy Infant Formula, Soy Protein Isolate, and Isoflavones

Authors
item Badger, Thomas
item Ronis, Martin
item Hakkak, Reza
item Korourian, Sohelia - UAMS

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2002
Publication Date: September 1, 2002
Citation: BADGER, T.M., RONIS, M., HAKKAK, R., KOROURIAN, S. THE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF SOY INFANT FORMULA, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, AND ISOFLAVONES. Gilani, G.S., Anderson, J.B., editors. AOCS Press, Champaign, IL. Phytoestrogens and Health. 2002 p. 586-603.

Interpretive Summary: This article discussed animal and human data on the safety of soyfoods. Although soybean-containing foods have been consumed for centuries, some advocacy groups publicly denounce the use of soy formula for infants. This is not based upon evidence that soy formula has any adverse effects, but rather on data from compounds such as estrogens, estrogen-like drugs and purified isoflavones. This article discussed the more than 30 years of safe use of soy formula in American infants and in animal fed soy protein over several generations. The conclusion of this article is that based on years of research, soy foods are safe and provide several health benefits to both infants and adults.

Technical Abstract: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breast-feeding over formula feeding (1). For infants who cannot tolerate breast milk or infants of mothers who are not able or willing to breast-feed, milk-based formula is recommended over soy-based formula, even though there have been no demonstrated advantages of cow's milk-based formula. The AAP specifically states: "In term infants whose nutritional needs are not being met from maternal breast milk or cow's milk-based formulas, isolated soy protein-based formulas are safe and effective alternatives to provide appropriate nutrition for growth and development." The preference toward cow's milk formula over soy formula appears to be based on the lack of confirmed advantages of soy-based formula, coupled with its much shorter safety history, rather than any deficiency. This chapter will discuss what is know about the safety issues of infant formula and the health effects of soy foods.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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