Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2006
Publication Date: 4/28/2007
Citation: Jing, H., Pivik, R.T., Gilchrist, J.M., Badger, T.M. 2007. Soy-based and milk-based formula may have similar effects on EEG development in infants [abstract]. The FASEB Journal. 21(5):A322.
Interpretive Summary: It is estimated that approximately 1 million American infants are fed soy formula every year. There is a controversy about the effectiveness and the safety of soy infant formula as compared with milk-based formula. In this study, we investigated the influence of soy-based and milk-based infant formula on development of certain brain functions at 3, 6 and 12 months of age. Normal brain EEG characteristics were found in both soy and milk formula groups. There were no differences in EEG spectral power between the infant groups. This study suggests that soy-based and milk-based formula do not differentially affect brain EEG development in the first year of life. Since this is just one of literally thousands of brain functions that occur during infant development, future studies will focus on other areas.
Technical Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine whether soy-based and milk-based infant formula had different effects on the development of brain physiological functions. Electroencephalographic data were collected from infants during quiet wakefulness (n = 71: 26 soy formula fed, 45 milk formula fed) at 3, 6 and 12 months of age. Brain signals were processed using a fast Fourier transformation. An ANOVA examination was applied to the spectral power, with factors of formula group, sex, age, brain area, hemisphere, and frequency band. EEG spectral power increased across age and the increase was greater at 6 months than at 12 months (p<0.01). The spectral power was higher in the frontal and central areas compared to other brain areas (p<0.01), and higher in the left hemisphere relative to the right hemisphere (p<0.01). Males showed higher spectral power than females in most brain areas (p<0.05). There were no differences between formula groups (p>0.05). These findings suggest that soy-based and milk-based formula do not differentially affect EEG development in the first year of life.