Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Little Rock, Arkansas » Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309829

Research Project: Impact of Early Dietary Factors on Child Development and Health

Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Title: Compared with feeding infants breast milk or cow-milk formula, soy formula feeding does not affect subsequent reproductive organ size at 5 years of age

Author
item Andres, Aline - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item Moore, Mary - University Arkansas For Medical Sciences (UAMS)
item Linam, Leann - University Arkansas For Medical Sciences (UAMS)
item Casey, Patrick - University Arkansas For Medical Sciences (UAMS)
item Cleves, Mario - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)
item Badger, Thomas - Arkansas Children'S Nutrition Research Center (ACNC)

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2015
Publication Date: 5/1/2015
Citation: Andres, A., Moore, M.B., Linam, L., Casey, P.H., Cleves, M., Badger, T.M. 2015. Compared with Feeding Infants Breast Milk or Cow-milk formula, soy formula feeding does not affect subsequent reproductive organ size at 5 years of age. Journal of Nutrition. 145(5):871-875.

Interpretive Summary: Many literature reports suggest that some chemicals found in soybeans may impair reproductive function in animals. These findings raise the possibility that consuming soy infant formula could alter hormone-sensitive organ development in children. This study measured volumes and morphological characteristics of breast buds, uterus, ovaries, prostate, and testicular volumes, and characteristics were assessed by ultrasonography in 101 children aged 5 years who were breast-fed (BF, N=35), milk formula-fed (MF, N=32) or soy formula-fed (SF, N=34) as infants. In this study, there were no early infant feeding effects on hormone-sensitive organs volumes and morphological characteristics in children age 5 years. The follow up of these children through puberty is planned and should help delineate potential early infant feeding effect on reproductive function later in life.

Technical Abstract: Abstract Background: Literature reports suggest that phytochemicals, such as isoflavones found in soybeans, impair reproductive function in animals and raise the possibility that consuming soy infant formula could alter hormonally sensitive organ development in children. Objective: This study compared reproductive organs volumes and structural characteristics in children at age 5 y who were enrolled in the Beginnings study long-term cohort. Methods: Breast bud, uterus, ovaries, prostate, and testes volumes and characteristics were assessed by ultrasonography in 101 children (50 boys and 51 girls) aged 5 y who were breastfed (n = 35) or fed cow-milk formula (n = 32) or soy formula (n = 34) as infants. Analyses were adjusted for race, gestational age, and birth weight. Results: Among girls, no significant differenceswere found in breast bud, ovarian, or uterine volumes; counts of ovarieswith cysts; ovarian cysts numbers; ovarian cyst size; and uterine shape between the diet groups. Among boys, no significant differences were found in breast bud, testes, or prostate volumes or structural characteristics between the diet groups. Conclusions: In this cohort, no early infant feeding effects were found on reproductive organs volumes and structural characteristics in children age 5 y. The follow-up of these children through puberty is planned and should help delineate potential early infant feeding effect on reproductive function later in life.