In an attempt to provide a plant based diet, vegetarian parents can be tempted to use a soy-based baby formula.
Three main reasons to reconsider a soy baby formula are:
1. Phytic Acid
Present in the outer protective covering of all seeds, and it blocks the absorption of critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Zinc is required for optimal brain and neurological development. As a result, deficiency of this nutrient in infants at a time when the brain is growing at its most rapid rate could have lifelong implications and possibly reduce IQ.
2. Trypsin Inhibitors
Found in large amounts inside soybeans, inhibit digestion and absorption of nutrient.
In the manufacturing process, trypsin inhibitors need application of high heat for extended periods of time to break down, but some remain in the final product; studies show their presence prevents normal growth.
Knowing that a baby’s brain and nervous system grows to about 75% of its full size in the first year, any retardation of normal growth development is counter to helping your child reach his or her full potential.
The Biggest Danger of using soy is the phytoestrogens (plant estrogens called isoflavones) found in all soybeans whether organic, conventional, or GMO.
Phytoestrogens cause hormone disruption, and could potentially affect and alter an infant’s developing brain and physiology.
Research shows that soy milk and soy formula contain up to 4,500 times the level of phytoestrogens found in cow’s milk or breastmilk. Phytoestrogens are potent human endocrine disruptors, binding efficiently to the estrogen receptors found in both females and males.
The overwhelming consensus is that soy infant formula should be used only when all other options are exhausted.