Parents choose soy formula because they believe that it is less allergenic than cow’s milk even though soybeans themselves are a major allergen, but highly processed unfermented products loaded with phytates, enzyme inhibitors, rancid fatty acids and altered protein most certainly are not easy to digest.
The claim is that soy is an acceptable substitute for milk in the feeding of babies and young children. The main ingredient of soy-based infant formula is soy protein isolate, so along with the growth-depressing trypsin inhibitors, these formulas have a high phytate content. The use of soy formula has caused zinc deficiency in infants that is important to the development of the nervous system. Aluminum content of soy formula is ten times greater than that of milk-based formula and has a toxic effect on the kidneys of infants.
Soy formulas lack cholesterol, which is essential for the development of the brain and the nervous system. Mothers’ milk has a special enzyme that helps the baby absorb cholesterol. Cholesterol is also very important for the development and the integrity of the intestinal wall. Formulas are made with sucrose rather than lactose and galactose, which are human milk sugars that play an important role in the development of the nervous system.
Soy formulas used to have lactose added, but that was too expensive, so now they just add sucrose. Not surprisingly, animal-feeding studies show a lower weight gain for rats on soy formula than for those on whole milk, high lactose formula.
Some of soy’s hormonal effects may be reversible in adults following restoration of normal estrogen activity, but in newborns, the effects are more likely to be irreversible.
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