12 answers

Soy Milk??

hi there! we don't drink cow's milk and i was wondering if soy milk will be okay for my daughter once she turns one?? Michelle is 7 1/2 months now and i just quit breastfeeding. she loves the soy formula so it's been the easiest transition. can i move on to the soy milk when she's one?? anyone else doing this? what did you pediatrician recommend?? thanks for any help you can offer! V.

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my son has been on soy milk since we took him off soy formula. He has to drink it to keep his mucuous membranes from making too much mucous. He is now 19 years old.

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There are SO many reports out there, it's hard to get a clear picture of how healthy (or not) soy is. Here's a blurb from www.notmilk.com/joyofsoy.html:

"The natural health gurus are correct on one point. Soy is
being over-promoted by billion-dollar companies that grow
the beans. Estrogenic compounds are found in other natural
foods such as alfalfa sprouts and sunflower seeds, but they
aren't being aggressively marketed by multi-national
agricultural companies. One of these corporate giants uses
shill companies as a front to their soy promotion efforts so
as to hide their involvement. The United Soybean Board works
more openly to get more soy into the diets of school lunch
programs. [www.soyfoods.com] Because the FDA approved soy as
a healthy food that reduces cholesterol among adults with
high blood fats is no reason to promote it as an alternative
source of protein for growing children. Its growth
inhibitors and mineral chelators aren't ideally appropriate
for children.

Let's see if we can make some sense of the soy debate.

1. The reason why soy gained the attention of Western health
researchers is because the American diet is almost
completely devoid of phytoestrogens. Hormones can get out of
balance, and hyperthyroid and over-production of estrogen
can produce symptoms and pose health problems as much as low
hormone levels. A small amount of plant estrogens in the
diet may act as hormone controlling agents.

2. Like any food, soy may induce allergies. So does cow's
milk, eggs, wheat, corn and fish. But nobody is warning the
public away from these foods.

3. While mother's milk is widely promoted for newborns, when
baby needs to be weaned, cow's milk or soy-milk formulas are
often relied upon. Cow's milk appears to result in superior
bone mineral content, but soy formula appears to produce
similar bone mineral content to breast milk. [Journal
Pediatrics 113: 205-07, 1988; Journal Pediatrics 110: 687-
92, 1987] Soy milk formula appears to produce similar weight
gain (growth rates) as produced with cow's milk formula in
young infants. [Pediatric Research 15: 1240-44, 1981] Soy
infant formulas can be modified to suspend minerals and thus
improve bone mineral content. Modified soy formula has been
shown to improve bone mineral content among infants
comparable to cow's milk formula. [American Journal Diseases
Children 146: 1302-05, 1992]

4. Some of the components of soy have been mistakenly
identified as anti-nutrients. For example, IP6-phytic acid,
the primary mineral chelator in soy, was branded as an anti-
nutrient because it blocks mineral absorption. Minerals,
particularly iron, calcium and zinc, are important during
childhood growth. It is easy to improve iron absorption in
soy infant formulas by adding some vitamin C. [Pediatric
Research 36: 816-22, 1994] But adults tend to over-
mineralize as they grow older. The threat of iron overload
is universal in male adults and postmenopausal females.
Calcium tends to accumulate in the joints (arthritis), heart
valves (mitral valve), kidneys (kidney stones), blood
vessels (atherosclerosis) and lens of the eye (cataracts)
with advancing age. So there is a need for dietary mineral
chelators, to prevent calcifications and iron-induced
oxidation in living human tissues, particularly with
advancing age. In 1987 Ernst Graf, PhD, was the first to
describe IP6-phytic acid, found in whole grains and nuts, as
a potent antioxidant and mineral chelator. It is the only
antioxidant known that can completely counter the adverse
effect posed by the hydroxyl radical, a free radical species
involved in all cancers. [The Lancet, September 19, 1987]
Most soy protein products already have undergone processing
to remove most of the IP6-phytic acid anyway. [Acta
Paediatrica 402: 105-08, 1994] The removal of IP6-phytic
acid from soy increases iron absorption. [American Journal
Clinical Nutrition 60: 567-72, 1994]

The IP6-phytic acid in soy has been found to reduce the risk
of colon cancer in an animal study via its ability to
chelate iron. [Proceedings Society Experimental Biology &
Medicine 221: 80-86, 1999] The IP6-phytic acid in soy may be
the primary ingredient that helps to control cholesterol.
[Journal Nutrition 125: 606-611S- 1995]

IP6-phytic acid is not only found in soy, it is provided in
other whole grains, particularly bran. But no one is
proposing that bran is toxic because of its IP6-phytic acid
content. Cow's milk (probably due to its lactoferrin
content), and eggs also tend to decrease the bioavailability
of iron from plant foods. [Federal Proceedings 42: 1716-20,

The primary reason why adults do not get enough of some
minerals with advancing age is the diminished production of
hydrochloric acid, not the inclusion of IP6-phytic acid in
whole grains and soy. [Advances Experimental Biology
Medicine 249: 173-84, 1989] Soybean compounds such as IP6-
phytic acid, protease inhibitors and isoflavones, among
others, appear to reduce the incidence of colon, prostate
and breast cancer. [Journal Nutrition 125: 733-743S, 1995]

5. Why get so bothered about soy? Indeed, spices such as
thyme, oregano and turmeric bind with estrogen or
progesterone and are thus known to be hormone blockers.
[Proceedings Society Experimental Biology Medicine 21: 369-
78, 1998] Even though the American diet is said to be
lacking in soy phytoestrogens, beer contains significant
amounts of isoflavones (probably from hops). [Steroids 63:
14-20, 1998]

6. Science backs the consumption of soy protein and/or soy
extracts (phytoestrogen-isoflavones) for males with prostate
tumors. In immune-depressed rodents whose prostate glands
were inoculated with human cancer cells, soy significantly
reduced the size of tumors and the number of blood vessels
that feed tumors. [Journal Nutrition 129: 1628-35, 1999]

7. There is a great difference between animal and human
studies. Soybean cereal has been shown to interfere with the
growth of young rodents. [Medicina 59: 747-52, 1999] But in
infants, there was no difference noted in weight gain nor
pancreatic enzyme production when fed soy or a whey protein
formula. [Scandinavian Journal Gastroenterology 32: 273-77,
1997] Be wary of so-called experts who only quote animal
data to support their claims that soy is toxic or

8. The fact that isoflavones in soy are reduced
significantly by their first pass through the liver
following ingestion, limits their hormonal effects,
particularly on children. [Proceedings Experimental Biology
Medicine 217: 386-92, 1998] Recent data shows that neither
soy, nor soy isoflavones, exert estrogenic effects on
vaginal tissues in postmenopausal females. [Journal Clinical
Endocrinology 84: 3479-84, 1999] In monkeys, soy
phytoestrogens reduced cholesterol but did not affect the
reproductive hormones. [Journal Nutrition 126: 43-50, 1996]

9. A recent study conducted among 31 patients with high
cholesterol, who were provided 33 grams per day of soy
protein (providing 86 mg of isoflavones), reveals that LDL
"bad" cholesterol levels were significantly reduced even
among subjects who were already taking vitamin E supplements
(400-800 IU). The soy protein did not increase the risk of
hormone-induced cancers. [Metabolism 49: 537-43, 2000]

10. Soy is a known goiterogen. It may interfere with iodine,
a trace mineral required for thyroid function. [Biochemical
Pharmacology 54: 1087-96, 1997] Infants with congenital low
thyroid output, when placed on soy formula, need to have
their thyroxine dose increased. [Journal American College
Nutrition 16: 280-82, 1997] Infants with normal thyroid
output need not be concerned. But adults who are on thyroid
hormone replacement would be wise to review their
consumption of soy with their physician and to be aware of
symptoms such as fatigue and loss of hair, which may occur
with low thyroid.

11. What about the link between brain shrinkage and soy
consumption? Dr. Lon White MD, the lead researcher who
reported this link, compromised his own credibility when he
was quoted as saying: "Those who ate a lot of tofu, by the
time they were 75 or 80 looked five years older." Tell us
Dr. White, did you count the wrinkles? We await
corroborative research studies.

12. Stephen Holt, MD, writing in Natural Pharmacy, has done
the best job of sorting out information about soy. He says
soy protein should be distinguished from the soy extracts or
isoflavones. Consumption of up to 120 milligrams of soy
isoflavones from soy foods should not be considered
worrisome. He says phytoestrogens in soy are far weaker than
the potent synthetic or natural estrogens commonly
prescribed to women for menopause symptoms. But he does
caution against excessive consumption of soy isoflavones in
food supplements or from fermented sources (tempeh, miso)
which Fallon and Enig advocate. His guess is no more than 45
milligrams of conjugated isoflavones from fermented or
supplmental sources daily. [Natural Pharmacy, April 2000]"

IF you do decide to go soy with your youngest, remember to get the full fat (not low/no-fat) because fatty acids are important to brain development during the infant/toddler years. Good luck!

I've been giving my daughter soymilk since she was one. I give her the Silk Enhanced Soymilk. It has the omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and a good source of protien. It also has a slightly sweet and creamy taste and texture so she loves it. My pediatritian said it was fine for her. She is three now and still drinks the Silk soy milk. I drink it too now. It has a lot more nutritional benefits than cow's milk and it's organic.

Dear V.,
soy milk is the only milk I let my kids drink. When my son was born, I nursed him for a month and I supplemented with formula, but my milk wasn't enough for him, so I started giving him formula only. He then developed cholic. I tried nine different formulas until I found ProSobee Lipil, which was magic. After he turned one, I gave him only soy milk and that is what he still drinks. The same goes for my daughter.

Hi V., I know just how you feel. I had my first and only son one month before my 40th birthday. We truly have been blessed. My son was lacotse intolerant during infancy and was put on soy milk. His stomach did not digest the other milks well at all. It was his pediatrician in New York that recommended switching him to soy and we had no problems at all after that. You will want to consult you babie's physician and you can do research online regarding the benefits of Soy.
Good luck to you and your baby. Congratulations on your marriage. May God Bless you all. Remember to include Him in your family and teach your child about His truth and light. This is your opportunity to be the best mom you can be and show your baby The Way!


Definitely ask your pediatrician but there shouldn't be a problem. Start by introducing it a little at a time to see how well she takes it. I'd say if you don't have problems then you could switch.

this is fine i did it with my son and he is the size of a five year old and is not even three yet.. but i didn't stop nursing til he was 2or so... if you do start on soy with i think is the best , get silk plus omega 3 fatty acids.. it is new and it has so much extra stuff in it, that will help you lil one grow..hope i could help.. ps. don't buy the flavored ones they have extra sugar which is ok for a treat but not all the time...

definitely! i gave my daughter soy milk once she was off formula and she was just fine. the vitamins and minerals are just about the same

Actually, I was just at the doctor today having this conversation with my daughter's pediatrician. My daughter is nine months old, and although she breastfeeds, there are occassions that I have had to give her formula. She'll have nothing to do with milk-based or even lactose free formulas, but she absolutely loves the soy-based. The doctor said that because of her preference that she will most likely prefer soy milk when she turns one, and that this is perfectly alright and there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, it's better for children than cow's milk. I'm just glad she actually prefers what's better for her! Good luck, and I hope this helps!

I do not think it should be a problem. Your already giving soy formula, ad there are babies who are lactos-in-tolernt(sp? lol) Just to be sure would check with Ped doc on next check up

My son is so sensitive to cow's milk that I had to give it (and all other dairy) up while I was nursing. He's never drank anything but Soy since then .. well, with the exception of one unfortunate incident at preschool.. after that, his cup was clearly labeled NO DAIRY. lol

He's in the 95% for height, 50% for weight and smart as a whip - soy was great for him.

Hi V.!

Let me first start with we do drink regular milk, but when my son was younger he had such common allergies and sinus issues we used soy milk instead from the time he turned 1 till he was two. We did this because of the way cow's milk helps produce mucus. After that time we started him on skim milk like we drink. So, that's where we came from I just figured I would mention since we didn't do from a vegeterian stand point.

Well, I had a total okay from his doctor. They did not have any problems with it and my son drank it with no problems. We actually used the vanilla flavor (I thought it was easier to drink). I hope this helps, I really don't think it would be a problem since we had the medical okay.

my son has been on soy milk since we took him off soy formula. He has to drink it to keep his mucuous membranes from making too much mucous. He is now 19 years old.

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