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Soy formula isn’t a good choice for all babies. Although considered safe for healthy, full-term infants, the higher aluminum content of soy formula may cause weaker bones in babies born pre-term. Soy formula is an infant food made using soy protein and other components.

It is fed to infants as a supplement or replacement for human milk or cow milk formula. Why are people concerned about soy infant formula? The safety of soy infant formula has been debated because it typically contains a class of compounds called isoflavones. Soy formula has no nutritional advantage over milk-based formula and vice versa.

Both are fortified with the same vitamins and minerals. Usually parents choose soy formula when their baby is sensitive or allergic (or potentially so) to cows’ milk protein, or when a baby is having trouble digesting lactose or milk sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) finds that isolated soy protein-based formulas are a safe and nutritionally equivalent alternative to cow milk-based formula for term infants whose nutritional needs are not met from breast milk.

The AAP specifically recommends the use of soy formulas for the followin. Soy milk can be a good choice for babies above one year old who are intolerant to lactose or are allergic to whole cow’s milk. Soy milk is high in proteins, iron, and a variety of vitamins crucial for the healthy development of infants.

Soy milk is low in fat, which may help in maintaining healthy body weight in infants. Infants with hereditary lactase deficiency (rare) or galactosemia, in which a baby can’t metabolize a main sugar in milk (lactose) or a sugar component of it called galactose. Use of soy formula. Research shows that soy milk and soy formula contain up to 4,500 times the level of phytoestrogens found in cow’s milk or breast milk.

That’s a notable number. And it’s been associated with. Soy formula-fed baby girls are more likely to have lifelong menstrual and reproductive problems (primarily longer and more painful periods), anovulatory cycles (cycles in which no egg is released), amenorrhea (failure to menstruate), impaired follicular development (follicles failing to mature and develop into healthy eggs), erratic hormonal surges, changes in. Put baby on a soy formula such as Isomil or ProSobee immediately. About 25% of American babies are fed soy infant formula according to the website of Dr.

Sears. Elemental infant formula might also be suggested, but these are usually reserved for preterm infants and those with specific medical problems such as severe allergies to both milk and soy. Soy-based infant formulas might also be an option for babies who are intolerant or allergic to cow’s milk formula or to lactose, a carbohydrate naturally found in cow’s milk.

However, babies who are allergic to cow’s milk might also be allergic to soy milk.

List of related literature:

However, 20% to 50% of infants who are allergic to cow’s milk protein are also allergic to soy protein and require a protein hydrolysate formula (e.g., Pregestimil, Alimentum, and Nutramigen) (Davis & Stanko-Kline, 2003).

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from Nursing Care of the Pediatric Surgical Patient
by Nancy Tkacz Browne, Laura M. Flanigan, et. al.
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It is recommended that soy formula should only be used with a specific indication, such as complete lactose intolerance (galactosaemia), cow’s milk allergy in infants older than 6 months, or family convictions such as the wish to follow a vegan or kosher diet [11].

“Pediatric Nutrition in Practice” by B. Koletzko, J. Bhatia, Z.A. Bhutta, P. Cooper, M. Makrides, R. Uauy, W. Wang
from Pediatric Nutrition in Practice
by B. Koletzko, J. Bhatia, et. al.
S. Karger AG, 2015

Approximately 50% of infants who are sensitive to cow’s milk protein also demonstrate sensitivity to soy, but soy is less expensive than protein hydrolysate formula.

“Maternal Child Nursing Care” by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, Deitra Leonard Lowdermilk, David Wilson
from Maternal Child Nursing Care
by Shannon E. Perry, Marilyn J. Hockenberry, et. al.
Elsevier, 2013

There is no known advantage of soy formula over other formula, except for kosher and/or vegan families that want a formula without cow’s milk.

“Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth” by Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Judy Norsigian
from Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
by Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, Judy Norsigian
Atria Books, 2008

Soy formula for the prevention of allergy and food intolerance in infants.

“Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician” by Marsha Walker
from Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician
by Marsha Walker
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2016

For infants with documented allergies caused by cow’s milk, extensively hydrolyzed protein formula should be considered, because up to 14% of these infants also have a soy protein allergy.

“Wong's Essentials of Pediatric Nursing: Second South Asian Edition” by A. Judie
from Wong’s Essentials of Pediatric Nursing: Second South Asian Edition
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Soy-based formulas are not recommended (1) for preterm infants because of the increased risk of osteopenia and aluminum content, (2) for the prevention of colic or allergy, or (3) for infants with cow’s milk protein-induced enterocolitis or enteropathy (AAP, 2014b; see Chapter 25).

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from Krause and Mahan’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process E-Book
by Janice L Raymond, Kelly Morrow
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• Extensively hydrolyzed soy formula is appropriate for infants after 6 months old only; before 6 months old, infants fed soy formula are at risk for nutritional deficit.

“Burns' Pediatric Primary Care E-Book” by Dawn Lee Garzon Maaks, Nancy Barber Starr, Margaret A. Brady, Nan M. Gaylord, Martha Driessnack, Karen Duderstadt
from Burns’ Pediatric Primary Care E-Book
by Dawn Lee Garzon Maaks, Nancy Barber Starr, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

The routine use of soy protein–based formula has no proven value in the prevention or management of infantile colic, fussiness, or atopic disease.

“Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics E-Book” by Robert M. Kliegman, Bonita F. Stanton, Joseph St. Geme, Nina F Schor, Richard E. Behrman
from Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics E-Book
by Robert M. Kliegman, Bonita F. Stanton, et. al.
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011

estrogenic effects to occur in infants fed with soy formula has raised the possibility of long-term safety considerations.

“Textbook of Natural Medicine E-Book” by Joseph E. Pizzorno, Michael T. Murray
from Textbook of Natural Medicine E-Book
by Joseph E. Pizzorno, Michael T. Murray
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2012

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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26 comments

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  • Thank you I’m a PNP but being in a
    Adolescent Medicine I forget about the babies and people are gonna call and ask questions. They care not about your specialties ���� Thank you for the refresher

  • I guess the only thing to be careful of here then is that the kid doesn’t have a soy allergy. I have a pretty severe allergy to soy, and from experience in myself and others, it’s quite common!

  • Breastmilk provides a large portion of the nutrients babies need in the second year and beyond, and I don’t feel like that gets communicated enough these days. We are biologically intended to nurse our children through toddlerhood but unfortunately a lot can get in the way of that as we live our lives in the society we are in.
    My experience has been that my daughter still primarily nurses when we are together(she goes to daycare and I work, single mom life!), and her dietary needs are met with foods complementary to nursing. I’ve been very privileged in the support I’ve received in continuing to nurse, though, because I see many of my peers weaning (in my opinion)early because of work and lack of support at home. That sucks, I really wish it were different.:/

  • My youngest son is lactose intolerant truly lactose intolerant he can’t tolerate any sort of dairy and anything from process things his body just will not accept cow’s milk. We even tried lactose-free milk which is actually made from cow’s milk and found out that although it says 100% lactose free that is a false statement there is an additive to it that helps break down the lactose which is in it and that is how they can consider it lactose free. He is going to be 2 in February and he’s been drinking soy milk since we found out he is truly lactose intolerant! He does just fine on vegan substitutes of things that are all processed with dairy!

  • soy is full of estrogen as well so it can be very bad, would not want a small boy to have it it can effect the way they produce testosterone, and extra estrogen in little girls and effect the way their hormones work as well. Why are you forcing vegan choices on a small child, should it not be a choice you should make for yourself.

  • My baby was diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease shortly after birth while he was in NICU and had surgery for it at his 3rd week. He has been hospitalized 3 times after for enterocolitis due to not pooping, now I am irrigating him every at home until he is pooping normal or otherwise instructed by his surgeon. However, I found he couldn’t keep down any of the formulas from most brands except soy and breast milk. I am deciding between Gerber and Similac can you help with a wise choice given his health history

  • Hi, I am a fist time mom. My baby is 5 weeks old. He’s been having a lot of gas and he hasn’t been pooping everyday. I started giving him mylicon drops but that seem to not help because he’s still in pain. Recently, I gave him gripe water and it seems to calm him down a bit. Then, later he’s in pain and gassy again. I YouTube how to massage baby stomach. I changed bottles to Dr. brown, I try to burp him at every ounce when feeding. The pediatric nurse told me to give him glycerin suppository which it did help him poop bc he had not gone for 2 days. It gave him some relief but now he’s hasn’t poop for a day in a half now and the pain is still there. My baby breaks out sweat bc he’s in so much pain. His doctor even told me to change the milk to soy milk. It’s been 5 days using soy milk and nothing’s changed. He was on enfamil gentlease before I used soy milk. I don’t know what to do?!? Please help.

  • LOW IN PROTEIN. Are you kidding me! Human milk has the lowest protein content of any mammalian milk. Also: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23158513
    Give a kid canola oil are you nuts!?!? You know that breast is best & historically children were normally weaned after the age of 2.

  • My son is 4 months and his pediatrician believes he has a cow milks allergy due to him having constant phlegm and eczema. He has no issues with pooping. She suggested he start taking enfamil prosobe their soy formula. I have read that soy is bad for boys due to high levels of estrogen. I don’t know if that is true but I’m so scared to give him this formula. I’ve considered holle goats milk, but after watching your video I decided it would probably wouldn’t be the best option. Is there any formula that you can suggest I try? I am a first time mom and super worried for my sons well being.

  • I have joint issues, and for some reason soy makes them looser, but I am still vegan and get plenty of protein:) planning on raising my future kids vegan, and having a farm animal sanctuary. Thanks for being such an inspiration to get back into this diet! P.S. your hair looks so good in this video!! And I do not know if you have any videos on this, but what are your thoughts on horseback? I ride, but more just to help my horse stretch and get out more often because she is in a lot of pain otherwise.

  • Omg do scientist realize that breast milk is naturally low in protein also! I always say breast is best, but babies and toddlers don’t need to have formulas unless for some reason the mother can’t produce breast milk. After weaning after 1-2 years children don’t need any milk of any kind to supplement with, water is perfectly fine with a plant based Whole Foods diet. My son is almost 3 and still breast feeds and only drinks water, not dairy or dairy free milks. We were vegetarian until recently when we went vegan. He eats fruits and veggies, grains and organic pastas, beans and yes, occasional organic and non gmo soy meats and veggie burgers, and he is not deficient, has no health problems, and is not over or under weight. The on,y time my toddler has even dairy free milk is when it’s added to meals I make. But this is silly. I don’t see why soy milk would be bad for toddlers. I’m not a huge fan of soy myself, I prefer hemp and almond milks, but soy milk still is healthier then animal milks!

  • Massive amounts of hormone estrogens and progesterone in the milk from a 1200 pound cow should be the biggest
    concern for nursing moms! 75% of cow milk comes from cows while they are pregnant, when their estrogens
    are up to 30X HIGHER than normal. Soy is a plant, its’ PHTO-estrogens are not the same as animal estrogens. Soy is
    proven to protect women from breast cancer and men from prostate cancer…soy actually is ERbeta estrogen, which reduces estrogens in the human body, not raise it. ERalpha estrogen, found in animal products, meat and dairy, raises estrogen levels. Human mothers milk, hopefully dairy-free, is always best, but soy, hopefully organic soy, seems to me to be the best second option. Get healthy eat plants-not the animals that eat the plants.

  • Hello sir… My baby is 1.7 years old and she got loos motions but actually she didn’t like to drink isomil soya milk powder…. So can I mix with cow milk… Same like horlics I mix…. Pls. Reply

  • My pediatrician wants me to put my 10-day old on soy. I’ve been reading about it, and not feeling up to it. Since she isn’t sure what’s wrong, and she doesn’t have an allergy that we know of so far. She has been constipated, having hard poop, and not going as much. I’m breastfeeding and supplementing with Enfamil Neuropro, right now I’m trying the Gentlease to see if that helps. But I really don’t want to put her on soy, unless it’s really a necessity. I rather try something else before we go to soy, hopefully, my breastmilk comes in more soon so I can just stop formula altogether.

  • This page says it all: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Calcium/Food-Sources-of-Calcium.aspx
    Still plugging meat and dairy as good sources of calcium.

  • HOW MANY TIME DOES IT HAVE TO BE RAMMED DOWN YOUR THROATS…….IT AIN’T MILK, YOU ARE KILLING KIDS….most have additives which you do not know what they are, it might tell you on the pack, but is is true…? Question: How many nuts does it take to make a pint of milk…? Unless you baby is intolerant give it real milk. This women is waffling.

  • Do you have a video on recommendations for a vegan 8month supplements? So far breastfeeding is going amazing and my baby likes all of the baby food i have been making her.

  • I wouldn’t be worried about the nutrition aspect of soy milk but rather the phytoestrogens. You’d have to consume a lot of soy as an adult to see any changes, but the developing endocrine system of toddlers is more vulnerable.

  • I think the lack of iodine mentioned could be because this is a Canadian association. Table salt is iodized by law in Canada and therefore it’s less of a concern than in countries where table salt can be iodized or not iodized. (It’s not that iodine itself is less of a concern, it’s that milk is not the assumed way for Canadians to meet their iodine needs).

  • I’ve taken my daughter to multiple doctors for GI issues since she was born. One of which is a pediatric nutritionist. They said soy milk is a fine alternative. She personally does best on soy. As for fat, fat is easy to put into a diet. Also if people are really worried that diet and milk are not enough, they have multivitamins for young toddlers now days.

  • Basically, the nutritional profil is not the same in fortified soy milk as in whole cow’s milk (by the way, skim milk is also not recommanded for infants under 2, the concern being the essential fatty acid content is not sufficent enough for their needs. Commercial soy-based infant formula is what they recommand for infants until the age of two. Then, you can switch to normal fortified soy milk.
    Look at the Rationale for Recommandation on the use of breastmilk substitute: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/infant-feeding/nutrition-healthy-term-infants-recommendations-birth-six-months/6-24-months.html

  • what a shit vegan you are! a child free meat eater is more vegan than you are. At least meat eating would stop with his life. by having children you will create a 100 of future meat eaters. you would be causing more animal suffering in the long run.

  • My question is: you pick up that menu, substitute cow milk for soy milk and meat for beans, and you think you are giving that child the same level of nutrition?
    Baby’s, toddlers and children need a lot of fat. That substitution removes a lot of fat and bio available nutrients from the diet. And believe you should contact a nutritionist if you want to raise your child as a vegan. Please, don’t do this changes “because it’s as easy as that”. It’s not.

  • Yes! Please:) I would love to see a “what my toddler eats in a day.” I love all the facts you share. Mahalo nui! Aloha & blessings ��

  • My husband was fed soy formula 30 years ago, his mom said it was from “constant spit up”. Hes fine but I wonder if he truly had milk issues or maybe a tongue tie…��

  • Currently stressing out �� my 3 week old has been on gentlease from the get go and is now both spitting up often and having a hard time passing stools. Would you recommend reguline enfamil formula? Or something else? Please help ����