I don't want to start a hole mess of debates but this is somethign that has concerned me for a long time. I see alot of moms who have a really high soy intake under normal circumstances and consider it very healthy. When I was PG with my dd I started doing research about soy - we have long known that soy is a pytoestrogen and the increase in this hormone during a pg when your baby is developing its internal organs has to have an effect What follows is a few links and articles regarding birth defects related to soy intake during pregnancy, it is largely geared to male uro-genital deformities and disorders but it does effect females as well - as does a high soy intake in nursing moms and soy formula fed babies (I was a soy fed formula baby as a result I had an extremely early onset of pubery and begun developing breasts before I even turned 8 and I strted menstating at 8 years old - both exceptionally early).
Again, I am not trying to start a debate I merely am offering up the information, natural food companies know how to market their goods as well and they are not above propaganda to sell - this is after all the USA and everyone in any sales business is after the almighty dollar in most cases... just food for thought....http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/home.htmhttp://www.mercola.com/2000/feb/6/ve..._pregnancy.htmhttp://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/Refs/Bdefects.htm
21st February 2000
Deformities Found in Sons of Vege Mums
Vegetarians are convinced of the healthiness of their diet. They claim a lower incidence of heart disease and of some cancers. Those who prefer steaks and look askance at pallid salad and bean-eaters will have had their prejudices confirmed by reports in the British Journal of Urology and the British Medical Journal.
It seems that, whatever its advantages, vegetarianism isn't the best diet for mothers hoping to produce the sires of the next generation. The most common genital malformation of the penis is hypospadias. It occurs once in every 350 male births. In hypospadias, the meatus, the opening of the urethra, is situated on the underside of the shaft of the penis, rather than at its tip. The actual opening can be anywhere from its usual site to the scrotum. Usually it is located an inch or so from where it could be expected.
A survey started in 1991 has shown that the rate of hypospadias in baby boys born to vegetarians is five times higher than in those born to meat-eaters. The suggestion is that the phyto-oestrogens in some vegetarian food, particularly soya, may be responsible. Phyto-oestrogens are natural chemicals found in plants which have properties similar to oestrogen – the female hormone. Greener vegetarians are blaming pesticides and artificial fertilisers.
This research may have greater implications than is first apparent. One of the mysteries of modern medicine is why congenital abnormalities of the male genital tract are increasing. The incidence of undescended testes, of testes which are liable to twist (tortion of the testes), of cancer of the testes – a young man's disease – has been increasing steadily for a hundred years, as has the number of men with low sperm counts. Perhaps steak and chops should be added to folic acid as essential requirements of the pre-conceptual diet.
Vegetarian Diet In Pregnancy Linked To Birth Defect
Mothers who ate a vegetarian diet during pregnancy had a five-time greater risk of delivering a boy with hypospadias, a birth defect of the penis. The research team suggests that phytoestrogens, hormone-like compounds found in soy, may be responsible for the link.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that mothers who took iron supplements and those who had influenza in the first 3 months of pregnancy also had a higher risk of having a baby boy with hypospadias. The authors suggest that more research is needed to see if any of the associations found in the study actually cause the birth defect.
It is important to note that there is biological evidence that vegetarians have a greater exposure to phytoestrogens and thus a causal link is biologically feasible.
Hypospadias is a birth defect where the opening of the penis is found on the underside of the penis rather than at the tip. It is a common congenital defect, affecting about 1 in 300 newborn males. The condition requires surgery to correct it, where the foreskin is used to repair the problem. Untreated, it can interfere with urination and sexual function.
The investigators asked mothers to fill out questionnaires during pregnancy regarding obstetric history, lifestyle, and dietary practices. Of 7,928 boys born to mothers participating in the study, 51 cases of hypospadias were identified.
Mothers with a vegetarian diet in the first half of pregnancy had a 4.99 times greater risk of having a boy with hypospadias compared with mothers who included meat in their diets, the researchers report. In addition, mothers who took iron supplements had double the normal risk of having a boy with hypospadias, and influenza during the first 3 months of pregnancy increased the risk of by just over three times.
BJU International January 2000;85:107-113
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
The evidence continues to mount. Just because you are a vegetarian does not mean you are healthy. One of the main reasons is due to the soy issue addressed here. It appears that the soy phytoestrogens increased the risk of the birth defect by 500%. Not only are the soy phytoesrogens an issue, but most vegetarians consume far too little protein and far too many grains. However, the vegetables, or course, are a huge benefit and to provide some partial compensation in some areas.
Again, please take this for the information it is intended to give and not a slam against vegetarians or those who prefer to have soy in their diet. I present this info because I have seenthe result and have a very dear friend who has had to put her son through several painful surgeries as a result of her soy intake during PG, I don't think any of us want to see that happen to any child, especially when we can prevent it.