isnt soy formula bad? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i mean even worse then regular formula? i keep seeing mamas using soy. i thought it was even illegal in europe?? nothing to back this up, anyone else?


nak

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#2 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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There was an article in mothering magazine maybe a couple years ago that talked about this. I think you can find it in the online archives if you are interested in reading it. From what I remember it says that feeding infants soy formula is giving them an extreme amount of something that is a potentially lethal allergen. There were other scary nutritional issues as well.
I don't really know what choices you have if your baby is allergic to cow's milk and you don't have access to breast milk though There are homemade formulas but I think many people would be uncomfortable with them
Another source of info on soy formula is the westonaprice.org website.
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#3 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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Soy is also highly allergenic and plant based proteins are not what a baby's digestive system is set up for. Hydrolyzed formula (neocate, nutramigen, etc.) is a better alternative if there's a milk allergy. But, some kids do really well on soy?

I can't for the life of me understand why they don't make formula from something truly hypoallergenic, like quinoa or something. Only for babies who really need it, but I HAD to supplement for a short time, and DD has allergies that I totally blame on the formla.
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#4 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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My adopted baby uses formula (millk based), and i had a free can of soy formula that was sent to me by a formula company. When i saw the main ingrediant was *corn syrup* i didnt think it could possibly be a good idea to give it to him (the milk based formula didnt have corn syrup at all.) I would avoid it unless it was truly necessary.

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#5 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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while incorrectly processed soy isnt good for children OR adults it can be a last resort for a mom who cannot breast feed or has stopped breast feeding and has a child who simply cannot tolerate milk based formula. That aren't really a lot of options out there. Sometimes religion, cost, or avaliablility prevents mothers from using doner milk or other formula options. If in a situation where I could not breastfeed (due to medical problem or needed medication, etc) and had a child who couldn't handle milk based formula I would probably opt for another type of formula over doner milk to be totally honest, as I wouldn't personally know and trust the doner. My 3 yo dd is both lactose intolerant and soy intolerant. So my own diet filtering into my breast milk or ay kind of formula made her miserable the first year.

Also, soy can be consumed safely. In the US and most other non asian countries the growth, harvest, and use of soy is done horrible wrong AND is not balanced in our diets with other kinds of foods. Most all production of soy controled by the US is done in a cost effective way not a health effictive way.

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#6 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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But amongst her many allergies DD isn't allergic to soy. I really don't know know what else I could have done at the time. (My DD is adopted, inducing lactation didn't work, and the social worker freaked out about donated breastmilk.)

We had been feeding her cow milk based formula and our daycare provider kept insisting that DD was allergic to milk. She begged us to try soy forumla and I was surprised to see how the symptoms cleared up. It was amazing. She still drinks soy milk.

Maybe you could blame DD's allergies on the soy formula but her birth siblings who were all breast fed for a year have allergies too. I suspect there are even more than she's willing to admit to or bother treating.

I would have liked more choices but I don't believe I did anything wrong in giving my daughter soy formula. She's thriving.
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#7 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Masel View Post
But amongst her many allergies DD isn't allergic to soy. I really don't know know what else I could have done at the time. (My DD is adopted, inducing lactation didn't work, and the social worker freaked out about donated breastmilk.)

We had been feeding her cow milk based formula and our daycare provider kept insisting that DD was allergic to milk. She begged us to try soy forumla and I was surprised to see how the symptoms cleared up. It was amazing. She still drinks soy milk.

Maybe you could blame DD's allergies on the soy formula but her birth siblings who were all breast fed for a year have allergies too. I suspect there are even more than she's willing to admit to or bother treating.

I would have liked more choices but I don't believe I did anything wrong in giving my daughter soy formula. She's thriving.
my question was in no way a personal attack or judgement on any parents choice. please, no harm meant.



so... is it worse? or it just depends if the babes are allergic or not?

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#8 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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i mean even worse then regular formula? i keep seeing mamas using soy. i thought it was even illegal in europe?? nothing to back this up, anyone else?


nak
No, it's not BAD. Some babies on formula will only tolerate soy. In fact there's a vegetarian soy formula made in Europe that is sought after for vegans unable to breastfeed who don't use donor milk.
The anti-soy hype is coming from pretty much a single source.
Of course it's good to avoid lots of processed anything, including processed soy, which is in many products including many formulas.

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#9 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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Isn't formula in general bad? Many babies cannot tolerate the cow's milk formula, so they end up on soy formula. Is it easier for those babies to digest? Yes. Is it going to be worse for them than breastmilk? Of course.

I can't imagine soy formula is worse than me drinking chocolate soymilk.

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#10 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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My understanding is that soy is very high in estrogen. I've read that drinking 2 glasses of soy milk a day for a month is enough to change a woman's cycle. Another thing I've read is that a baby drinking soy formula receives the estrogen equivelent of FIVE birth control pills A DAY. So...all the exposure to the hormone can, at a minimum, cause early puberty in girls, sometimes just breast enlargement (even at a very young age, I've read some as early as 18 months...), others more symptoms of puberty. Baby boys exposed to that much estrogen at such a critical point in their development tend to experience puberty much later...in extreme cases, not at all. All that is before we talk about pesticides and genetic modification...

Here's an article on it from mothering...
http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr...soy_story.html

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#11 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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my question was in no way a personal attack or judgement on any parents choice. please, no harm meant.
I've learned so much here and really like the environment at MCD but sometimes I just feel like a red headed step child. When I see what looks like a leading question I do get a little more defensive than I need to be. So I'm going to apologize right back.

That said I would really like to see a cite for the following statement.

Quote:
Another thing I've read is that a baby drinking soy formula receives the estrogen equivelent of FIVE birth control pills A DAY.
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#12 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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When it's your only option there's not much you can do about it.

I know so many good mamas who try so hard to make it work and it just doesn't. Others don't want to give up dairy in their own diet as bfing moms or perhaps they found out too late that all they had to do was eliminate dairy but now the milk is gone. For most babies once they switch to table foods they can get their protein and calcium in other ways. For most babies the exposure to soy formula is temporary.

Bfing didn't happen for me, and as it turns out my second dd has a very rare and severe form of food allergies and could not have tolerated my breastmilk. I didn't get her dx until much later. She is currently on a very very limited diet, plus soy formula (she's 4.5 years old). Her main source of protein is soy as she cannot tolerate animal products or nuts or other legumes. Do I feel bad about it? Yeah. But what else can I do other than give her the $35/can (lasts 1.5 days) of prescription medical formula that she was on before we found out she can do soy. She gets her formula through a tummy feeding tube since she won't drink the stuff.

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My DD has diary allergies so my doctor told me to stop breastfeeding and put her on soy formula, but I didn't. Then I found out she had soy allergies. I ended up switching to another pedi who said not putting her on soy was the best thing I could have done because her soy allergies are far worse then her diary allergies, she can't even tolerate soybean oil in trace amounts and she would have probably gotten really ill right away.

I assumed (or maybe I read it somewhere) that there were trying to stop doctors from putting babies on soy formula if there is a diary allergy because most (but of course not all) are allergic to both soy and diary.

But I can see why people do it because I looked into hypo allergenic formula and it was outrageously expensive. And my state didn't pass law to have insurance help with the cost until a few months ago. So if a baby can tolerate soy, it's much cheaper

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#14 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Just1More View Post
So...all the exposure to the hormone can, at a minimum, cause early puberty in girls, sometimes just breast enlargement (even at a very young age, I've read some as early as 18 months...), others more symptoms of puberty.
When my daughter was 6 months old, her pediatrician noted that she had "breast buds". He asked if I drank a lot of soy milk. I didn't, but asked why he thought that. He said that they see a lot of babies with enlarged breasts when the breastfeeding mom has a large soy intake or in babies who get soy formula. He said it goes away when soy intake goes down.

I think that for kids who can tolerate it, moderation in soy intake is probably a good idea. But my daughter drinks soymilk from time to time and has never shown any negative effects from it. And I think that there are certainly times (several of these mamas have posted on this thread) where soy formula, while not their first choice, is the best option available for kiddos. My son had a severe dairy allergy and, if I had been unable to induce lactation and unable to get donor milk from someone who didn't eat dairy, soy formula would most likely have been our next option. If we had gone that route, I likely would have supplemented it with coconut oil for lauric acid and fish oil for efas. It seems that one of the problems with many soy formulas isn't so much that it's harmful and more that it could be missing some important nutritional elements.
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#15 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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Okay....

Firstly, I, too...don't want to offend anyone who is using soy for their child. It certainly is a volatile topic...just like vaxing/circing/and the like.

I was only offering my 2 cents on what I understood the problem to be.

That said...I mentioned a "fact" I remember reading...when I just googled "soy formula and birth control pills" I got a TON of websites...some agreeing and some disagreeing. Try it if you like, and see which side you fall on.

Personally...I'm not sure.

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#16 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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I'm much more concerned about the other ingrediants in soy formula...when i ran out of regular (milk based) formula for my baby, i considered using the can of soy we had sitting around, until i saw the ingrediants. I have it here:

43.2 percent corn syrup solids
14.6 percent soy protein isolate
11.5 percent high oleic safflower oil
10.3 percent sugar
etc

If a baby can survive on something that is almost half corn syrup, honestly, i think they could probably survive on just about anything. It just seems kind of gross to me. Obviously, formula has to have a bunch of oils in it because babies need lots of fat to grow...but i personally dont think corn syrup is the best thing to substitute for milk yknow?

Does anyone know if organic soy formula is comprised of something other than corn syrup? The ingrediants i listed were for Similac Isomil.

I think if you have to feed soy because all other options are not working, you do what you gotta do. But i bet too many moms feed soy formula because they think its *better* than milk based formula, or because they are vegan and dont use milk, or because they just have it around. A neighbor of mine offered me some soy formula she had left over, and said that she used to mix it with regular formula with her first kid. I just can't see doing that unless i had no choice.

Also....sometimes you need to try several different formulas before finding one that agrees w/ your baby. It might not at all be a matter of milk vs soy...it might be a matter of one brand of milk formula vs. another.


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#17 of 28 Old 10-27-2008, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But i bet too many moms feed soy formula because they think its *better* than milk based formula, or because they are vegan and dont use milk, or because they just have it around.


Katherine

yes, this is what i was thinking but hoping was not the case. obviously all the moms that answered here have done their research and have to use the soy for whatever reason. but, even personally, i would have thought soy was better, until i heard otherwise

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#18 of 28 Old 10-28-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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Does anyone know what the estrogen levels are in milk-based formula? Just curious, since I know that cows' milk in the US has very high estrogen levels because they use it to increase production. Same with pesticides, etc. Milk based formula is also highly processed.

I think soy is a valid option sometimes; I just don't think it should be a first choice. (And that's saying something for a soy-lover like me.)
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#19 of 28 Old 10-28-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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Ummmmm....most cow milk based formula also contains soy! In fact it's difficult to get a soy-free formula.

My DD IS allergic to soy and because she was such a picky eater as a toddler, my pediatrician suggested supplementing with formula (I weaned her at 27 months) rather than regular cow's milk. I couldn't find any formula without soy in it....anyway, we figured out a better eating schedule for her and supplemented with iron drops, etc

Soy is in EVERYTHING....now that I have a child who is sensitive to it, I'm realizing how much it is in everything...sigh.

But like I said, even cow's milk formula has soy.....

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#20 of 28 Old 10-28-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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Does anyone know if organic soy formula is comprised of something other than corn syrup? The ingrediants i listed were for Similac Isomil.
I think most non-organic dairy formulas have a high amount of corn syrup in them too. Here are the ingedients from Baby's Only Organic Soy formula:

Ingredients: Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Soybean Oil, Monopotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Organic Soy Lecithin, Calcium Ascorbate (Vit. C), Sodium Chloride, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Calcium Citrate, Choline Bitartrate, L-Methionine, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, Natural Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit. E), L-Carnitine, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vit. B1), Riboflavin (Vit. B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vit. B6), Copper Sulfate, Folic Acid, Phylloquinone (Vit. K1), Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Biotin, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12).

Made without GMO ingredients and contains no lactose, dairy, no wheat or wheat gluten, no palm olein oil, no corn or corn syrup, no sucrose, and no peanut.
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#21 of 28 Old 10-28-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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I think most non-organic dairy formulas have a high amount of corn syrup in them too.
No, i dont think so...at least not the ones i looked at. We used Target brand milk based formula, and it has no corn syrup, and when i was doing my comparing it was either with Similac or Enfamil (milk based)...no corn syrup. Whereas with the soy formula, corn syrup is the first ingrediant, meaning that is what the formula has most of (and indeed is 43 percent corn syrup). The ingredients on our Target milk based formula are nonfat milk, lactose, vegetable oils (palm olein, soy, coconut, high oleic (safflower or sunflower) oil) whey protein concentate and then less than 1 percent of a bunch of vitamin type stuff i dont feel like typing out. The main ingredient in milk based formula is milk. The main ingredient in mainstream soy formula is corn syrup solids.

Its good to know that the organic formula doesnt have corn syrup, although it still freaks me out how a baby can thrive on brown rice syrup. At least milk based formula is, well, milk. Cow's milk, sure, but at least its mammal milk. Thats not an indictment of mom's whose babies need soy formula, as i said you do what works, and give your baby what they can tolerate. I'm just really glad i didnt have to make that choice.


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#22 of 28 Old 10-29-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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My not exactly scientific scale:
Human milk from a healthy mom with a well balanced diet is a perfect 10.
Human milk from a healthy mom with an average diet is a 9.5.
Human milk from a mom who isn't healthy with an average diet is a 9.

Human milk pumped by a healthy mom with an average diet is an 8.
Pasturized human milk pumped by a donor with an unknowable diet is a 6.

Milk based formula is a 2.
Soybased formula is a 1.5.

Anything else is below a 1.

All formulas have some form of sugar whether it is cows lactose of corn syrup, though instictively lactose sounds a lot better if one is on soyformula for a dairy alllergy, then lactose will likely cause problems. The difference between rice syrup and corn syrup is minor, as long as one doesn't have a corn allergy there is no nutritional difference. Many milk based formulas do have corn syrup in them, sometimes it's listed as a fancy name to go unnoticed.

It would be nice if every child could get
human milk from a healthy mom with a well balanced diet, but in the real word stuff happens and we give our LOs the best that we are able to. Though soy formula isn't great, it is better than giving you LO milk based formula if that is making them sick.

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#23 of 28 Old 10-29-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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Many milk based formulas do have corn syrup in them, sometimes it's listed as a fancy name to go unnoticed.
Can you give me an example of a "fancy" name for corn syrup? I looked up both enfamil and similac ingrediant lists online, and didnt see anything that could remotely be corn syrup...but maybe i'm missing it. It seems that in milk based formulas that i have looked at, the ingrediants are basically nonfat milk, lactose, veg. oil, whey, and then a bunch of vitamins/minerals. whereas on the soy formula, corn syrup solids are very clearly stated as the first ingrediant.

Of course, there are lots of different brands of formula, i only looked at a couple (the major ones.) so i could be missing it.


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#24 of 28 Old 10-29-2008, 04:30 AM
 
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To answer the OP, soy formula isn't illegal in any European countries that I know of, but the only conceivable reason to use it I can think of is if you are a vegan with breastfeeding difficulties and are therefore opposed to the hydrolysate/elemental formulas. If you know your child has a tendency to allergies, there is a very real possibility that you're going to sensitize them to soy through the use of soy formula, and that's going to be a royal PITA because soy is hidden, generally, even better than milk or nuts are in ingredient listings.
Plus the oestrogen issue- I just don't accept that humans are meant to eat soy, except when it's been fermented. PLUS you are harming the environment by supporting the drive to grow just four arable crops, and the lack of biodiversity is catastrophic for wildlife. (Corn, obviously, is one of the other big four in over-production today.) I just don't see a justification for it. If your kid can't tolerate dairy or cows milk formula, you should be using elemental formulas instead. (which are paid for in every universal healthcare system I know, btw).

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#25 of 28 Old 10-29-2008, 04:47 AM
 
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Soy based formulas will have a sweetener as the first ingredient because it goes by volume. And without the sweetener it would not be palatable to an infant or have the sugars necessary.
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#26 of 28 Old 10-29-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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I just don't see a justification for it. If your kid can't tolerate dairy or cows milk formula, you should be using elemental formulas instead. (which are paid for in every universal healthcare system I know, btw).
Not in Canada, at least not for a milk intolerance issue.

Elemental formulas are nothing to just lightly recommend to anyone. Yes, some children struggle with soy and that needs to be seen as a risk but IME, many children require a milk alternative and soy is about the best thing on the market right now when you consider affordability, availability and research. Is it ideal? No.
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#27 of 28 Old 10-29-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Once you're in that situation, it can already be close to a living nightmare- I was lucky, I was still breastfeeding my allergic baby so formula never made up the majority of his diet. I do think, though, that soy is so far from ideal that it really isn't acceptable and with our current level of knowledge, elemental formula should be the chosen course of action.
OP, have you tried both whey and casein-based formulas, by the way? We found Isaac reacted far less to the casein-based ones than he did whey, and I know some children who appear to be extremely intolerant of one kind of formula but can actually thrive on the other. It could be worth a try...

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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I'd like to see soy formulas used only if breastfeeding isn't possible (or supplementation is necesary) AND the baby doesnt' tolerate milk based formulas.

Soy formula isnt' "bad"- but it's not nearly as good as breastmilk and it's far more highly processed (and less like human milk) than a cow's milk based formula. But, it's still nutritionally complete for infants and a heck of a lot better than filling up a tiny baby with solids before they're ready.

It bugs me to see parents choosing soy formula when the baby can tolerate dairy. But the woman with the adopted baby with a dairy allergy- that's exactly what soy formula was made for!

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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