Soy foods deemed safe for infants

March 22, 2006 in Food Safety, Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

Soy foods deemed safe for infants

Scientific evidence examined by the US Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Services (NIEHS) suggests the consumption of soy should not cause alarm, despite recent studies that have questioned it's safety on human development and reproduction.

Concerns have been raised about genistein, a naturally occurring plant compound (phyto-estrogen) in soybeans that can mimic the effects oestrogen in the body.  However, the review from CERHR and NIEHS suggests the consumption of soy from the diet and from supplements posed no threat from the reproductive and developmental effects of soy, although this decision was not unanimous, with one board member calling for further studies.

The effects of genistein on heart disease or cancer risk were not examined.

It is estimated that approximately 10 to 20 percent of infants in the US are fed soy as a supplement or replacement for maternal breast milk or cow's milk.

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