Dangers of Soy in Children's Diets
Many people have been led to believe that soy products are not only heallthy for children, but that they are healthier thandairy products from animal origins such as cows' and goats' milk.
Soy products are now found in nearly everything imaginable, including "health food" items. Soy milk is mainstream and available in grocery stores everywhere in many different flavors. Even many baby foods and baby formulas are soy based.
Is it really a healthy product for children and adults?
Dangers of Soy
Soy products, any soy product, contain a number of chemical compounds that are actually toxic to both humans and animals. They are often called "anti-nutrients". ANti- utrient is merely a word coined by the soy industry to refer to a compound that is bad for you.
These anti-nutrients act in such a way as to block other nutrients from entering the body. In other words, at their best the soy priducts are creating a nutritional deficiency. Soy toxins, such as phytic acid, a protease inhibitor, also target certain organs, cells and enzymes.
Protease inhibitors keep the enzymes of the body from breaking down protein properly so that the body is actually in a quasi-malnourished state and protein deficient. The Food and Drug Administration has not established safe levels for protease inhibitors even though there have been numerous studies on the effects of soy toxins in rats.
In these studies the rats became more susceptible to pancreatic cancer and pancreatic problems which supressed the immune system allowing various other cancers to become established. When the research was made public and presented to the US FDA their response was that it was non-conclusive since the study had been done on rats rather than humans. They stated that because a rat's system is different than a human's the study was invalid. This is interesting since most of the research currently done is done on rats and's validity is accepted by all government organizations.
The Toxins in Soy
The toxins found in soy are:
- Protease inhibitors
- Phytic acid
- Soy lectins
- Maganese concentration levels
In fact, all soy prodicts with the exception of soy lecithin contain some level of toxin whether it is marked certified organic or just in the feed that fed the chicken that you ate for dinner.
The Effects of Soy on Children
The most people most affected in the population are infants and children.
The soy plant absorbs large amounts of manganese from the soil that it is planted in. Some maganese is important for nutrition but excessive amounts in the body are linked with neurological damage. In fact, soy formulas have nearly two hundred times the maganese of breast milk.
Some researchers have stated that for every eight babies that are given soy based infant formula for six months or more at least on will have behavior problems that may not become apparent until adolescence.
But that isn't all. Soy also contains plant based hormones which mimic the hormone estrogen. These hormones are called phyto-estrogens. This is why women are counselled to eat soy during menopause to replace some of the estrogen that is being lost. It eases the symptoms.
What does estrogen do in children?
Phytoestrogens are linked to pre-adolescent sexual development of girls. Pediatricians are reporting increasing incidences of girls with breast development and pubic hair before they are eight years old. The combination of the numerous phytoestrogens in the environment and the hormone filled animal products that are consumed are creating a very premature adolescence in girls.
But what about phytoestrogens in boys?
Estrogen inhibits the normal testosterone development in boys and men. Boy babies go through a cycle in the first three months of life when testosterone surges through their bodies. It is normal and their testosterone levels can be, for a brief period of time, as high as that of an adult male. It is during this time that many of the male characteristics are "programmed" into the brain. Their bodies are "programmed" to have certain characteristics and behaviors after puberty. This surge more or less defines adult male behavior.
If the testosterone is inhibited during these surges than the behaviors may not develop properly, or at all.
Imagine what would happen if you gave your thirteen year old son your hormone replacement therapy pills, or your infant your birth control? Babies fed soy based infant formulas are estimated to receive the equivalent of five birth control pills a day in female hormones. Researchers have found up to 22,000 times more estrogen compounds in the bodies of these babies than those who are fed either breast milk or traditional formulas.