New research suggests that infant girls fed soy formula are more likely to develop severe menstrual pain as young adults. The finding adds to the growing body of literature that suggests exposure to soy formula during early life may have detrimental effects on the reproductive system. The study appears online in the journal Human Reproduction.
Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, along with collaborators from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, examined data from 1,553 African-American women, aged 23-35, participating in the NIEHS Study of Environment, Lifestyle, and Fibroids (SELF)
The researchers found that women who had ever been fed soy formula as babies were 50 percent more likely to have experienced moderate or severe menstrual discomfort between the ages of 18 and 22, and 40 percent more likely to have used hormonal contraception to help alleviate menstrual pain.
NIEHS postdoctoral researcher and lead author Kristen Upson, Ph.D., offered a potential explanation for the association between soy formula and severe menstrual pain. She said that data from previous laboratory animal studies suggest that early-life exposure to genistein, a naturally occurring component in soy formula, interferes with the development of the reproductive system, including factors involved in menstrual pain. She said these studies have also shown that developmental changes can continue into adulthood.
However, severe menstrual pain is not the only adverse reproductive health condition that Upson has linked to infant soy formula. She and her collaborators at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle previously linked soy formula feeding to endometriosis, a condition where tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside. Using SELF data, Upson and NIEHS senior scientist Donna Baird, Ph.D., have also linked infant soy formula to larger fibroids among woman with fibroids and to heavy menstrual bleeding.
Other studies by NIEHS scientists found that girl infants fed soy formula had changes in the cells of the vagina, including differences in how specific genes are turned on and off.
The only other research that evaluated soy formula in relation to menstrual pain was published in 2001 by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and the University of Iowa, Iowa City. The study, which primarily included white young adults who participated in feeding studies when they were infants, also found an association between soy formula feeding and severe menstrual pain in the women.
“The results of both studies indicate that the findings may apply to all women, but further research is warranted before any changes are made to soy formula feeding recommendations,” said Baird.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) promotes human milk as the ideal source of nutrition for infants. It does not recommend soy formula for babies born prematurely. For full term infants, the AAP recommends soy formula in rare cases where the child’s body cannot break down the sugars in milk or if the family prefers a vegetarian diet.
Upson said some estimates put the prevalence of menstrual pain in women of reproductive age at 60 percent. She added that menstrual pain can have a substantial impact on the quality of life, affecting school performance, work productivity, and relationships.
“Given how common menstrual pain is and the impact it can have on women’s lives, the next steps in research should examine exposures, even those that occur earlier in life that may increase a women’s risk of experiencing menstrual pain,” said Upson.
Grant Numbers: ZIAES049013, K99NR017191
Upson K, Adgent MA, Wegienka G, Baird DD. 2018. Soy-based infant formula feeding and menstrual pain in a cohort of women aged 23-35 years. Hum Reprod; doi: 10.1093/humrep/dey303 [Online 9 November 2018].
WHAT FIGTREELIVE.COM THINKS
It is essential to balance out hormone levels properly in your teen daughters. While many OB/GYN doctors will prescribe birth control pills (estrogen), which is essentially the same negative affect that influenced your daughter’s hormones with the soy formula (also an estrogen), we believe that correcting diet, taking immune function correcting supplements and using a NATURAL progesterone cream is advisable. We suggest:
We recommend following our RAW CLEANSE Diet for 1-2 weeks, followed by our ANTIFUNGAL FOOD CHOICES LIST diet for life.
FIGTreeVitamins.com BASIC WELLNESS PACKAGE, which contains a total of 5 products: 1 bottle Whole Food Multi-Vitamin 60 tablets, 1 bottle Mineral Complex Ultra 250 tablets, 1 Bottle Beta Glucan (100mg), 60 capsules, 1 bottle Vitamin C 1000 Buffered, 90 Tablets, 1 bottle Probiotic Enteric-coat, 60 capsules.
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Dr. Helen’s Blue label Bio-Identical Phyto PROGESTERONE cream (apply TWICE per day; 1/4 tsp to an inner arm, inner thigh, breast, neck or fatty area of stomach – rotate application site with each application). Dr. Lee said you can use every 30 minutes if needed until hot flashes are gone. If still menstruating, count YOUR day 1 (first day of period), then begin using the cream or pills twice per day beginning day 12 through day 26.
To order from Dr. Helen’s office, must call & leave message at 800-301-1982 or email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org (include your telephone number) and be sure to mention you are a FIGTree LIVE member to get 20% off – they will call you back for credit card information and to confirm your order.
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ALSO, keep in mind that most restaurants and school cafeterias, especially chain restaurants, use soybean oil for grilling and frying, as well as smoking foods, plus they use soybean oil based mayonnaise, salad dressings, “buttery” spreads and much more, so please ask about this at restaurants. If they say they use “vegetable oil,” that is just another term for soybean oil in nearly all cases, so request that they read (and if they can, provide) the label information from their oil. Be sure to read nutrition information on all restaurant or commercially packaged foods you have in your home (frozen, boxed, bagged, etc.). Look for soy, soy flour, soybeans, tofu, miso, hydrolyzed soy protein, soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, just to name a few.
Soy in any form is indigestible (commonly causes cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, runny or stuffy nose and many other symptoms shortly after consumption). We believe many diseases and disorders may be caused by soy, which was once considered by the FDA and USDA to be a toxic neurotoxin, so why it was ever accepted as a dietary choice is a mystery. Soy is among the single most common allergens, perhaps because it is in everything! Further, soy also prevents the proper absorption of essential amino acids, minerals, fat-soluble vitamins and causes deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and many other nutrients.
In addition, soy contains estrogenic compounds, which may contribute to prostate, testicular, breast, uterine and ovarian diseases and disorders.
Read more about soy in our Reference Center or simply link here: Read more at SOY FUN FACTS.
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