Soy and early puberty PART 1
Those who released the statement that the feeding with soy milk in early childhood lead to early puberty can not present any statistically significant correlation between the consumption of substances with a potential estrogen and development, untimely, of the children sexual functions.
It is true that at present, in the industrialized countries, first menses occurs 3-4 years earlier than 100 years ago, but this can not be attributed to soy products. In Germany, the average age is 12-13 years, with extremes between 9 and 17 years old.
Today, it is believed that the development of better body with a adipose tissue content of at least 17%, and the infections absence stimulates the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, which secretes necessary hormones quantities (follicular and luteinizing) that make the ovaries to produce estrogen hormones and to occurs menarche.
No soy, but varied alimentation, rich in nutrients, along with a better medical care, influences the development, body weight and health status, leading to early puberty.
Phytoestrogens are natural compounds, that are in the complex matrix of soy protein, in concentration of 1-3 mg per gram of protein. Phytoestrogens fixes onto estrogen receptors, acting like estrogens or as anti-estrogens. For example, phytoestrogens can block the endogenous estrogens action on the uterus.
Numerous epidemiological studies reveal that phytoestrogens have a protective action against prostate, colon, stomach, breast and lungs, exercising protective effects against chronic diseases like atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.
Soy foods for infants and toddlers, provide relatively large amounts of phytoestrogens during development period, where are possible permanent changes. It has been claimed that soy products have harmful actions on the reproductive organs development.
For these reasons, Brian L. Storm, and collaborators at Faculty of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Clinic of Pediatrics, University of Iowa conducted a study to examine the relationship between feeding with milk and other soy products in early childhood and possible effects on health, in adult age, aiming, following in particular related the action
related to estrogens. Were examined 248 adults of same age, between 20 and 34, which between 1965 and 1978 were fed with children soy formula, and 563 adults of the same age, which were fed with cow’s milk. The work was published in Journal of the American Medical Association (August 15, 2001; 286: 807-814).
Mothers of these children were determined to not breast feed them, and the children were taking a few days after birth for study. In the US, annually, about 4 million babies are fed with the bottle, soy milk or cow’s milk.
As in other researches, the authors have not found any difference between the two groups of infants in terms of weight and size, as well as they did not found special effects on puberty and fertility related to the consumption of phytoestrogens and soy. The study to which we refer, did not find any statistical significant effect on fertility, measured by the number of spontaneous abortions or medical or ectopic pregnancy rates.
Neither in the descendants of those who grew up with soy milk were not found genital and urological birth defects,. Conclusion of this study, with a follow-up of 30 years, is that feeding the infants with soy milk does not result in harmful consequences regarding health, in general, or on reproductive organs, if compared to children fed with cow’s milk. The authors reassure those interested that using soy milk formulas for infant is free from danger.