Soy Milk and Estrogen
Soy milk and estrogen are related because soy milk contains phytoestrogens which can mimic the effect of the female hormone, estrogen. They can have negative effects on various human tissues to the point that drinking only two glasses of soy milk per day for a month will deliver enough phytoestrogen to alter a woman's menstrual cycle.
- A Recipe for Horrormones
This high dose of an estrogen-like substance can be a serious problem for infants. It has been estimated that infants who are exclusively fed soy formula can be ingesting the equivalent of four to five birth control pills worth of estrogen every day. They can have 13,000 to 22000 times more estrogen in their blood than babies fed a milk-based formula. The website
has information on what can go seriously wrong when infants and children are regularly fed soy formula. It would be very wise to avoid giving them soy-derived products,
In the first few months of life, male infant's testosterone levels may be as high as those of an adult male. It is at this time that a baby boy's expression of male characteristics after puberty are being set. This involves not just the development of their primary sexual characteristics but also in programming their brains for characteristic male behavior later in life.
Animal studies indicate that the phytoestrogens contained in soybeans and soy products are powerful endocrine disrupters. The isoflavones are known to interact with animal and human estrogen receptors, causing effects in the body similar to those caused by the hormone estrogen. Soy infant feeding which greatly increase blood estrogen levels inhibits testosterone and may well be a cause of disrupted development often seen in boys, including learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder.
Soy milk and the estrogen levels that it produces account for the 15% of white girls and 50% of African-Americans girls who show signs of puberty, such as breast development and pubic hair, before the age of eight. In extreme cases, girls are showing sexual development before the age of three. Premature development of girls has been linked to the dietary intake of phytoestrogens in soy formula and the environmental exposure to other estrogen-mimickers such as PCBs and DDE.
The intake of phytoestrogens in utero (and at only moderate levels) can adversely affect the developing fetus and the timing of puberty years later.
It is best to avoid what you can of these substances. It is quite a list. Any one-time use will not amount to much but there are so many sources that they can quickly add up. The major items to watch for include:
foods or drinks heated in plastic or Styrofoam
soap, shampoos and other body products that contain parabens or phenoxyethanol
most sunscreens. There are alternatives to protect from the harmful rays of the sun.
processed foods - try to eat more organic, homemade etc
soy and soy products
If you do what you can to avoid the major sources, you probably don't need to worry about the occasional exposure. Both men and women naturally have some estrogen in their bodies. It is not a poison; you just don't want too much of it. Especially, watch out for any young children in your care. For sure don't be feeding them soy milk and estrogen. You can't feed them soy milk without it.
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