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Nutr Rev. 1998 Jul;56(7):193-204.

Isoflavones, soy-based infant formulas, and relevance to endocrine function.

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Department of Clinical Science, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE 19899, USA.


For more than 60 years, soy-based infant formulas have been fed to millions of infants worldwide and studied in controlled clinical research. These products provide essential nutrients required for normal growth and development. The safety of isoflavones in soy-based products, including infant formulas, has been questioned recently owing to reports of possible endocrine effects in animals and in cultured cells. The literature offers no evidence of endocrine effects in humans from infant consumption of modern soy-based formulas. Growth is normal and no changes in the timing of puberty or in fertility rates have been reported in humans who consumed soy formulas as infants. Consequently, soy-based infant formulas continue to be a safe, nutritionally complete feeding option for most infants.

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