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Soya, is it bad for boys? Anyone have any research please?

(13 Posts)
freefrommum Wed 06-Feb-13 13:46:59

I was very concerned about soya milk due to the phyto-oestrogens so was keen for DS to remain on Neocate for as long as possible. When he turned 5 I tried to switch him to oat milk but he really hated it so I tried soya milk and although he wasn't too keen at first, he did prefer it to oat milk so we persevered and now he's fine with it. There doesn't seem to be much reliable research into the risks of soya milk yet but from everything I read there seemed to be a consensus that the main risk was for babies and very young children so I would think that given your DS's age, the risks are probably minimal. However, if you do have any concerns, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't try oat milk instead. I would still prefer my DS to be on oat milk if I could get him to like it.

heliotrope Wed 06-Feb-13 13:12:20

My DS has been dairy and egg allergic from weaning onwards and while the medics didn't recommend soya for under 6mo, they did recommend it as the best substitute for milk as he was weaned (he was still breast fed then so that reduced the amount he had to have as a drink). I think it is because other available milks don't have the same nutritional balance, and many have added sugar. He has always had it on cereal and in rice pudding, sauces etc, and drunk it a bit. I think it's good to use some other milks in the mix as well to vary the diet and reduce soya dependence, but I am not worrying too much about him having it - generally it is a godsend and we are a major alpro customer. I think the next best thing is oat milk / oat cream.

exexpat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:37:47

I suppose consumption in China & Japan varies a lot (I've also lived there for years), but soy milk is a normal breakfast food in many parts of China, and tofu, miso, natto, soy sauce etc are staples of the traditional daily diet in Japan, so total consumption can be quite high. But I suppose it is possible that highly processed Western-style meat/dairy substitutes could be more concentrated. They are also unnecessary, though - I can see that you might want to find a milk-substitute, but icecream, yoghurt, even cheese, are not essential to anyone. We're vegetarian, but only rarely eat soy/quorn based meat substitutes; DS hates milk & yoghurt, so just doesn't eat them; DD hates cheese, so doesn't eat it.

trixymalixy Sat 02-Feb-13 10:27:35

My understanding too was that the soya consumed in China etc was less processed, which is why it's less of an issue in those countries.

I try to not give soya milk as there are good enough substitutes (Oatly, Kara) so that he can eat soya yoghurts, ice cream, where there's not such good subs, without overloading him with soya.

IAmOptimusPrime Sat 02-Feb-13 07:55:38

I do think that comparing China/Japan to our consumption is very misleading. My brother lived in both countries for a number of years and said they don't have that much as they are only consuming it in sauces, tofu and not as a milk substitute, cream, yoghurt etc.

I'm not against soya at all but just want to make more of an informed decision. Thanks for all your info.

Maz007 Sat 02-Feb-13 07:38:01

I haven't looked at the original research but queried this with our DS's paediatric allergist who had recommended soya formula (post weaning just to top up calcium). The state of the research as he saw it at the time was that if rats are force fed nothing but soya it messes with their hormones. There was no evidence that this applied to humans or that soya in reasonable amounts was harmful. There may have been more recent research (this was three years ago), but my DD's paediatric allergist who is a well-known expert in the field and I trust, recommended soya formula in the same situation this year.

Top nickname binary solo made me smile wink

BinarySolo Fri 01-Feb-13 21:24:44

Was going to say what exexpat said about china and Japan. Also I think a lot of the anti soya backlash has come as a result of it being hailed as a superfood and added to so many things (particularly in America).

Much of the anti stuff I found was funded by meat/milk marketing boards in America so I think they had an agenda.

SuburbanMomma Fri 01-Feb-13 21:15:32

SuburbanMomma Fri 01-Feb-13 21:13:39

I had similar concerns but the advice I've been given is that in moderation it is ok. Same with rice milk. We rotate between rice, soy and almond milks. But soy is really the only one that comes close to dairy in terms of nutrients.

When your child has dietary restrictions imposed by allergy or illness I think you have to weigh up the risks alongside their daily nutritional needs.

MamaMumra Fri 01-Feb-13 20:51:49


exexpat Fri 01-Feb-13 20:49:26

I don't know about any specific research on boys, but millions of Chinese and Japanese boys eat soya products every day without any apparent issues. My DCs have also been brought up eating a lot of soy products as well as dairy, and DS is now 14, tall, hairy and certainly shows no signs of being 'feminised' in any way.

MamaMumra Fri 01-Feb-13 20:47:41

It's not recommended as the sole food source in under 2s but after that it's ok I think.
I did loads of research and spoke to dieticians when DS was younger.

The research was done in animals IIRC. Will try and get some links.

IAmOptimusPrime Fri 01-Feb-13 20:44:18

My ds is allergic to all milk products inc cows,sheep and goat. Also some nuts and eggs. He is very small for his age (6.5) and hasn't grown much since he was 4. Not sure if this is relevant at all!

I have had my doubts about soya for a while, the plant hormones concern me especially for boys. I am quite happy to switch to oat milk but my ex thinks I am talking rubbish and wants evidence that it could be detrimental to his long term health.

I'm sure I've read stuff on here before about it and wondered if anyone can give me any information?

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