Feeding baby girls formula milk made from soy may lead to increased risk of them suffering from severe menstrual pain later in their lives, a new study has indicated. The percentage of likelihood of these female babies suffering from menstrual pains later in life is significant. The study said that female babies who consume soy-based formula milk during their infancy were 50 per cent more likely to suffer from cramps ranging between moderate and severe levels, during their menstrual cycles. The study was conducted for young women between the ages of 18 and 22 and its results were published in in the journal Human Reproduction. This study was conducted among 1533 women, ranging from 23 to 35 years of age and a total of 198 among these female subjects, reported being fed soy-based formula milk during infancy.
Kristen Upson, a postdoctoral student from the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the US said that menstrual pain can significantly affect the quality of women's lives and that the study was done to test the effect of phytoestrogens present in soy formula. She added by saying that exposure to estrogens during infancy or development of an infant can affect their reproductive health in adulthood. These new results are consistent with results from previous studies which also reported an increased risk of severe menstrual pain in adulthood, for females who were fed soy formula as babies.
Results from subsequent animal studies also support these results which say that consumption of soy formula by female infants can have disruptive effects on their reproductive health later in life. These harmful effects are due to the presence of phytoestrogen and genistein in soy formula and these effects are said to persist into adulthood. A greater and better understanding of hormonal exposures during developmental periods, which may affect reproductive health in adulthood is required to inform future efforts of prevention, in order to improve women's health, the researchers noted.
(With IANS inputs)