Which is best? Breast Milk, Soy Formula, or Cow’s Milk Formula?
Interesting Research Results comparing Milk Sources and Infant Development has just been published. If you want details, here is the link to the abstract, Pediatrics. 2012 May 28.
The bottom line, this well designed study compared the developmental status (mental, motor, and language) for 391 infants at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. Research design was adjusted for socioeconomic status, mother’s age and IQ, gestational age, gender, birth weight, head circumference, race, age, and diet history. The three groups were fed Breast Milk, Cow’s Milk Formula, or Soy Formula. There is no surprise that breast milk is still the optimal choice, showing advantages in cognitive development. Previous concerns regarding potential adverse developmental effects of phytochemicals associated with soy protein don’t hold up in this study. Since the formula fed groups did not differ significantly, Soy and Cow’s milk formulas are both an equal second choice to Breast Milk.
If an infant does not seem to thrive as we think they should, we should consider the possibility of food sensitivity to dairy or soy. I will blog about this issue soon.