Despite theoretical concerns about brain development in babies fed soy protein-based formula, a new report says they do just as well as babies given milk-based formula.
Breastfed infants still have an advantage over both groups of formula-fed babies in terms of cognitive development.
"While we feel there are significant benefits to breastfeeding, parents who cannot or do not breastfeed should not feel guilty or worried that their children will have adverse growth and development outcomes," said report author Thomas Badger, director of the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center. (Badger is also a member of the science advisory board for the Soy Nutrition Institute.)
In the study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers tracked nearly 400 babies at three-month intervals over their first year of life. They tested the babies' progress using infant development and expressive communication scales, adjusting for such factors as the mother's age, IQ and socioeconomic status.