[MOL] Soy Diet May Affect Fetus.... [00130] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Soy Diet May Affect Fetus....

Soy Diet May Affect Fetus

      Mothers who consume a lot of soybeans may expose their unborn and nursing children to subtle, but possibly long-term, effects through their diet.
      Soybeans are high in plant compounds called isoflavones, which have been found to mimic the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen. Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles, Calif., say sex hormones are very influential in helping to organize tissues being developed in utero.
      Researchers fed pregnant rats an isoflavone called genistein. After the rats were born, they found genistein had a masculinizing effect on both male and female baby rats, researchers reported at the Third International Symposium on the Role of Soy in Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease meeting today in Washington, D.C. Male rats whose mothers were fed genistein experienced puberty earlier. Male and female rats born to genistein-fed mothers also showed longer distances between the anus and genitals.
      What this means for humans, researchers say, remains unclear. Scientists are looking into tracking babies born to women who ate a diet high in isoflavones.

Warmly, lillian
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