Soy formula link and type 1?

My daughter was diagnosed last year at age 11. As an infant, I had issues breastfeeding her...she didn't latch properly and despite 6 weeks of efforts; pumping, fingerfeeding breast milk, and the complication of new-mom-dom, i gave up. Originally she took regular formula, but due to constipation, and upset tummy, her pediatrician switched her to soy formula, which she seemed to tolerate well, from what i can remember. I am now reading that there may be a link between soy and T1D. Any of you out there either had soy formula as a baby, or gave it to your infants? Just curious.

Well, I just don't think there is enough known about what triggers T1 to give you a definitive answer. There are plenty of people who will say soy was the better choice because cow's milk has been implicated in T1, and there in a nutshell, you have the a small picture of the controversy. There are others as well.

So the most important thing is NOT to blame yourself, because you did what worked best for your child -- she DID need to get fed! And if the scientists have exactly NO idea what really triggers T1, then you certainly don't either. So all you can do at this point is accept the reality -- you can't change it and you didn't cause it, and the most important thing is to forge ahead and create the best possible life for your child.

And PS. I fed my son soy formula with no problems -- but I don't think he has the genetics for T1, either -- he's now 38 and going strong.

I agree with Natalie. I don't think anyone can say for certain WHAT causes T1. There maybe many different contributing factors and u get enough of them in a certain sequence, or exposed to something, or have some kind of illness and bam you develop T1. I just don't think there is any ONE cause. And like Natalie said you did what you needed to do for your child at the time. The blame game is a waist of time, so don't do it. Just learn all you can about D and help your daughter develop good habits for managing this, and just encourage her that D doesn't have to rob her of life experiences. With good control she can pretty much go on to do anything she sets her mind to.

My daughter got type 1 when she was 14 months old, never used soy, and I don't think anything could have effects after 11 years.
Somebody said, shit happens ;-)

hahaha unfortunately yes it does.

Facinating question. I don't read into your post as you feel guilty but more wouldn't it be great to have a reason. I am 40 and just diagnosed as type 1.5, I often wonder and would love to survey those with type 1.5 to find out how many were abused as children. My liver seems to be stuck in "fight or flight" mode. But I also was given Soy formula. As the others said no one really knows what causes different types of diabeties but wouldn't it be great to have a reason to link it to. Maybe then we would be that much closer to a cure.


That's an interesting take on it. I totally agree that the stage was already set.

Thanks all. Natalie and Christy, not guilt so much as curious about any connections. I don't waste my time worrying about this. It is what it is. Syd was dealt this card and we are doing whatever it takes to make her life the most healthy it can be. She is doing fantastic and i'm soooo proud of her. I'm not feeling guilty....i did the best i could with the information i had at the time. It makes no sense to beat myself up and is unproductive to try to lay blame. Sherrie, thanks, you got my meaning:)

There is an excellent book that came out a few years ago by Dan Hurley called 'Diabetes Rising'. He examines why there is such a dramatic rise in the incidence of diabetes - not just type 2, but also type 1.

He postulates on 4 different theories, and the first one he lists is cows milk. Basically, what he said was: "...recent studies in animals suggesting that bovine serum albumin is the protein in cow's milk responsible for triggering an autoimmune response...". That's a quote from an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Towards the end of the book, if I recall correctly, he said something to the effect that if he had a young child, he would only feed him/her soy milk.

So, I doubt seriously that giving your daughter soy forumula caused the type 1 dx.

I am glad to hear she is doing well. You parents are my heroes!


I don't have kids so I don't know this--is soy formula made from GMO soy? I know most of the soy that we eat is GMO. But I think that could be another factor at play as well. If its bad for adults, surely its bad for developing newborns!

how strange...i thought i replied to your first message. Anyway, I agree that there was probably something going on in her body--she obviously inherited the predisposition and from what i've read, this may have been years in the making before it surfaced. I find the human body fascinating and it interests me to talk about the why's...just to understand more of how the body works.

thanks tom, i'll look for that. And thanks for the parent comment. my daughter is MY hero:)


But remember that people have been eating soy, non-GMO, for millennia, and T1 certainly existed long, long before the GMO crops were created. So I tend not to believe that it's the GMO soy that causes T1. And I haven't heard or seen any convincing evidence that it's so bad for anyone, except for food faddists and hysteria mongers.

I would love to see the root cause that triggers the genes for T1 discovered, and likely it will be in a surprising place. But I really doubt it's going to be in food.

I had the same issues with my son and so I also put my son on isomel and he is now type 1 but I also have a daughter who is type one and she was only breastfed. So I cannot be of much help as I have one of each

You are of much help: you show how soy is uninfluent ...

As I posted earlier, I have two children with T1. One I could only breastfeed for three weeks and he became diabetic at ten and I was able to breastfeed my daughter for seven months and she was diagnosed at seven. I also have another child who I breastfed for seven months and he is not diabetic. So I am not sure it makes a difference

My son got a mix of breast milk and soy formula for the first three months, and then exclusive soy formula after that. He was diagnosed at the age of 1, with no family history on either side, and the Mommy guilt was oppressive. Should he have gotten more breast milk? Did vaccines trigger? Soy formula? Not enough vitamin D / sunlight? Hand foot and mouth virus trigger? You can find a study pointing to all of these. However, I was concerned about soy formula so I contacted the head researcher / doctor at the Univ of Arkansas which is doing a 20 year study of different formulas across 400 children. They just finished the first 10 year portion and found no ill effects from soy formula, and no link at all to type 1 diabetes. I spoke to him personally, and he told me to stop reading the Internet.

I am a bit frustrated that researchers seem to be focusing exclusively on "environmental triggers" which means we play the blame game constantly. My son was diagnosed two months after a monster growth spurt, and it seems diagnosis' fall a lot into that category (3 yr old, 10 yr old, etc). I know there is the whole "identical twin" theory to disprove that, but I have identical twin brothers. Even though they are identical, I have always been able to tell them apart (it's subtle, but there) and they are very different people (why does one get severely depressed and the other never does?) Finally, the rise could be attributed to gene pools being more vastly distributed than they were 30,40,50 years ago. My husband is from Holland, and even though we have no history we somehow shuffled our genes to produce an amazing child that just happens to have T1D.

If we have to blame a trigger, they should look at possible internal ones too. It seems there is still so much to learn about T1D.