Every week I get agonized letters from parents who fed their sons soy infant formula and who report estrogenized boys who are flabby, lethargic, high strung and/or embarrassed by breasts and underdeveloped genitals. These parents want to know, “What can we do now?”
First, read my two articles “Soy Recovery Part I” and “Soy Recovery: The Toxic Metal Component,” which are posted on this website. The first article discusses the importance of eliminating soy and other estrogenic foods from the diet and the necessity of gut healing. The second article covers the importance of eliminating toxic metals, such as mercury, aluminum, cadmium and lead, as well as reducing toxic levels of needed minerals such as copper and manganese.
Why do toxic metals play a part in soy recovery? By interfering with every metabolic function in the body. Malnourished children — most children these days but certainly those who were put on soy formula — have impaired detoxification pathways. That means widespread heavy metal toxicity. In addition, boys estrogenized by soy formula nearly always have toxic levels of copper. Those given soy formula in the first six months of life are also prone to toxic levels of manganese, contributing to ADD/ADHD and assorted learning and behavior disorders. All of these interfere with hormone production and cause havoc within the reproductive system.
The good news, as I report in the Soy Recovery articles, is that heavy metals and excess copper and manganese can be eliminated. I cannot emphasize the importance of doing this strongly enough. The risk of long-term, late-developing health problems from soy formula problem is far too serious for a “wait and see” attitude. It is vital to act NOW rather than wait until puberty or later when hormonal problems are diagnosed and full blown. Cleaning up the gut and clearing out the metals gives the soy-fed boy his best chance to recover his health and go through puberty as normally as possible.
Sadly, there’s no guarantee that diet and detox will correct the hormonal damage caused by soy formula. Addressing them will at least improve overall health, but it may also be advisable to consider hormone repletion and balancing.
The first hormone to consider is thyroid. More than 70 years of studies show that soy causes thyroid damage, most often manifesting as hypothyroidism or auto-immune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. While coconut oil and other nourishing foods can support thyroid health and healing, soy-fed babies may need the additional help of replenishing thyroid hormones to optimum levels, preferably with natural thyroid hormones. Proper levels of thyroid hormone will help improve energy levels, mental acuity, overweight and other issues. If thyroid hormone is needed, it will make a huge difference in your son’s overall health.
As for reproductive hormones, the first year of life is a critical period for a boy’s sexual maturation. The body during this time should surge with testosterones and other hormones designed to program the newborn’s reproductive system to mature from infancy through puberty into adulthood. The risk for boys estrogenized by soy formula is that their programming may be interrupted and later reproductive development arrested. Conventional wisdom holds that once this developmental window has passed, it is too late. That said, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) could help some soy-fed boys normalize.
The first step is to test the levels and ratios of the boy’s testosterone and other hormones. Those who come up deficient or imbalanced may opt for Bioidentical Hormone Replacement, a therapy that is highly experimental for children and adolescents who were fed soy as babies. Whether replacement hormones can help these boys “catch up” remains to be seen. However, even when BHRT fails to jump start growth of the gonads, it could still prove worthwhile in terms of overall health and well being. Testosterone, after all, is not just a macho “sex hormone,” but needed for growth, repair, red blood cell formation, and immune function. Estrogenized boys might also need help with progesterone or other hormones so a full panel should be tested.
Parents who would like to consider BioIdentical Hormone Replacement need to know that it is by prescription only, and must be carefully dosed and monitored. This is true for everyone considering BHRT, but especially for children and adolescents who have not yet reached adulthood.
Hope from hcG?
Yet another hormone that might help our soy-fed boys is human chorionic gonadotropin (hcG). Given that hcG is naturally found in high levels only in pregnant women, this idea might seem bizarre. Less naturally, hcG has been in the news because of its popularization for weight loss by bestselling author Kevin Trudeau and others. In these programs, hcg injections plus extremely low calorie, no fat diets help patients to lose significant amounts of weight quickly while retaining muscle mass and high levels of energy.
My interest in hcG for soy formula fed-boys does not stem from the fact that many of these estrogenized boys are pudgy. Rather I am intrigued by a couple of paragraphs in a 1954 report on the use of hcG for weight loss written by the late British physician, Dr. A. T. W. Simeons, in which the doctor suggested hcG for boys with underdeveloped sex organs. Back then, none of the boys would have been damaged by soy, but I can’t help but wonder if hcG could play an important role in soy recovery. Here is the relevant section of Dr. Simeons’ report:
A Curious Observation
Mulling over this depressing situation, I remembered a rather curious observation made many years ago in India. At that time we knew very little about the function of the diencephalon, and my interest centered round the pituitary gland. Proehlich had described cases of extreme obesity and sexual underdevelopment in youths suffering from a new growth of the anterior pituitary lobe, producing what then became known as Froehlich’s disease. However, it was very soon discovered that the identical syndrome, though running a less fulminating course, was quite common in patients whose pituitary gland was perfectly normal. These are the so called “fat boys” with long, slender hands, breasts any flat-chested maiden would be proud to possess, large hips, buttocks and thighs with striation, knock-knees and underdeveloped genitals, often with undescended testicles.
It also became known that in these cases the sex organs could he developed by giving the patients injections of a substance extracted from the urine of pregnant women, it having been shown that when this substance was injected into sexually immature rats it made them precociously mature. The amount of substance which produced this effect in one rat was called one International Unit, and the purified extract was accordingly called “Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin” whereby chorionic signifies that it is produced in the placenta and gonadotropin that its action is sex gland directed.
The usual way of treating “fat boys” with underdeveloped genitals is to inject several hundred international Units twice a week. Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin which we shall henceforth simply call hCG is expensive and as “fat boys” are fairly common among Indians I tried to establish the smallest effective dose. In the course of this study three interesting things emerged. The first was that when fresh pregnancy-urine from the female ward was given in quantities of about 300 cc. by retention enema, as good results could be obtained as by injecting the pure substance. The second was that small daily doses appeared to be just as effective as much larger ones given twice a week. Thirdly, and that is the observation that concerns us here, when such patients were given small daily doses they seemed to lose their ravenous appetite though they neither gained nor lost weight. Strangely enough however, their shape did change. Though they were not restricted in diet, there was a distinct decrease in the circumference of their hips.
This is all Dr. Simeons says, and all I know about hcG for sex organ development. I have no experience whatsoever working with this therapy. I would very much like to hear from physicians, other health care practitioners and parents currently involved in using Bioidentical Hormone, hcG or other natural, herbal or pharmaceutical therapies to help estrogenized boys with breasts and underdeveloped gonads become healthy and normal men. Ideas and thoughts about this are also welcome, either as comments here below or to me by my direct email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.