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Can Soy (Even Organic) Found in Formula Be a Cause of ADHD in Children?

Over the past few years, the number of children with developmental problems has increased. There is much speculation that these developmental problems may have been caused by certain chemicals during a child’s early stages of growth.
As a 1st time mom, I do worry quite a lot about my son. I worry about his health, his safety, his development, and probably as much as any mom would. So I became one of those moms who want just the best for their children “just in case.”

You hear about all the wonderful things that eventually pop up in the future about chemicals and ingredients that cause this and that. For those who pay attention to green products and their health, soy is one of the most questionable.

The controversy regarding the consumption of soysoy milk

There is controversy regarding the consumption of soy and its association with the development of ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). According to Dr. Mercola’s report on The Dangers of Soy, “In contemporary society, somewhere between 90 to 95% of soy grown domestically is genetically modified. Why? Because they incorporate a gene into the soy plant that provides resistance against the pesticide called “Roundup.” This results in an effective harvest and a decrease in production.” In addition, it also results in an increase of health problems, including the possibility of brain damage in infants.[1]

In 2002, Researchers at the University of California in Irvine discovered that Manganese found in soybean plants were a link to behavioral problems. They didn’t prove the actual link of this mineral to ADD/ADHD. However, through the study of laboratory rats, if this mineral is consumed in high dosage, it may potentially cause some sort of brain dysfunction.


The concentration of Manganese in soybean plants pose a threat with it being an increasingly high amount found in soy-based infant formula as opposed to what is found in natural breast milk.

In addition to the concentration of Manganese found in soybean plants, soybean itself contains phytochemicals that are toxic to the human body. This toxicity has been known by the Chinese for thousands of years. Over time, they also found that the only soy with nutrition are the fermented soy. The secret was released when mold found on the soybean actually destroyed the toxins, making it consumable by humans. The most common types of fermented soy are miso, natto, and tempeh.

What does organic mean?

In regards to organic soy, organic means it is produced or grown without the use of pesticides and other factors that make it harmful, including being genetically modified, grown with hormones and/or antibiotics, or radiation. However, this alone does not rule out the dangers of soy to the human body. As mentioned, unless it is fermented soy, it is not as healthy to consume as many people believe. Unfermented soy has been linked to many health problems including ADD and ADHD.

It’s important to understand the risks you are dealing with when you provide your child with certain food or diet. Many children are born with the unconditional love of their parents who want nothing more than the best for them. That is why awareness is always important, especially in making decisions about what to feed your children.


  1. The Dangers of Soy

Lexie Lane

Lexie Lane is the creator of voiceBoks.com, owner of Social Media Panel, and co-author of the book, The Blogger's Survival Guide Tips and Tricks for Parent Bloggers Wordsmiths and Enthusiasts.


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  • This is the first I’ve heard about soy however it isn’t surprising. I think what we all are exposed to on a daily basis is scary!! The chemicals & toxins in so many of our cleaning products, detergents, the foods we eat & drink, makeup, etc are in fact linked to so many diseases & illnesses that people suffer from everyday. Sadly, ADHD is one of them. Bleach, for example has 300,000 more dioxins in it than the organic pesticide DDT & just smelling bleach once will stay in your system for the rest of your life! The accumulation of these dioxin toxins can lead to asthma, lung diseases, liver damage & reproductive issues. Febreze has over 80 known toxic chemicals in it & one of them being neurotoxins! I’ve been doing my best to try & keep all harmful products out of my home. Education & prevention is the key!! Thanks for posting about the soy:)

  • I’m really wary of soy ever since I saw a documentary about how they did tests on people to check their pesticide levels and those who were vegetarians and ate a lot of soy had the highest levels. It’s an interesting theory. My kids were both breastfed exclusively but you know once they start eating food, pesticides are pretty much everywhere! It would be nice to be able to afford all organic and nonGMO!

    • Isn’t sad? Years ago, the nonGMO and organic weren’t even subjects to talk about because that’s all there was, but because of what companies are doing and then competition, local farmers are having to raise their prices just to survive.

  • How scary! I breastfed both of my girls for a few months, and then they were able to use the first formula I gave them. Enfamil in the yellow can! 🙂 I had friends who went through formula after formula and many of them went through various soy based formulas because of milk intolerance.
    It’s so hard to know what to feed our children or even ourselves these days with all of the unnatural modifications being made to our food.

  • It seems to be getting harder and harder to safeguard our health, particularly when it’s far more profitable for food companies to produce food that is modified or contains harmful additives than to deliver whole, natural food that our bodies thrive on.

  • I use to drink soy milk all the time, until I heard about the modifications made to it so I don’t drink it anymore. When I have kids, I will definitely double check any formula I give them. Great article, Lexie!

  • I have been against GMO’s or any modification or addition to foods for years now–way before it became popular! I am not really surprised that soy (in it’s modified version) is causing problems–Unfortunately scientists will not commit to anything until they are absolutely positive and then it is usually too late.

    • Very true. I still see a lot of moms using soy. I know that many feel it’s the only alternative, but nowadays, I ‘m sure there are so many more that are healthier.