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Soy infant formula which is fed to over half a million infants per year contains isoflavones such as genistein, which have been shown to be estrogenic at high concentrations. The developing testis is sensitive to estrogens, raising concern that the use of soy formulas may result in male reproductive toxicity. In the current study, male White‐Dutch Landrace piglets received either sow milk (Sow), or were provided milk formula (Milk), soy formula (Soy), milk formula supplemented with 17‐beta‐estradiol (2 mg/kg/d) (M + E2) or supplemented with genistein (84 mg/L of diet; (M + G) from postnatal day 2 until day 21. E2 treatment reduced testis weight (p < 0.05) as percentage of body weight, significantly suppressed serum androgen concentrations, increased tubule area, Germ cell and Sertoli cell numbers (p < 0.05) relative to those of Sow or Milk groups. Soy formula had no such effects relative to Sow or Milk groups. mRNAseq revealed 103 differentially expressed genes in the M + E2 group compared to the Milk group related to endocrine/metabolic disorders. How-ever, little overlap was observed between the other treatment groups. These data suggest soy formula is not estrogenic in the male neonatal piglet and that soy formula does not significantly alter male reproductive development.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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