Toxins in baby food may affect hormones, future fertility

baby and bottle

A new study from Italy has found that baby formula and solid baby food frequently contain fungus-derived hormones which can cause infertility in mammals. Scientists from the University of Pisa found that as much as 28 percent of samples of milk-based formulas care contaminated with the fungal hormone called mycoestrogens.

Before we all freak out, it’s not clear whether babies exposed to the compounds are at risk for anything, much less future infertility. Previous research has shown that the human body rapidly breaks down these fungal hormones and have never been shown to cause any health threat. Nevertheless, the Italian scientists are concerned about the higher than anticipated percentage of the hormone and the possible effects of multiple sources introduced at such an early age and exposure over a period if time. Additionally, there is no way to know what the long term effects of this exposure could be without further study.

“Children, and in particular preterm newborns, are potentially exposed to higher dose of mycotoxins during their early phases of life, but no one knows the long-term effects,” said Francesco Massart, who led the study.

Animal research and the few human studies suggest that early mycotoxin exposure may impact human health. Massart continued, “Specific studies should be initiated that allow the establishment of safe levels of zearalenone metabolites in feed materials and compounded feeds, particularly for infants and children of different ages, as they are considered to be the most sensitive to environmental chemicals.”

Source: The Journal of Pediatrics, Reuters


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