Fang X; Wang L; Wu C; Shi H; Zhou Z; Montgomery S; Cao Y. - - Sci Rep 2017; 7 (1): 4332.

Sex Hormones, Gonadotropins, and Sex Hormone-binding Globulin in Infants Fed Breast Milk, Cow Milk Formula, or Soy Formula

Measurement of endogenous hormones in early life is important to investigate the effects of hormonally active environmental compounds. To assess the possible hormonal effects of different feeding regimens in different sample matrices of infants, 166 infants were enrolled from two U.S hospitals between 2006 and 2009. The children were classified into exclusive soy formula, cow milk formula or breast milk regimens. Urine, saliva and blood samples were collected over the first 12 months of life. Estradiol, estrone, testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels were measured in the three matrices. Lower estradiol and LH levels were found in urine and saliva samples of soy formula-fed boys compared to cow formula-fed boys. Higher LH level was found in urine samples of soy formula-fed girls compared to cow formula-fed girls. However, we found neither a neonatal testosterone rise in the boys nor a gender-specific difference in testosterone levels, which suggests that urinary testosterone levels may not accurately reflect blood levels during mini-puberty. Nevertheless, our study shows that blood, urine and saliva samples are readily collectible and suitable for multi-hormone analyses in children and allow examination of hypotheses concerning endocrine effects from dietary compounds.