In my last post, I wrote about the problems faced by children who drank faulty Remedia soy formula as infants.
It turns out that the Remedia children have a high rate of ADHD, three times higher than the general population. This came out in a study conducted by the Israeli Health Ministry, amid accusations that the ministry has been stalling about publishing their results. What is really surprising, though, is that the levels were equally high in all children fed soy formula.
The health ministry studied 500 5-year-olds. Children who had drunk Remedia formula without B1 for at least a month were compared to children who had other brands of soy formula, cow’s milk formula, or were breastfed. Researchers learned that children who drank soy formula—of any kind—were 3 times more likely to have ADHD than the other groups. There was no difference in the rates of ADHD between the Remedia children, and the ones fed other brands of soy. And 13-25% of the children fed soy formula suffered from some kind of sensory disorder, compared to 2.8% of the children breastfed or fed cow’s milk formula. The basic facts about the ADHD findings appear here, but the print edition of Yediot contains more details (relayed to me by a friend, I haven’t seen it yet).
So in this study, the ADHD and sensory disorders are associated with soy formula and not lack of Vitamin B1. The ministry cautioned the public not to read too much into the results. Some of the babies may have been switched to soy formula because of their symptoms, explaining the higher numbers. Or maybe ADHD babies are more prone to allergies? Most doctors recommend soy formula if the baby shows symptoms of allergies to cow’s milk formula. A breastfed baby can be sensitive to cow’s milk that the mother eats, but symptoms are usually less severe and will stop if the mother goes on a dairy-free diet. Allergy symptoms, as can sensory issues, can be vague and hard to diagnose accurately. Lactose intolerance is extremely rare in babies.
I suspect these findings were published today as a smoke screen to deflect attention from the health ministry’s failings in this area, with the concern that the Remedia formula affected so many children. It sounds like there may be more damning findings by the Ministry, yet to be released.