Early research has found that neonatal exposure to estrogen-mimics could lead to long-term infertility in females.
Estrogen-mimics are chemical compounds that “mimic” the body’s natural estrogen hormone. Thus, these compounds have the ability to influence the body’s normal physiology.
Using a mouse model, researchers previously observed that neonatal exposure to the plant estrogen genistein results in complete infertility in female adult mice.
The infertility was a result of failure to ovulate, reduced ability of the oviduct to support embryo development before implantation, and failure of the uterus to support effective implantation of blastocyst-stage embryos.
The research team has taken these findings to another level and now demonstrated that neonatal exposure to genistein alters mucosal immune response of the oviduct. These changes resulted in a decrease in the ability of the oviduct to support preimplantation embryo development.
These data are significant because they suggest that neonatal exposure to even low amounts of plant estrogens could have deleterious effects on long-term reproductive development.
Based on these results, it may be beneficial to limit a newborn’s exposure to soy-based formula, which may contain plant estrogen.