Choosing the Right Milk for Children with G6PD Deficiency

Milk is an essential part of a young child’s daily diet. It contains vital nutrients which help with their healthy growth and development. However, if your child has G6PD deficiency, choosing a suitable milk product can be challenging. Children with G6PD deficiency must avoid products containing Soy, but this ingredient often appears in various forms in many milk supplements and drinks. This article provides important information to help you identify if your child's milk product contains Soy ingredients.

What is Soy?

Soy or soybean is a type of legume widely used as a functional ingredient in many food products. Isolated protein from soybeans is a common food ingredient used in many milk formulas and supplements because it is high in protein and easily digestible. Oil byproduct of soybeans is also widely used as a source of linoleic acid. Some byproducts of Soy are also used as emulsifiers in powdered milk drinks. Despite its good nutritional and functional qualities, milk products containing Soy ingredients are unsuitable for children with G6PD deficiency.

Why is Soy harmful for children with G6PD deficiency?

According to the G6PD Deficiency Association, food items containing Soy and other legumes (e.g, Fava or broad beans) may cause damage to the red blood cells of children with G6PD deficiency.  In addition, The National Institutes of Health-Philippines strongly recommends avoiding food and drinks with Soy.

Click HERE to download a list of G6PD Deficiency signs and symptoms.

How to spot Soy ingredients in food labels

Always check the entire food label of milk products and search for Soy ingredients as they can be hidden in multiple names. Here is the list of ingredients that may indicate the presence of Soy.

  • Soybean oil
  • Hydrolyzed soy protein
  • Soy albumin
  • Soy concentrate
  • Textured soy protein
  • Soy protein concentrate
  • Soy protein isolate 
  • Soy lecithin

Keeping your child with G6PD deficiency healthy

Most children with G6PD deficiency can live normal and healthy lives by avoiding specific triggers. Making sure your child's milk is free from Soy ingredients is an excellent place to start. 

Many other products may also contain hidden Soy ingredients listed above. You can quickly identify these ingredients by checking the food labels to ensure the safety of products for your child with G6PD deficiency.

 

For related articles on G6PD Deficiency, please check the following:


MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information included in this material is for informational purposes only. Always seek medical advice for any concerns about health and nutrition.


References:

  1. Nagalla S. Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency Treatment & Management. Medscape resource page. Available at: emedicine.medscape.com/article/200390-treatment. Accessed 6 July 2021.
  2. Tripathi, MK. Shrivastava Rl. Processing and Utilization of Soy Food By-Products. In: Anal AK. Food Processing By‐Products and their Utilization. New Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.;2017:231-276.    
  3. Ponder DL, et al. Docosahexaenoic acid status of term infants fed breast milk or infant formula containing soy oil or corn oil. Pediatr Res 1992;32:683-688.  
  4. Castejon LV, et al. Characteristics of the Milk Powder Particles Lecithinated. Materials Science Forum 2017;167-172.  
  5. Stuhrman G, et al. False-Positive Newborn Screen Using the Beutler Spot Assay for Galactosemia in Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency. JIMD Rep 2017;36:1–5.
  6. National Institutes of Health-Philippines. (2017). Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency [Brochure].
  7. Kids With Food Allergies. Soy Allergy. Kids With Food Allergies resource page. Available at: www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/soy-allergy.aspx. Accessed 6 July 2021. 
  8. Mayo Clinic. Soy allergy. Mayo Clinic resource page. Available at: www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/soy-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20377802. Accessed 16 July 2021.  


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