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Does soy ingredient hurt reproduction?

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Genistein, a component of soy, may cause reproductive problems, says a government study released this week.

In a mouse study, the ingredient interfered with the development of the ovaries in newborn female mice, researchers said.

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This study appears to validate a growing body of data that demonstrates the potentially adverse consequences of genistein on the reproductive system.

"Although we are not entirely certain about how these animal studies on genistein translate to the human population, there is some reason to be cautious," said David Schwartz, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. "More clinical studies are needed to determine how exposure during critical windows of development can impact human health."

The study -- done jointly by NIEHS and an investigator at Syracuse University -- is published in the January issue of Biology of Reproduction.

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