Concentrations of iron, copper and zinc in human milk and powdered infant formula

E M Rodríguez Rodríguez, M Sanz Alaejos, C Díaz Romero
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2000, 51 (5): 373-80
Concentrations of iron, copper and zinc were determined in 56 samples of mature human milk from Canarian women and 5 samples of powdered infant formula. According to the literature our data fall within the normal limits in each kind of milk. The mean concentration of Fe, Cu and Zn of powdered infant formula was significantly higher than those concentrations found in the human milks. Significant differences among the concentrations of the studied metals for the milks of considered mothers were observed. The Fe, Cu and Zn intakes of infants fed with human milk are lower than the requirements recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board (1989). However, the infants fed with powdered infant formula had consumed an adequate intake of Fe and Cu. A progressive decrease of the metal concentrations with the lactation stage was observed. The human milk obtained in spring presented Fe and Zn concentrations lower than in autumn, which could be due to changes in nutritional habits of the mothers. Age of mother and number of previous children seem to influence the Zn and Cu concentrations of human milk.

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