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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1999 Mar;69(2):83-91.

Plasma vitamin A and E in preterm babies fed on breast milk or formula milk with or without long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

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  • 1Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, University of North London.


Plasma vitamin A and E, the antioxidant nutrients copper and zinc, and magnesium were investigated in preterm babies. They were fed on their own mother's breast milk, or a formula with, or without, AA and DHA. Vitamin A (2.4 mg/d) and E (15 mg/d) supplements were also given. Vitamin A and E levels of most of the babies were sub-optimal at birth. The mean concentrations of vitamin E increased in all the groups by the expected date of delivery (EDD) (p < 0.001). Those fed on their mother's breast milk had the highest value compared with the other groups (p < 0.001). There was an increase in the mean level of vitamin A (p > 0.05) and copper (p < 0.05) and a decrease in zinc (p < 0.05) between birth and EDD. Concentrations of the two vitamins were not different (p > 0.05) between the babies fed on the formula with, and without, AA and DHA. It is concluded that the amount of AA and DHA incorporated in the formula milk did not adversely influence the plasma vitamin A and E of the babies.

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