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Sci Total Environ. 1995 Jan 6;159(1):9-15.

Copper, iron, manganese and zinc contents in human colostrum and transitory milk of French women.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biochimie C, CHUG, Grenoble, France.


Copper, iron, manganese and zinc were measured in breast milk samples collected from 82 healthy lactating mothers. Samples were collected from day of delivery to 7 days postpartum. Zn was analysed by flame atomic absorption spectrometry and the other elements by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Copper concentrations remained constant. Iron declined from 14.2 +/- 7.3 mumol/l at day 1 to 5.6 +/- 3.1 mumol/l at day 5 postpartum. Zinc and manganese declined from a maximum at 2 days postpartum (Zn: 183 +/- 70 mumol/l; Mn: 218 +/- 102 nmol/l) to 77 +/- 22 mumol/l (Zn) and 62 +/- 29 nmol/l (Mn) at 6 days postpartum. Copper concentrations are related to parity (r = 0.317, P < 0.001) and mother body mass index (r = 0.324, P < 0.001).

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