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Pediatr Res. 1993 Jun;33(6):573-6.

Erythrocyte incorporation of ingested 58Fe by 56-day-old breast-fed and formula-fed infants.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.

Abstract

As an index of iron absorption, erythrocyte incorporation of the stable isotope, 58Fe, was determined 14 and 42 d after the administration of 58Fe-labeled ferrous sulfate to 56-d-old exclusively breast-fed infants and to infants fed a low-iron (1.8 mg/L) formula. Each infant received a dose of 0.6 to 1.0 mg of iron with ascorbic acid between feedings on each of 3 consecutive d. Fourteen d after administration of the 58Fe-labeled iron doses (age 70 d), arithmetic mean incorporation of the 58Fe label into erythrocytes by breast-fed infants was 20.0% of the dose--only slightly less than that reported for erythrocyte incorporation of iron by fasting adults fed small quantities of 59Fe-labeled human milk. Erythrocyte incorporation of iron by the formula-fed infants was 6.9% of the dose, suggesting that, even between feedings, components of infant formula exerted a major inhibitory effect on iron absorption. For reasons that are not clear, the percentage of the administered label incorporated into erythrocytes was significantly greater in breast-fed (but not in formula-fed infants) at 112 d of age than at 70 d of age.

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