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Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Jun;67(6):1250-5.

Distribution of a stable isotope of chromium (53Cr) in serum, urine, and breast milk in lactating women.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland at College Park, 20742, USA.


To determine the fate and distribution of chromium during lactation, six lactating women (25-38 y old) were given three doses of the tracer 53Cr (7.55 micromol/d, or 400 microg/d) on days 1, 2, and 3 of the study. Diet records, blood samples taken while subjects were fasting, and 24-h composite milk and urine samples were collected from day 0 to day 6. Fasting blood samples, morning milk samples, and 24-h urine samples were also collected on days 8, 10, 15, 30, 60, and 90. 53Cr and natural and total chromium concentrations in biological fluids were measured with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and total urinary chromium was measured with atomic-absorption spectrometry. 53Cr was detectable in serum 2 h after dosing and continued to be detected from day 30 to day 60. Changes in total serum chromium concentration in response to the oral dose suggested that chromium concentrations in blood were not tightly regulated. 53Cr was not detected in breast milk and no significant changes in natural chromium concentration in milk were observed in response to the oral doses, suggesting that breast-milk chromium concentrations are independent of intake. The estimated chromium intake of exclusively breast-fed infants was 2.5 nmol/d (0.13 microg/d), below the lower end of the range of estimated safe and adequate daily dietary intakes (10-40 microg/d) for infants 0-6 mo of age. The baseline chromium concentration in urine and the minimum 53Cr absorption in lactating women were comparable with values for nonpregnant, nonlactating subjects. Chromium losses in breast milk do not appear to be compensated for via increased absorption or decreased excretion.

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