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Am J Clin Nutr. 1981 Jul;34(7):1338-46.

The effects of ascorbic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid supplementation on the breast milk and maternal nutritional status of low socioeconomic lactating women.


In this double-blind study, the effects of ascorbic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate supplementation on the maternal nutritional status and vitamin content of breast milk in 16 low socioeconomic lactating women were studied. Nine subjects were administered a commercial multivitamin-multimineral supplement and seven were given placebos. Milk samples were collected four times per day at 4-h intervals from 5 to 7 and 43 to 45 days postpartum. Fasting blood samples were taken from all mothers at the end of each milk collection period. Dietary records of all foods consumed were kept from 4 to 7 and 42 to 45 days postpartum. There were no significant differences in milk or plasma levels of ascorbic acid between the unsupplemented and supplemented groups. Both the EGPT index and milk concentration of vitamin B6 were significantly different (p less than 0.01) between the unsupplemented and supplemented groups. The milk concentrations of vitamin B12 increased significantly (p less than 0.05) in the supplemented group, as did the milk concentrations of folate (p less than 0.01). Because of consistently low levels of dietary vitamin B6 and folic acid in this group of low socioeconomic lactating women, either dietary changes or supplements could be necessary to maintain recommended levels of these vitamins in the womens' breast milk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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