Iron status in exclusively breast-fed infants.Pediatrics. 1992 Sep; 90(3):375-9.Ped
The aim of this study is to evaluate the iron nutritional status of infants breast-fed exclusively and for a prolonged period in relation to their growth rate and dietary changes. Forty subjects (25 breast-fed; 15 formula-fed) were studied from 0 to 9 months of age. Milk (human or formula) was the only source of food during the first 6 months. From the sixth month onward mothers were instructed to use iron- and ascorbic acid-rich foods to supplement breast-feeding. At the ninth month, prevalence of anemia was 27.8% in the breast-fed group and 7.1% in the formula-fed group. Storage iron was absent in 27.8% of the breast-fed infants vs none of the formula-fed infants. These findings reinforce the recommendation that breast-fed infants be given supplemental iron from the fourth month of life.