The absorption of iron as supplements in infant cereal and infant formulas.Pediatrics. 1975 May; 55(5):686-93.Ped
The absorption of iron was measured from isotopically tagged salts used in supplementing infant cereals and as the iron supplement in cow's milk and soy-based formulas. Iron as sodium iron pryophosphate and ferric orthophosphate were poorly absorbed from infant cereal (mean, smaller than 1.0%) and thus are not dependable sources of iron to meet the nutritional needs of infants. Reduced iron of very small particle size and ferrous sulfate when added to cereal was absorbed to a greater extent (mean, 4.0% and 2.7% respectively). For technical reasons, these two forms of iron had not been added to commercial cereal products because of discoloration, distribution problems of the iron in the product, and shortened shelf life. Therefore, at the present time, iron supplementation of infant cereals with sodium iron pyrophosphate, ferric orthophosphate, and reduced iron of large particle size does not provide a predictable and available source of iron to meet the needs of infants. Supplemental iron as ferrous sulfate in milk- and soy-based formulas gave a mean absorption of 3.4% and 5.4%. The iron supplements in these formulas can essentially meet the needs for dietary iron of healthy infants.