[Preventing iron deficiency in breast-fed infants by suitable supplementary food. A prospective, controlled study].Monatsschr Kinderheilkd. 1989 Dec; 137(12):775-9.MK
Iron deficiency may develop in prolonged breast feeding. Introduction of beikost (supplementary nutrition) is recommended in Germany for infants after 4 months of age. In a prospective study 73 exclusively breastfed infants at the age of 16 weeks were assigned to one of two feeding groups: 35 infants received a meat vegetable dinner fortified with iron-2-sulfate (3 mg iron per 100 kcal) as their first supplementary food. At 20 weeks of age a milk based rice cereal (MBRC) without iron fortification was added as a second beikost meal. The other group comprised 38 infants who first received a MBRC fortified with iron-3-pyrophosphate (3 mg iron per 100 kcal). At 20 weeks of age a non iron fortified vegetable potato dinner was introduced. After 6 months of age the iron fortified meat vegetable dinner was offered to all infants once a day. 26 infants who did not receive this dinner but otherwise were consulted and treated identically served as controls at 12 months of age. At 6 months of age values of hemoglobin, MCV, serum iron, ferritin, and transferrin saturation were higher in the meat dinner group compared to the cereal first group. At 12 months of age this was also true for the meat dinner group compared to the controls. However, the differences were minor and statistically not significant. Whereas most of the indicators of iron nutritional status were within the lower normal range, and total iron intake was below the levels recommended by German and American authorities, recommending two iron fortified beikost meals between age 7 and 12 months appears to be justified.