α-Lactalbumin and casein-glycomacropeptide do not affect iron absorption from formula in healthy term infants

Ewa A. Szymlek-Gay, Bo Lönnerdal, Steven A. Abrams, Anne S. Kvistgaard, Magnus Domellöf, Olle Hernell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Iron absorption from infant formula is relatively low. α-Lactalbumin and casein-glycomacropeptide have been suggested to enhance mineral absorption. We therefore assessed the effect of α-lactalbumin and casein-glycomacropeptide on iron absorption from infant formula in healthy term infants. Thirty-one infants were randomly assigned to receive 1 of 3 formulas (4mg iron/L, 13.1g protein/L) from 4-8wk to 6 mo of age: commercially available whey-predominant standard infant formula (standard formula), α-lactalbumin-enriched infant formula (α-LAC), or α-lactalbumin-enriched/casein-glycomacropeptide-reduced infant formula (α-LAC/RGMP). Nine breast-fed infants served as a reference. At 5.5mo of age, 58Fe was administered to all infants in a meal. Blood samples were collected 14 d later for iron absorption and iron status indices. Iron deficiency was defined as depleted iron stores, iron-deficient erythropoiesis, or iron deficiency anemia. Iron absorption (mean ± SD) was 10.3 ± 7.0% from standard formula, 8.6 ± 3.8% from α-LAC, 9.2 ± 6.5% from α-LAC/RGMP, and 12.9 ± 6.5% from breast milk, with no difference between the formula groups (P = 0.79) or all groups (P = 0.44). In the formula-fed infants only, iron absorption was negatively correlated with serum ferritin (r = 20.49; P = 0.005) and was higher (P = 0.023) in iron-deficient infants (16.4 ± 12.4%) compared with those with adequate iron status (8.6 ± 4.4%). Our findings indicate that α-lactalbumin and casein-glycomacropeptide do not affect iron absorption from infant formula in infants. Low serum ferritin concentrations are correlated with increased iron absorption from infant formula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1226-1231
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume142
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Szymlek-Gay, E. A., Lönnerdal, B., Abrams, S. A., Kvistgaard, A. S., Domellöf, M., & Hernell, O. (2012). α-Lactalbumin and casein-glycomacropeptide do not affect iron absorption from formula in healthy term infants. Journal of Nutrition, 142(7), 1226-1231. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.111.153890