Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status

Magnus Domellöf, Bo Lönnerdal, Kathryn G. Dewey, Roberta J. Cohen, Olle Hernell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Little is known about the regulation of iron, zinc, and copper in breast milk and the transport of these minerals across the mammary gland epithelium. Objective: The objective was to study associations between breast-milk concentrations of iron, zinc, and copper and maternal mineral status. Design: Milk samples from 191 Swedish and Honduran mothers were collected at 9 mo postpartum. Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. Blood samples from mothers were analyzed for plasma zinc and copper and 4 indexes of iron status: hemoglobin, plasma ferritin, soluble transferrin receptors, and zinc protoporphyrin. Complementary food energy (CFE) intake was used as an inverse proxy for breast-milk intake. Results: Mean (±SD) breast-milk concentrations of iron were lower in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers (0.21 ± 0.25 compared with 0.29 ± 0.21 mg/L; P < 0.001), and mean breastmilk concentrations of zinc and copper were higher in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers [0.70 ± 0.18 compared with 0.46 ± 0.26 mg/L (P < 0.001) and 0.16 ± 0.21 compared with 0.12 ± 0.22 mg/L (P = 0.001), respectively]. Milk iron was positively correlated with CFE intake (r = 0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with any iron-status variable. Milk zinc was negatively correlated with CFE intake (r = -0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with maternal plasma zinc. Milk copper was not significantly correlated with CFE intake or maternal plasma copper. Conclusions: Milk iron, zinc, and copper concentrations at 9 mo postpartum are not associated with maternal mineral status, which suggests active transport mechanisms in the mammary gland for all 3 minerals. Milk iron concentrations decrease and milk zinc concentrations increase during weaning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume79
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Fingerprint

Human Milk
breast milk
Minerals
Zinc
Copper
Iron
copper
zinc
Mothers
iron
minerals
Milk
complementary foods
Energy Intake
milk
Eating
energy intake
Human Mammary Glands
Postpartum Period
mammary glands

Keywords

  • Breastfeeding
  • Copper
  • Human milk
  • Iron
  • Mammary gland
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Domellöf, M., Lönnerdal, B., Dewey, K. G., Cohen, R. J., & Hernell, O. (2004). Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79(1), 111-115.

Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status. / Domellöf, Magnus; Lönnerdal, Bo; Dewey, Kathryn G.; Cohen, Roberta J.; Hernell, Olle.

In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 1, 01.2004, p. 111-115.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Domellöf, M, Lönnerdal, B, Dewey, KG, Cohen, RJ & Hernell, O 2004, 'Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status', American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 111-115.
Domellöf, Magnus ; Lönnerdal, Bo ; Dewey, Kathryn G. ; Cohen, Roberta J. ; Hernell, Olle. / Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 ; Vol. 79, No. 1. pp. 111-115.
@article{3a34bcf226dc4304951d106af9e7d044,
title = "Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status",
abstract = "Background: Little is known about the regulation of iron, zinc, and copper in breast milk and the transport of these minerals across the mammary gland epithelium. Objective: The objective was to study associations between breast-milk concentrations of iron, zinc, and copper and maternal mineral status. Design: Milk samples from 191 Swedish and Honduran mothers were collected at 9 mo postpartum. Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. Blood samples from mothers were analyzed for plasma zinc and copper and 4 indexes of iron status: hemoglobin, plasma ferritin, soluble transferrin receptors, and zinc protoporphyrin. Complementary food energy (CFE) intake was used as an inverse proxy for breast-milk intake. Results: Mean (±SD) breast-milk concentrations of iron were lower in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers (0.21 ± 0.25 compared with 0.29 ± 0.21 mg/L; P < 0.001), and mean breastmilk concentrations of zinc and copper were higher in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers [0.70 ± 0.18 compared with 0.46 ± 0.26 mg/L (P < 0.001) and 0.16 ± 0.21 compared with 0.12 ± 0.22 mg/L (P = 0.001), respectively]. Milk iron was positively correlated with CFE intake (r = 0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with any iron-status variable. Milk zinc was negatively correlated with CFE intake (r = -0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with maternal plasma zinc. Milk copper was not significantly correlated with CFE intake or maternal plasma copper. Conclusions: Milk iron, zinc, and copper concentrations at 9 mo postpartum are not associated with maternal mineral status, which suggests active transport mechanisms in the mammary gland for all 3 minerals. Milk iron concentrations decrease and milk zinc concentrations increase during weaning.",
keywords = "Breastfeeding, Copper, Human milk, Iron, Mammary gland, Zinc",
author = "Magnus Domell{\"o}f and Bo L{\"o}nnerdal and Dewey, {Kathryn G.} and Cohen, {Roberta J.} and Olle Hernell",
year = "2004",
month = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "79",
pages = "111--115",
journal = "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition",
issn = "0002-9165",
publisher = "American Society for Nutrition",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations in breast milk are independent of maternal mineral status

AU - Domellöf, Magnus

AU - Lönnerdal, Bo

AU - Dewey, Kathryn G.

AU - Cohen, Roberta J.

AU - Hernell, Olle

PY - 2004/1

Y1 - 2004/1

N2 - Background: Little is known about the regulation of iron, zinc, and copper in breast milk and the transport of these minerals across the mammary gland epithelium. Objective: The objective was to study associations between breast-milk concentrations of iron, zinc, and copper and maternal mineral status. Design: Milk samples from 191 Swedish and Honduran mothers were collected at 9 mo postpartum. Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. Blood samples from mothers were analyzed for plasma zinc and copper and 4 indexes of iron status: hemoglobin, plasma ferritin, soluble transferrin receptors, and zinc protoporphyrin. Complementary food energy (CFE) intake was used as an inverse proxy for breast-milk intake. Results: Mean (±SD) breast-milk concentrations of iron were lower in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers (0.21 ± 0.25 compared with 0.29 ± 0.21 mg/L; P < 0.001), and mean breastmilk concentrations of zinc and copper were higher in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers [0.70 ± 0.18 compared with 0.46 ± 0.26 mg/L (P < 0.001) and 0.16 ± 0.21 compared with 0.12 ± 0.22 mg/L (P = 0.001), respectively]. Milk iron was positively correlated with CFE intake (r = 0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with any iron-status variable. Milk zinc was negatively correlated with CFE intake (r = -0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with maternal plasma zinc. Milk copper was not significantly correlated with CFE intake or maternal plasma copper. Conclusions: Milk iron, zinc, and copper concentrations at 9 mo postpartum are not associated with maternal mineral status, which suggests active transport mechanisms in the mammary gland for all 3 minerals. Milk iron concentrations decrease and milk zinc concentrations increase during weaning.

AB - Background: Little is known about the regulation of iron, zinc, and copper in breast milk and the transport of these minerals across the mammary gland epithelium. Objective: The objective was to study associations between breast-milk concentrations of iron, zinc, and copper and maternal mineral status. Design: Milk samples from 191 Swedish and Honduran mothers were collected at 9 mo postpartum. Iron, zinc, and copper concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. Blood samples from mothers were analyzed for plasma zinc and copper and 4 indexes of iron status: hemoglobin, plasma ferritin, soluble transferrin receptors, and zinc protoporphyrin. Complementary food energy (CFE) intake was used as an inverse proxy for breast-milk intake. Results: Mean (±SD) breast-milk concentrations of iron were lower in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers (0.21 ± 0.25 compared with 0.29 ± 0.21 mg/L; P < 0.001), and mean breastmilk concentrations of zinc and copper were higher in the Honduran than in the Swedish mothers [0.70 ± 0.18 compared with 0.46 ± 0.26 mg/L (P < 0.001) and 0.16 ± 0.21 compared with 0.12 ± 0.22 mg/L (P = 0.001), respectively]. Milk iron was positively correlated with CFE intake (r = 0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with any iron-status variable. Milk zinc was negatively correlated with CFE intake (r = -0.24, P = 0.001) but was not significantly correlated with maternal plasma zinc. Milk copper was not significantly correlated with CFE intake or maternal plasma copper. Conclusions: Milk iron, zinc, and copper concentrations at 9 mo postpartum are not associated with maternal mineral status, which suggests active transport mechanisms in the mammary gland for all 3 minerals. Milk iron concentrations decrease and milk zinc concentrations increase during weaning.

KW - Breastfeeding

KW - Copper

KW - Human milk

KW - Iron

KW - Mammary gland

KW - Zinc

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=2642534875&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=2642534875&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 14684406

AN - SCOPUS:2642534875

VL - 79

SP - 111

EP - 115

JO - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

JF - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

SN - 0002-9165

IS - 1

ER -