Document Detail

Folate and cobalamin status in relation to breastfeeding and weaning in healthy infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18614730     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Folate and cobalamin status changes markedly during infancy. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to examine the influence of breastfeeding on folate and cobalamin status in healthy infants. DESIGN: In a longitudinal study, we measured serum folate, cobalamin, holotranscobalamin, holohaptocorrin, methylmalonic acid, and homocysteine at birth and at ages 6, 12, and 24 mo (n = 361, 262, 244, and 224, respectively). Breastfeeding status and nutrient intake were assessed by using questionnaires and 7-d weighed-food records (at 12 mo). RESULTS: All indexes changed significantly from birth to age 24 mo (P < 0.001). Folate was high until age 6 mo and then declined. At age 6 mo, folate was positively correlated with duration of exclusive breastfeeding (rho = 0.29; P < 0.001). Cobalamin status declined after birth in breastfed but increased in nonbreastfed infants. Thus, holotranscobalamin (pmol/L) was lower in breastfed than in nonbreastfed children at age 6 mo [geometric mean: 37 (95% CI: 33, 40) and 74 (64, 86), respectively], at 12 mo [51 (46, 56) and 76 (70, 82), respectively], and at 24 mo [65 (50, 83) and 90 (85, 97), respectively; P < 0.05 for all]. Complementary feeding did not increase (6 mo) or modestly increased (12 mo) cobalamin status in breastfed children. At 12 mo, cobalamin intake (microg/d), excluding breast milk cobalamin, was lower in breastfed than in nonbreastfed infants [geometric mean: 1.4 (1.3, 1.6) and 2.4 (2.1, 2.6), respectively; P < 0.001]. However, after adjustment for total cobalamin intake, cobalamin status (ie, holotranscobalamin) remained significantly lower in breastfed than in nonbreastfed infants [54 (49, 59) and 70 (64, 78), respectively; P < 0.001]. CONCLUSIONS: Low cobalamin status is a characteristic finding in breastfed children. Reference limits according to age and breastfeeding status should be considered in early childhood.
Gry Hay; Carole Johnston; Andrew Whitelaw; Kerstin Trygg; Helga Refsum
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of clinical nutrition     Volume:  88     ISSN:  1938-3207     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Clin. Nutr.     Publication Date:  2008 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-10     Completed Date:  2008-07-31     Revised Date:  2009-05-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376027     Medline TA:  Am J Clin Nutr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  105-14     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
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MeSH Terms
Age Distribution
Analysis of Variance
Breast Feeding*
Child, Preschool
Diet Records
Folic Acid / blood*
Homocysteine / blood
Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
Infant, Newborn
Longitudinal Studies
Methylmalonic Acid / blood
Nutritional Status*
Reference Values
Vitamin B 12 / blood*
Vitamin B Complex / blood
Reg. No./Substance:
12001-76-2/Vitamin B Complex; 454-28-4/Homocysteine; 516-05-2/Methylmalonic Acid; 59-30-3/Folic Acid; 68-19-9/Vitamin B 12

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