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Open Access Dietary intervention strategies to enhance zinc nutrition: Promotion and support of breastfeeding for infants and young children

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Abstract:

Breastmilk is the only dietary source of zinc for exclusively breastfed young infants, and it remains a potentially important source of zinc for older infants and young children who continue breastfeeding beyond early infancy. Therefore, we examined available information on breastmilk zinc concentration and total milk consumption to develop estimates of the amount of zinc transferred in breastmilk to children of different ages. Breastmilk zinc concentration declines rapidly during the first few months postpartum and more slowly thereafter. Breastmilk supplies all of the theoretical zinc needs for at least the first several months of life, although the period during which breastmilk alone remains sufficient is uncertain. Breastmilk continues to provide more than half of children's estimated zinc requirements after the introduction of complementary foods, even into the second year of life. Public health programs to promote and support breastfeeding should be included among the strategies to ensure adequate zinc status of young children.

Keywords: BREASTFEEDING; BREASTMILK; INFANT; ZINC; ZINC ABSORPTION; ZINC REQUIREMENTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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