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The Vitamin B-6 Content in Human Milk

  • Avanelle Kirksey
  • Judith L. B. Roepke
  • Lynn M. Styslinger

Abstract

Vitamin B-6 is known to be a critical dietary factor, especially during the development of the central nervous system in human infants (1–4). Findings from rat experiments in our laboratory showed decreased vitamin B-6 content in brain of progeny of vitamin B-6 deficient mothers and this paralleled low levels of vitamin B-6 in the mother’s milk (5). The content of myelin lipids, gangliosides, and cerebrosides in brain of progeny during the suckling period paralleled maternal intake of vitamin B-6 (6). Myelination in the mediodorsal portion of the pyramidal tract was reduced (7) and Purkinje cell monolayer arrangement in cerebellum was abnormal (8) during early postnatal development in progeny of vitamin B-6 deficient rats. Quantitative electron microscopy of axon diameters in the ventral funiculus portion of spinal cord of suckling progeny of deficient rats showed fewer large axons with decreased number of myelin lamellae compared to controls (9). The far-reaching consequences of vitamin B-6 inadequacy during early infancy on the developing central nervous system are evident from both human and animal studies. More data are needed concerning the level of vitamin B-6 provided to the infant in human milk and the factors which can influence the level. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (10) recommended that human milk be used as the sole source of nutrients for the infant during the first four to six months. In view of this recommendation, efforts should be intensified to assess the nutrient composition and volume of human milk as it relates to infant needs.

Keywords

Human Milk Maternal Serum Cord Serum Maternal Vitamin Vitamin Intake 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avanelle Kirksey
    • 1
  • Judith L. B. Roepke
    • 1
  • Lynn M. Styslinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foods and NutritionPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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