Duration of Exclusive Breastfeeding and Risk of Anemia in a Cohort of Mexican Infants
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency associated with anemia in childhood (CDC 1998), affecting more than half of infants in developing countries (WHO 2001). Bioavailability of iron in human milk is high, yielding about 50% absorption (Dallman 1988; Oski 1993; Saarinen et al. 1977; Krebs 2001). Iron available for absorption is at its highest in early transitional milk and steadily decreases over the course of lactation (Siimes et al. 1979). By six months, complementary foods are needed to provide the nutrients necessary for infant development (Picciano 2001; Dewey 2001). It is not known if a critical period of vulnerability towards iron deficiency exists in infants.
KeywordsIron Deficiency Human Milk Iron Deficiency Anemia Exclusive Breastfeed Complementary Food
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