Plasma tocopherol levels in term infants fed breast milk or proprietary formulae.

Developmental pharmacology and therapeutics 02/1981; 2(4):226-34.
Source: PubMed


Plasma tocopherol levels were compared at 2 days and 2 weeks in 27 normal term infants fed breast milk or one of two proprietary formulae. Levels rose from cord values of approximately 0.6 to 1 mg/dl at 2 days and 1.6 mg/dl at 2 weeks. There were no significant differences between the three groups. Current levels of tocopherol supplementation in infant formulae result in plasma levels comparable to those achieved with breast milk in healthy term infants.

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    ABSTRACT: The human infant is born with low body stores of vitamin E. Thus, the infant requires an adequate intake of vitamin E soon after birth. If adequate sources of tocopherol are not provided, a clearly defined deficiency state characterized by hemolytic anemia and, after a period of years, spinocerebellar degeneration results. However, the benefit of pharmacologic doses of vitamin E given as prophylaxis against diseases believed to be related to oxygen toxicity (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity, and periventricular-intraventricular hemorrhage) is not clear. Possible benefits must be balanced against the potential for serious toxicity. Few data are available on the pharmacokinetics of tocopherols in infants, particularly with respect to esterified forms of tocopherol, and little is known about the toxicity associated with parenteral administration of the vitamin.
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