Selenium in German infants fed breast milk or different formulas



At birth and at 4 months of age, selenium (Se) values of 129 term infants on three different diets were determined: 50 infants were breast fed (HM), 44 received formula based on cow's milk (F) and 35 were fed “hypoallergenic formula” (PHF) (partially hydrolysed whey protein). The Se status of a group of twins (n = 12) fed “hypoallergenic formula” was compared with the respective group of singletons. All infants had low plasma Se values during early infancy. The plasma Se of breast-fed infants remained stable (plasma Se 438 ng/ml at birth and at 4 months), whereas plasma glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) decreased (birth: 10729 U/l; 4 months: 6211 U/l). The formula-fed infants showed a reduction in plasma Se levels from birth to 4 months (3810 ng/ml and 299 ng/ml, respectively). The decrease was even more pronounced in infants fed the “hypoallergenic formula”. This group presented the lowest Se values (plasma Se 399 ng/ml at birth; 206 ng/ml at 4 months). Renal excretion of Se was found to be lower in the formula-fed infants (F and PHF) compared with the HM group. There was a significant correlation between plasma and urinary Se (r = 0.62, p = 0.0001). Urinary Se ($uMg Se/g creatinine) appeared to be a good indicator of Se intake. Measurements of urine Se might be used as a screening method for the estimation of the Se supply. Weight and length increases in all infants were within the normal range. There were no differences between the different feeding groups.Glutathione peroxidase activity, human milk, infant formula, infant nutrition, screening method, selenium, selenium excretion, trace elements, twins

F Jochum, Department of Paediatrics, Heinrich-Heine-University, D-40225 Dusseldorf, Moorenstrafie 5a, Geb 23.12.02, Germany