Iron for the suckling

Acta Paediatr Scand Suppl. 1989;361:96-102. doi: 10.1111/apa.1989.78.s361.96.


Knowledge of the metabolism of iron by young infants is incomplete but combining practical studies based on detecting the onset of iron depletion with isotopic studies of iron economy may improve our understanding of iron metabolism in infants and our strategies for ensuring their iron supply. The iron accumulated by the fetus is enough to delay the risk of iron deficiency until four, and two months of age in term and preterm infants respectively. Breast fed term infants may not need extra iron until they are six months or older; but whereas low iron formulas are adequate for other infants until about four months of age, thereafter infants need extra iron which can be provided effectively in iron fortified formulas. Breast fed low birth weight infants need iron supplements from two months of age but those fed specific low birth weight formulas which are iron fortified should not need extra iron.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Food, Fortified
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Milk, Human / metabolism
  • Nutritive Value


  • Iron