The effects of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, riboflavin, and thiamin on the breast milk and maternal status of well-nourished women at 6 months postpartum

Am J Clin Nutr. 1980 Oct;33(10):2151-6. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/33.10.2151.


The effects of vitamin supplements and/or diet on the vitamin levels in milk of women were determined at 6 months postpartum. Six subjects consumed a daily supplement (Natalins, Mead-Johnson) in addition to a well-balanced diet--supplemented group, and six subjects consumed only a well-balanced diet--nonsupplemented group. The subjects expressed milk for 3 days at 4-hr intervals, 0, 4, 8, and 12 hr after awakening or taking their vitamin supplement. A 4-day diet record, fasting blood sample, and 24-hr urine samples were collected on each subject at 6 months postpartum. Nutrient intake from diet alone did not differ significantly between the two groups except for riboflavin intake which was significantly higher in the supplemented group. The nutritional status of all women indicated excellent dietary intakes, which vitamin supplementation did not alter significantly. Milk concentration of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin C, did not differ significntly between groups. Thiamin, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 concentration in the milk did appear to plateau during the day. Vitamin supplementatin at 6 months postpartum did not affect the breast milk concentration or the nutritional status of well-nourished women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pyridoxine / pharmacology
  • Riboflavin / pharmacology
  • Vitamin B 12 / pharmacology
  • Vitamin B Complex / metabolism
  • Vitamin B Complex / pharmacology*


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Folic Acid
  • Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Riboflavin