What Are The Minerals in Breast Milk?

The following are key minerals present in breast milk:

  • Iron, which is not diet dependent, appears in very small amounts, about 0.5 to 1 mg/liter. The absorption of this mineral is efficient at about 50%. Most importantly, iron levels in breastfed babies are sufficient for 6 months.
  • Zinc is the most sufficient trace mineral. It is crucial for the structure and activation of enzymes. There is excellent bioavailability in breastfed babies.
  • Fluorine is present in mature milk. No additional fluoride is necessary.
  • Selenium is a significant nutrient component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which metabolizes lipid peroxidase. It is also important for the formation of teeth.

Other important minerals include:

  • Ash: The total content in milk is particular to the species and corresponds with growth rates and body structure. This also affects the renal solute load.
  • Most important cations: Sodium (the content in breast milk is lower than cow's milk--a sodium-limited diet is not going to influence milk levels), Potassium, Calcium (which is available in tiny amounts, but it is very well absorbed), Magnesium
  • Most important anions: Phosphate, Chloride, Citrate

It is important to note that there are no reported cases of rickets in breastfed babies of well-fed mothers.

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