Copper, zinc and iron levels in infants and their mothers during the first year of life: a prospective study
Essential micronutrients are important for maintenance of life. Deficiency of micronutrients is more likely to be encountered in children, and women studies are required to investigate the status of micronutrients in children and women. This study aimed to longitudinally evaluate changes in zinc, copper, and iron levels in breastfed infants and their mothers during the first year of life. Serum and hair samples were obtained from 35 healthy breastfed infants (51 % males, 49 % females) and their mothers 2, 6, and 12 months after delivery. All of the samples were assessed using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Serum iron levels were determined by a Roche/Hitachi/Modular analyzer. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS-PC (Version 21.00) software. Hair zinc (p < 0.05) and serum iron (p < 0.001) levels of infants were significantly decreased towards the end of the first year. Infants’ serum copper levels were increased towards the end of the first year. Maternal serum and hair copper levels and serum iron levels were significantly decreased towards the end of the first year. There were no significant correlations between dietary zinc, copper, iron intake, and trace element levels of infants and their mothers. Infants’ hair zinc levels, maternal and infants’ hair copper levels, and infants’ and maternal serum iron levels declined towards the end of the first year. Infants need more zinc after 6 months of age. Infants’ and mothers’ daily iron intake was less than the recommended intake.