Selenium and vitamin E concentrations in human milk and formula milk from Hungary

  • I. Sziklai-László
  • D. Majchrzak
  • I. Elmadfa
  • M. Á. Cser


The metabolic roles of vitamin E and selenium are closely related, and to a very great extent, each can compensate for the deficiency of the other. The aim of the study was to determine and compare the Se and vitamin E (α- and γ-tocopherol) contents of breast milk and commercially available infant formulas in Hungary. The Se content was measured by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), while the α-, and γ-tocopherol concentrations were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The mean Se concentration was 17.4±2.8 μg/L in transitional and 13.8±2.3 μg/L in mature milk. It was found that, all of the starter (ST), the follow-on (FO) and the specialized formulas (SF) had lower Se content than breast milk. Transitional breast milk resulted in a higher Se intake (14 μg/day) than mature milk (11 μg/day). The daily Se intakes in Hungarian infants were within the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) range. The natural vitamin E contents of human milk were similar during the early and late lactation. Mature breast milk had 3.30±1.13 mg/L α-TE concentration and this was significantly higher than that of in ST (1.98±1.57), and FO (1.77±0.78), or in SF ready to feed preparations (1.03±0.74). The present study suggests that the formulas for the optimal development of young infants, should contain concentrations of these antioxidants on a level which is comparable to that of the human milk.


High Performance Liquid Chromatography Breast Milk Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Human Milk Infant Formula 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Sziklai-László
    • 1
  • D. Majchrzak
    • 2
  • I. Elmadfa
    • 2
  • M. Á. Cser
    • 3
  1. 1.MTA KFKI Atomic Energy Research InstituteBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Institute of Nutritional SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.Heim Pál Children’s HospitalBudapestHungary

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