Micronutrient Transfer: Infant Absorption

  • B. Lönnerdal
  • S. L. Kelleher
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 639)

Our knowledge regarding the newborn infant’s capacity to adapt when exposed to deficiency or excess of micronutrients is very limited. Infants may be born with low stores of micronutrients, due to maternal deficiency during pregnancy, and may further be exposed to a low intake of micronutrients, either from breast-milk or from weaning foods low in micronutrients or with low bioavailability. On the other side of the spectrum, infants may be exposed to micronutrient supplements, provided in an effort to counteract perceived deficiencies. In adults, homeostatic regulation of intestinal absorption of micronutrients, such as iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), is well developed and up- and down-regulation of absorption occurs. Whether such homeostatic regulation occurs in newborn infants is not known, or, if absent at birth, when it develops.


Zinc Deficiency Zinc Supplementation Human Infant Breastfed Infant Zip4 Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Domellöf M, Cohen RJ, Dewey KG, Hernell O, Rivera LL, Lömerdal B (2001) Iron supplementation of breast-fed Honduran and Swedish infants from 4 to 9 months of age. J Pediatr 138:679–687.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dewey KG, Domellöf M, Cohen RJ, Rivera LL, Hernell O, Lönnerdal B (2002) Iron supplementation affects growth and morbidity of breast-fed infants: results of a randomized trial in Sweden and Honduras. J Nutr 132:3249–3255.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Domellöf M, Lönnerdal B, Abrams SA, Hernell O (2002) Iron absorption in breast-fed infants: effects of age, iron status, iron supplements and complementary foods. Am J Clin Nutr 76:198–204.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Domellöf M, Dewey KG, Lönnerdal B, Cohen RJ, Hernell O (2002) The diagnostic criteria for iron deficiency in infants should be re-evaluated. J Nutr 132:3680–3686.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Leong W-I, Bowlus CL, Tallkvist J, Lönnerdal B (2003) Iron supplementation during infancy — effects on expression of iron transporters, iron absorption, and iron utilization in rat pups. Am J Clin Nutr 78:1203–1211.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Leong W-I, Bowlus CL, Tallkvist J, Lönnerdal B (2003) DMT1 and FPN1 expression during infancy: developmental regulation of iron absorption. Am J Physiol: Gastroenterol Liver Physiol 285:G1153–G1161.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fransson G-B, Lönnerdal B (1980) Iron in human milk. J Pediatr 96:380–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Davidson LA, Lönnerdal B (1987) Persistence of human milk proteins in the breast fed infant. Acta Paediatr Scand 76:733–740.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Suzuki YA, Shin K, Lönnerdal B (2001) Molecular cloning and functional expression of a human intestinal lactoferrin receptor. Biochemistry 40:15771–15779.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lönnerdal B (1998) Copper nutrition during infancy and childhood. Am J Clin Nutr 67:S1046–S1053.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Olivares M, Lönnerdal B, Abrams SA, Pizarro F, Uauy R (2002) Age and copper intake do not affect copper absorption, measured with the use of 65Cu as a tracer. Am J Clin Nutr 76:641–645.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lönnerdal B, Bell JG, Keen CL (1985) Copper absorption from human milk, cow’s milk and infant formulas using a suckling rat model. Am J Clin Nutr 42:836–844.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Varada KR, Harper RG, Wapnir RA (1993) Development of copper intestinal absorption in the rat. Biochem Med Metab Biol 50:277–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lee J, Prohaska JR, Dagenais SL, Glover TW, Thiele DJ (2000) Isolation of a murine copper transporter gene, tissue specific expression and functional complementation of a yeast copper transport mutant. Gene 254:87–96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mercer JFB (2001) The molecular basis of copper-transport diseases. Trends Mol Med 7:64–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bauerly K, Kelleher SL, Lönnerdal B (2004) Functional and molecular responses of suckling rat pups and human intestinal Caco-2 cells to copper treatment. J Nutr Biochem 15:155–162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bauerly K, Kelleher SL, Lönnerdal B (2005) Effects of copper supplementation on copper absorption, tissue distribution, and copper transporter expression in an infant rat model. Am J Physiol 288:G1007–1014.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Olivares M, Pizarro F, Speisky H, Lönnerdal B, Uauy R (1998) Copper in infant nutrition: safety of WHO provisional guideline value for copper content of drinking water. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 26:251–257.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lönnerdal B (2000) Dietary factors affecting zinc absorption. J Nutr 130:Suppl:1378S–1383S.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Krebs N, Reidinger CJ, Miller LV, Hambidge KM (1996) Zinc homeostasis in breast-fed infants. Pediatr Res 39:661–665.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Krebs NF (1999) Zinc transfer to the breastfed infant. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 4:259–268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Brown KH (2001) Identifying populations at risk of zinc deficiency: the use of supplementation trials. Nutr Rev 59:80–84.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Brown KH, Peerson JM, Allen LH (1998) Effect of zinc supplementation on children’s growth: a meta-analysis of intervention trials. Bibl Nutr Dieta 54:76–83.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bhutta ZA, Black RE, Brown KH et al (1999) Prevention of diarrhea and pneumonia by zinc supplementation in children in developing countries: pooled analysis of randomized controlled trials. Zinc Investigators’ Collaborative Group. J Pediatr 135:689–697.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wang K, Zhou B, Kuo YM, Zemansky J, Gitschier J (2002) A novel member of a zinc transporter family is defective in acrodermatitis enteropathica. Am J Hum Genet 71:66–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dufner-Beattie J, Wang F, Kuo Gitschier J, Eide D, Andrews GK (2003) The acrodermatits enteropathica gene ZIP4 encodes a tissue-specific, zinc-regulated zinc transporter in mice. J Biol Chem 278:33474–33481.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Murgia C, Vespignani I, Cerase J, Nobili F, Perozzi G (1999) Cloning, expression and vesicular localization of transporter Dri27/ZnT4 in intestinal tissue and cells. Am J Physiol 277:G1231–G1239.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Palmiter RD, Cole TB, Findley SD (1996) ZnT-2, a mammalian protein that confers resistance to zinc by facilitating vesicular sequestration. EMBO J 15:1784–1791.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rossander-Hulthén L, Brune M, Sandström B, Lönnerdal B, Hallberg L (1991) Competitive inhibition of iron absorption by manganese and zinc in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 54:152–156.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lind T, Lönnerdal B, Stenlund H et al (2003) A community-based randomized controlled trial of iron and zinc supplementation in Indonesian infants: interactions between iron and zinc. Am J Clin Nutr 77:883–890.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lind T, Lönnerdal B, Stenlund H et al (2004) A community-based randomized controlled trial of iron and zinc supplementation in Indonesian infants: effects on growth and development. Am J Clin Nutr 80:729–736.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    O’Neill NC, Tanner MS (1989) Uptake of copper from brass vessels by bovine milk and its relevance to Indian childhood cirrhosis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 9:167–172.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Lönnerdal
    • 1
  • S. L. Kelleher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Program in International Nutrition (PIN)University of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations