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Method Used to Set the Adequate Intake

Using the method described in Chapter 2, an AI has been used as the goal for intake during the first 6 months of life. The AI is based on the maternal zinc supply to the infant exclusively fed human milk.

There is an unusually rapid physiologic decline in the zinc concentration of human milk and consequently in the zinc supplied to infants fed human milk during the first 6 months of lactation (Krebs et al., 1985, 1994, 1995; Moser and Reynolds, 1983) (Figure 12-3). Concentrations of zinc in human milk decline from approximately 4 mg/L at 2 weeks to 3 mg/L at 1 month, 2 mg/L at 2 months, 1.5 mg/L at 3 months, and 1.2 mg/L at 6 months postpartum (Krebs et al., 1995; see Table 12-1). With a standard volume of intake of 0.78 L/day (Chapter 2), calculated zinc intakes are 2.15 mg/day at 1 month, 1.56 mg/day at 2 months, 1.15 mg/day at 3 months, and 0.94 mg/day at 6 months (Table 12-1). Measured zinc intake of infants fed human milk was 2.3 mg/day at 2 weeks and 1 mg/day at 3 months (Krebs et al., 1994).

FIGURE 12-3 Average zinc consumption from human milk during the first 12 months of lactation.

SOURCE: Table 12-1.

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