Micronutrients

Daily requirements for several micronutrients (riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, and zinc) are higher during lactation than during pregnancy, indicating that lactation is a very demanding process. The only micronutrient needed in lower amounts during lactation is iron, due to the small amount of iron secreted into breast milk and to the usual ame-norrhea of nursing women. However, iron requirements may be high post-partum for women who need to replace major blood losses during delivery.

The recommended intakes for micronutrients during lactation established by FAO/WHO and DRI committees are summarized in Table 1. The

Table 1 Daily recommended micronutrient intakes for adult lactating women

Nutrient FAO/WHOa IOMb

Recommended value Per cent changec Recommended value Per cent changec

Vitamin A (mg RAE day )

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