Trace Elements

Recommendations for trace element intakes in infancy and childhood are shown in Tables 8 and 9. In general, there are few data on trace element requirements in young children, although some studies have been carried out in infants. In the manufacture of breast milk substitutes, quantities available in breast milk are considered to be adequate, although the bioavailability of trace elements added to cow's milk-based formula has not been fully elucidated. Preterm infants are born with low stores of trace elements. They require supplements of iron until age 1 year. Deficiencies of selenium and copper have also been described in preterm and low-birth-weight infants. Several authorities do not set dietary recommendations for molybdenum, manganese, and chromium, although all are essential for growth development and health. Recommendations for selenium have been set by the United Kingdom, EU, United States, and WHO. Where data for infants exist, recommendations for children are set between those for infants and those for adults. No reference values have been set for fluorine by any authority, although the effect of fluorine on the inhibition and reversal of caries progression is well accepted and is particularly important during tooth eruption and growth during infancy and childhood.

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