II. Folic acid, vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin E
Four vitamins of the B-complex—thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and folate—were measured in 30 dried milk preparations for babies, representing products of manufacturers in 7 European countries. 7 of the preparations were also assayed for vitamin E. The milks varied widely in their B-vitamin composition. The content of riboflavin ranged from 2·8 to 11·2 μg/g, thiamin from 2·8 to 13·0, vitamin B6 from 1·5 to 12·7, and folate from 0·03 to 1·12.
Compared on a basis of equal solids content, all the preparations were considerably richer than mature human milk in thiamin and vitamin B6, and most were similar to human milk in their content of riboflavin, though a few were markedly higher. With folate the findings were less reassuring. In 3 of the products the content was close to that in goat's milk, which may cause folate-deficiency anaemia in infants. In a further 8 the content was less than 60% of that in human milk.
The 7 products tested showed marked differences in vitamin E content. In 4, which contained cow's milk fat only, the vitamin E content was 0·70-0·83 mg α-tocopherol equivalents/100 g as against 2·33 mg/100 g solids in human milk. The remaining 3 products contained vegetable oils and were considerably richer, with 4·77-10·21 mg/100 g.
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