Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Eighteen-Month Follow-Up of Infants Fed Evaporated Milk Formula

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Eighteen-Month Follow-Up of Infants Fed Evaporated Milk Formula

Article excerpt


In parts of Canada including Newfoundland and Labrador and among Aboriginal peoples, infants still consume evaporated milk (EM) formulas for cultural and economic reasons. At 3 and 6 months, full-term infants fed EM (n=30) received low intakes of iron, thiamine, selenium and had higher weight velocity than breastfed (BF, n=29) infants. EM infants had greater anemia, lowered tranketolase activity (thiamina) and lowered glutathione peroxidase (selenium) activity (p<0.05).

To determine the later effect of early feeding deficit on nutritional status, we examined these same infants at 18 months of age. At that time there were no differences in dietary intakes of energy, protein, zinc, copper, selenium and iron, nor in plasma levels of zinc, copper, vitamin C, nor in red blood cell activity levels of glutathione reductase (riboflavin), transketolase, glutathione peroxidase, nor in superoxide dismutase However, EM infants weighed more and were more likely to visit a physician, have anemia, and have iron depletion than were BF infants. We conclude that infants consuming evaporated milk formulas should receive iron supplements throughout infancy.


Dans plusieurs regions du Canada y compris Terre-Neuve et le Labrador, et parmi les peuples autochtones, les bebes sont toujours nourris de lait evapore pour des raisons culturelles et economiques. A trois mois et a six mois, les bebes nes a terme, nourris de lait evapore (n=30) recevaient de moindres quantites de fer, de thiamine, de selenium et pesaient plus que ceux nourris de lait maternel (n=29). Les bebes nourris de lait evapore souffraient plus souvent d'anemie d'un niveas d'activite reduit de transcetolase (thiamine) et d'un niveau d'activite reduit de glutathion peroxydase (selenium) (p<0,05).

Afin de connaitre les repercussions a long terme d'une alimentation deficiente chez le nourrisson, nous avons examine les memes enfants a l'age de 18 mois. A cet age, il n'y avair aucune difference dans la consommation s'energie, de proteine, de zinc de cuivre, de selenium et de fer, ni dans les niveaux de zinc, de cuivre, de vitamine C dans le plasma, ni dans les niveaux d'activite de glutathion reductase (riboflavine), de transcetolase, de glutathion, ni de superoxide dismutase dans les cellules rouges du sang. Cependant, les bebes nourris au lait evapore pesaient plus et avaient plus souvent besoin de soins medicaux, souffraient d'anemie et avaient des niveaux plus bas de fer en comparaison avec des enfants nourris de lait maternel. Nous en concluons que les bebes nourris au lait evapore devraient recevoir des supplements de fer pendant leur petite enfance.

Until the mid-1950s,1 the majority of infants in North America received formulas prepared with evaporated milk (EM). EM formulas as an alternative to breastfeeding (BF) are recommended "only when economic circumstances do not allow the purchase of commercially prepared formula."2 However, in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as among Aboriginal peoples, EM formulas are still in use.3,4

EM is cow's milk (whole, 2% or skimmed milk) evaporated to approximately half the original volume and is not recommended for infants younger than 12 months.5 Cow's milk may lead to increased allergy responses from protein,6 increased gastrointestinal blood loss,7 poorer protein digestion, increased solute loads,8 low iron bioavailability5 and possible dehydration.1 Based on our previous report3 indicating that at 6 months EM-fed infants were at risk for iron, copper, selenium and thiamine deficiency, we followed that same group at 18 months of age to determine later effects of early feeding.


The original group of full-term infants were recruited from the Grace Hospital in St. John's, Newfoundland during 1993. Infants weighed between 2500 and 4500 g at birth and were 38-42 weeks gestational age. Originally,3 3 groups of infants were followed: BF (n=29), formula-fed (n=30) and EM-fed (n=30). …

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