THE RATE OF physical growth is faster and the need for iron is greater during the first year of life than at any other time. Many estimates of the iron required to support this growth have been calculated. Calculations of the amount of exogenous iron required to maintain hematologic standards and to fulfill growth potential are based on determinations of hemoglobin iron (derived from hemoglobin concentration and total blood volume at various ages) plus tissue iron.
Investigators have calculated that a term infant with adequate endogenous iron, manifesting satisfactory weight gain and hemoglobin concentration at one year of age, will have utilized from 0.29-0.78 mg of elemental iron per day.1-4
To provide for the requirements of infants in a wide variety of situations, Sturgeon5 recommends a daily allowance of 1.0-1.5 mg/kg body weight during the first year of life. The Committee on Nutrition, Academy of Pediatrics,6 has