Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Water-soluble vitamins function as cofactors for enzyme reactions of intermediary metabolism and therefore are dependent upon the energy and protein contents of the diets as well as on the rates of growth and energy utilization of the individual. Active transport of water-soluble vitamins during pregnancy results in concentration gradients favoring the fetus. Water-soluble vitamin sufficiency tends to be maintained throughout infanc under usual circumstances in breastfed, fullterm infants in the United States. Maternal diet, to some degree, does affect milk concentration of water-soluble vitamins. There are specific situations, however, that warrant attention to water-soluble vitamin intakes. Marginal thiamin deficiency may be unmasked by the administration of large carbohydrate loads. "Infantile" beriberi in a breastfed infant may be the first indication of a dietary deficiency in the mother. Biochemical riboflavin deficiency may occur during phototherapy treatment for hyperbilirubinemia in breastfed newborn infants. Seizures due to vitamin B6-deficiency were reported in infants who received improperly processed formulas containing the no longer used heat labile form of the vitamin. Failure to thrive in an infant may be attributed to deficiencies of either folate, vitamin C, or vitamin B6. Anemia may be sign of deficiency of either folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, or vitamin C. This chapter details the physiology, nutritional needs of fullterm infants, and potential for deficiency or toxicity states for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, biotin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.