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Hormonal Intake Calculation

Newborns are exposed to maternal hormones through breast-feeding.
Accordingly, maternal milk is exclusive source of exogenous hormones during the
first months of life of the child. When complementary feeding is introduced,
approximately at six months of age, the intake calculation would imply many
kinds of foods of animal origin. It will then be easier to calculate the total
intake during the first months of life, when milk is the sole source of
hormones. If breastfeeding is not possible or it cannot be exclusive feeding
for the infant, formulas are used. For research purposes and to estimate the
intake of natural hormones, the first-stage formulas (for infants from zero to
six months old) were accounted as complete substitutes of breast-feeding and
unique source of exogenous hormones. However, follow-on formulas, growing-up
formulas and the rest of dairy preparations for children are not and cannot be
considered the unique source of nutrients. Further considerations should be
taken when assessing their contribution to the daily intake of hormones. It is
important to note that complimentary feeding of animal origin would also
contribute to the total daily intake of these compounds. A theoretical daily
intake of each group of hormones (androgens, progestogens and estrone) was
calculated on the basis of estimated daily ingestions of milk for infants
weighing 8 kg (six-month-old), 10 kg (one-year-old), 15 kg (three-year-old) or
40 kg (12-year-old). The estimated ingestion for infants during the first six
months of life was 900 mL, from six to twelve months 700 mL and from one to
twelve years 500 mL, per day. The intake results were in a range of 0.13–0.54
?g/day for androgens, 0.04–0.29 ?g/day for estrogens (estrone) and 0.08–6.35
?g/day for progestogens, with an average of 0.41, 0.15 and 2.8 ?g/day, for
infants 0–6 months old, 0.22, 0.16, 0.77 ?g/day for infants from 6 to12 months
old, 0.16, 0.09, 0.41 ?g/day for children from 1 to 3 years old, and 0.22,
0.05, 0.53 ?g/day for children three to twelve years old, respectively. Even
though the first-stage formulas resulted in higher daily intakes, there are no
other sources of hormones to be considered. The rest of formulas and
preparations gave lower values but they may not be the only source of hormones
that the child is consuming in the diet. Table 1 shows the estimated daily
ingestions of the assayed steroid hormones (in ?g) through the exclusive
consumption of each preparation. The theoretical food intake may be compared to
the acceptable daily intake (ADI) established by the Joint Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO)
Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the permitted increase exposure
established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for progesterone,
17?-testosterone and 17?-estradiol 32,33. The estimated body weights for
children six, 12, 36 months and 12 years old were eight, 10, 15 and 40 kg,
respectively, and as such were used for ADI calculations. The recommendations of
JECFA and FDA for P4, T and ?E2 are shown in Table 3. As these are the only
official recommendations existing nowadays for hormone ingestion, nutrition and
food experts can use them as a reference. All the results obtained in this
study were below the ADI levels for the corresponding age range. The permitted
increase exposure established by the US FDA is clearly lower than ADI, and for
this reason almost all samples were above 100% of the permitted exposure for
estrone, except the three last samples. For androgens and progestogens, 100% of
the FDA permitted exposure was only reached through first-stage formulas, and
one follow-on formula in the case of progestogens.

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