Required Nutrients for Infant Formula to Include Selenium

June 22, 2015
Corey Allikas

The FDA is amending regulations for infant formula to add the selenium to the list of required nutrients.

The FDA is amending regulations for infant formula to add the selenium to the list of required nutrients.

This final rule, which was issued today and will become effective next year, requires manufacturers marketing infant formulas in the United States to add between 2 μg/100 kcal of selenium at a minimum and 7 μg/100 kcal of selenium at a maximum to these products, as well as label them using those measurement units.

US manufacturers started adding selenium, which is found in breast milk, to their infant formulas 26 years ago, after the Institute of Medicine recognized it as an important nutrient for the infant body's defense against oxidative stress and regulation of thyroid hormones. Currently, all infant formulas in the US market contain selenium, according to the FDA.

“Because infant formula often serves as a sole source of nutrition for infants, selenium in infant formula is needed to ensure that formula-fed infants are getting this essential nutrient at appropriate levels,” the FDA stated.

Selenium is the 30th nutrient required by law to be in infant formula.