Iron vs. Low-Iron
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is very clear on the need for iron in baby formulas. While the AAP maintains that breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants, formula-fed babies should receive an iron-fortified formula or run the risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia.
"Formula-fed infants receiving iron-fortified formula (up to 12 mg/L) during their first year have greater assurance of adequate iron stores and very low rates of iron deficiency between six and 18 months of age," according to the AAP Committee on Nutrition policy published in the July 1999 issue of Pediatrics. "The manufacture of formulas with iron concentrations less than 4.0 mg/L should be discontinued. If these formulas continue to be made, low-iron formulas should be prominently labeled as potentially nutritionally inadequate with a warning specifying the risk of iron deficiency," the policy states.
The committee goes on to say that there are no known medical indications that point to iron as the cause for colic, constipation, cramps, or gastroesophageal reflux and discourages the use of low-iron formulas to treat these conditions.