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Iron Supplements Are Beneficial For Low Birth Weight Babies

September 6, 2010: 07:30 AM EST
Low birth weight infants (4.5 to 5.5 pounds) at risk for iron deficiency benefited significantly from iron supplementation in the first six months of their lives, a Swedish study has found. The placebo-controlled study involved 285 infants who were given either no iron supplements or one or two mg/kg a day from six weeks to six months. The researchers found that 36 percent of the placebo group was iron deficient at six months, while only 8.2 percent of the one mg/kg a day group and 3.8 percent of the two mg/kg a day group were iron deficient. Another finding was that breastfed babies were more likely to suffer from iron deficiency. The iron supplements did not affect growth rates or cause any infections or other health conditions.
Magnus Domellöf , et al. , "Iron Supplements Reduce the Risk of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Marginally Low Birth Weight Infants", Pediatrics, September 06, 2010, © American Academy of Pediatrics
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