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Early Sodium Intake Helps Premature Babies

Update Date: Nov 18, 2014 04:31 PM EST
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Premature infants given early sodium supplementation gain more weight than those not given early supplementation, according to a new study.

The latest study involved 53 newborns born at less than 32 weeks of pregnancy. Researchers said the latest findings are important because negative neurodevelopmental outcomes can result from poor growth in premature infants. Previous studies have shown little evidence to prove the benefits of early sodium supplementation for premature infants, and fortified human milk and commercial formulas often lack the recommended levels of sodium.

After analyzing study data, researchers found that premature infants given early sodium supplementation gained weight at a significantly faster rate, had lower rates of hyponatremia and had no increase in prematurity-related conditions.

Researchers said the latest findings suggest supports current recommendations of early sodium supplementation for premature infants.

The findings are published today in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN).

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