Intended for healthcare professionals


Supplements for babies . . . and other stories

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 28 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6610

Nutrient supplements for small babies

Infants who are preterm and small for gestational age are often given nutrient supplements in the first weeks after birth to improve growth and neural development, despite observational evidence that any benefits come at the cost of a greater risk of obesity and metabolic disease later. A systematic review of relevant randomised trials produced unexpected results (PLoS Med doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002952). In contrast to the observational data, it found no indications that metabolic risk factors worsened. Indeed, children who had received supplements tended to have lower fasting blood glucose concentrations than children who had not. On the other hand, there was little support for …

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