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Low birth weight babies need special nutrition to strengthen their bones
Premature babies and very small babies are more likely to develop weaker bones later in life. This is the conclusion that researchers have now come to to investigate how bone mass is formed in adults born with a low birth weight.
So-called premature babies or babies with a very low weight generally require special care in the first months after birth. Scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim have now found that babies who are born with a very low birth weight tend to have weak bones later in life. The doctors published their results at the European Congress of Endocrinology.
If the transmission of calcium is disturbed, weak bones develop
The last weeks of pregnancy are important for the bone structure of growing fetuses. During this time, a lot of calcium is transferred from the mother to the child to increase bone development, the doctors explain. If this transmission is disturbed or interrupted, affected babies can have weaker bones than adults. So far, there have been only a few studies that measure the bone mass in adults who were born with a low birth weight, the experts say. Little babies who weigh little but were born on the normal date of birth also had weaker bones, the researchers add.
This is how you can prevent your child from developing weak bones
The parents of affected children can counteract the weak bones by ensuring that their child eats a healthy diet and has enough exercise, the scientists explain. Our study shows that both prematurely born children with a very low birth weight and especially small children later had a lower bone mass compared to the control group, explains lead author Dr. Chandima Balasuriya from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. With such children, parents should make sure that they get a diet that is high in calcium, vitamin D and protein. In addition, sufferers should do weightlifting to reduce the risk of broken bones later in life, adds Dr. Balasuriya added. (as)