Home » Your Health » Children's Health News » Study: Iron Supplements May Ward Off Behavioral Issues in Kids

Study: Iron Supplements May Ward Off Behavioral Issues in Kids

Children's Health News, Health Studies in the News, Your Health

Iron supplements have often been used to help premature babies catch up after experiencing a deficiency due to pre-term labor but researchers are urging doctors and health experts to also focus on babies that are born just shy of a normal weight as they may experience the same health issues if not treated properly right away.

The study suggests that iron supplements may help increase brain development and reduce risk of behavioral problems in babies who are born with a lower birth rate . It also suggests that this information should be applied to helping babies born just below a normal birth weight because they unknowingly may suffer the same behavioral issues if they end up iron deficient.

“I think this further solidifies the evidence that it’s a very good idea to give these (marginally low birth-weight) children iron supplements,” said Dr. Magnus Domellof, from Umea University, who worked on the study.

The Swedish research team followed 285 infants born between 4lbs, 7oz and 5lbs, 8oz. When the babies turned six weeks old, they were split into two groups: one group received iron drops while the other received iron-free placebo drops. Each baby was given one drop each day until their six month birthday.

When the kids turned three and a half, the team re-evaluated them using IQ tests and parental reviews of their behavioral issues. The researchers also compared the children in the study to an additional 95 children who were born at a normal weight.

The results revealed no IQ differences between any of the groups. All three groups had average scores, according to the study. However, the babies in the placebo-drop group had a significantly higher rate of behavioral issues. These issues includes difficulties managing emotional reactions, anxiety, depression, sleep problems  and attention problems.

13 percent of children in the placebo-drop group scored above the cut-off for clinical behavioral problems compared to just 3 percent of the children in the iron-drop group.

“The issue with these marginally low birth-weight infants is, people really haven’t paid a lot of attention to them, but the evidence is accumulating that they are at risk for behavioral problems and less than ideal cognitive function,” said Dr. Betsy Lozoff, who studies the effects of iron deficiency in infants at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Source: Reuters Health

ADVERTISEMENT

More on ActiveBeat

  • 6 Treatments for Hyperthyroidism
    You've probably heard of the thyroid, but you may not be as familiar with the condition known as hyperthyroidism, which involves the thyroid gland producing an unnecessary amount...
    Children's Health News
  • 6 Ways to De-Stress at a Desk
    Work and stress often go hand-in-hand. Between the time pressure of deadlines, multi-tasking, and the challenges of managing relationships with co-workers and bosses, both the body...
    Children's Health News
  • 5 Soothing Ways to Relieve Muscle Cramps
    Being woken up in the middle of the night by the pain of a muscle cramp in the calf or foot is something most people know all too well.
    Children's Health News
  • Signs and Symptoms of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
    Non-melanoma skin cancer—a term used to describe basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)—affects more than 3.
    Children's Health News
  • Breathe Through These 6 Health Indicators Linked to the Diaphragm
    The website of Dr. Ginger Garner explains that your diaphragm "measures mere millimeters in thickness," but it has sweeping influence over bodily systems that can "ultimately...
    Children's Health News
  • 6 Foods to Avoid When Suffering from Shingles
    Shingles is no fun at all for adults – it's caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, which can become dormant for years and reappear as this painful nerve condition.
    Children's Health News
  • 6 Treatments for Scleroderma
    Scleroderma is a type of skin disease that can result in the skin becoming abnormally hard and tight, sometimes resulting in redness, discomfort, and pain.
    Children's Health News
  • 7 Aphasia Therapies and Treatments to Talk About
    Aphasia is the inability to properly communicate orally or through writing, usually as the result of a stroke or another medical problem.
    Children's Health News
  • 6 Things to Know About Conjunctivitis in Children
    Conjunctivitis, often referred to as pinkeye, doesn't necessarily have the redness of the eyes that the name implies.
    Children's Health News
  • 6 Symptoms of Migraines in Children
    We often associate migraine headaches with adulthood (even though they're actually the most common acute headache in kids), from the stresses of work and life.
    Children's Health News
  • 6 Simple Ways to Prevent Jet Lag
    Embarking on an international trip is an exciting time. The stress of planning is done and the plane has taken off; time to sit back and relax.
    Children's Health News
  • 8 Iron-Rich Foods That Aren’t Meat
    Iron, an essential mineral that helps to transport oxygen throughout the body, comes in two dietary forms: heme and non-heme.
    Children's Health News
  • 6 Brain-Boosting Activities to Help Prevent Alzheimer's
    In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease affects one in 10 people aged 65 and older. Despite how common it is, scientists have yet to discover what causes the development and...
    Children's Health News
  • Don't Sniff at These 7 Causes of Dry Nose
    If you're the type that always seems to have dry nostrils and nasal passages – even when you're probably hydrated – it can be a bit frustrating.
    Children's Health News
  • 7 Home Remedies for Migraines That Really Work
    Migraines – they can come along without warning (and in some cases, some other symptoms show up first), but either way, they can be painful and debilitating.
    Children's Health News