Assessing Nutritional Requirements for Preterm Infants

  • Ian J. GriffinEmail author
Part of the Nutrition and Health book series (NH)


Although the macrominerals calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are of primary concern in bone health, other minerals, including trace minerals can also play an important role. In this chapter, the role of some of these will be considered. In general, the data supporting and defining the role of the trace minerals in bone health is much less well developed than for the macrominerals. In many cases, studies have used animal models, which are difficult to extrapolate to humans. In others, the relationship between serum levels of minerals and markers of bone health or assessment of bone mineral density are described. These are difficult to interpret, and even if a correlation between low serum copper and low bone mineral density (for example) is demonstrated this does not mean that additional dietary copper would improve bone mineral density. Such relationships are confounded by the other lifestyle and socioeconomic factors that may cause such differences in dietary intakes. In addition, low-quality diets may be deficient in more than one nutrient, making it extremely difficult to ascribe the change to any single nutrient. There are very few well-designed intervention studies in humans that address the importance of trace and ultratrace minerals in human bone metabolism. The one exception appears to be strontium, where there is increasing good-quality data (i.e. randomized controlled studies) suggesting that high-risk adults may benefit from strontium supplementation.


Nutritional requirements for preterm infants Macrominerals Copper deficiency Zinc Boron Strontium Silicon Trace minerals Skeletal health Animal studies 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUC Davis Children’s HospitalSacramentoUSA

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