AANP – Preemies Need Higher Vitamin D Dosages – (RTuesday, May 07, 2013)–A study has found that preterm infants may need 800 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily to develop strong bones. (Preemies are known to be at risk for vitamin D insufficiency; if levels are too low, infants and children can get rickets, which leads to softening and weakening of the bones. Conflicting advice on dosages prompted this study.) The infants were randomly assigned to receive either 800 IU or 400 IU of oral vitamin D3. Researchers compared whether the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency (VDI) at 40 weeks and at 3 months post-term-age differed between the groups. Results showed vitamin D insufficiency (VDI) was common in both groups before they received supplements, but after supplementation, the prevalence of VDI at 40 weeks was 43 percent lower in the 800 IU group than the 400 IU group. The study results show conclusively that, in preterm infants, supplementation with 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day compared to 400 IU per day reduces VDI.