Document Detail

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and development of human infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10569227     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Human infants require n-6 and n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA), derivatives of the essential fatty acids, linoleate (n-6) and linolenate (n-3), for growth and neural development. Animals fed diets deficient in the essential fatty acids have low neural LCPUFA and behavioral changes that imply adverse effects on brain function. Studies of animals deficient in essential fatty acids have provided the rationale and outcomes for studies to determine whether human infants need dietary LCPUFA. After including n-3 LCPUFA in formula, preterm infants showed higher sensory function (retinal responses to light, visual acuity), visual attention characteristic of higher maturity during infancy, and higher scores on test of global development (6- and 12-mo Bayley Mental Developmental Index). In term infants, some but not all studies found higher visual acuity, 4-mo Brunet-Lezine psychomotor development, and 10-mo means-end problem solving with LCPUFA-containing formulae compared to formulae in general use. Because preterm infants have lower LCPUFA accumulation at birth than term infants, it may be easier to show benefits of dietary LCPUFA for neural development in the former group. In addition to low gestational age, other variables may influence LCPUFA accumulation at birth and determine whether a particular group of infants will respond to dietary LCPUFA. One current challenge is to identify and characterize the effects of those variables. Another is to learn the mechanisms by which LCPUFA status may influence behavior.
S E Carlson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992). Supplement     Volume:  88     ISSN:  0803-5326     ISO Abbreviation:  Acta Paediatr Suppl     Publication Date:  1999 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-12-21     Completed Date:  1999-12-21     Revised Date:  2008-05-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9315043     Medline TA:  Acta Paediatr Suppl     Country:  NORWAY    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  72-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Nursing and Medicine, The University of Missouri-Kansas City, 64108, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Central Nervous System / physiology
Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*,  metabolism*
Growth / physiology*
Infant, Newborn
Milk, Human / chemistry,  metabolism*
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Sensation / physiology
Sensitivity and Specificity
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fatty Acids, Unsaturated

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