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Effect of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Full-Term Infants
Department of Pediatrics–Developmental Neurology, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands
Received: 17 June 2010; in revised form: 6 July 2010 / Accepted: 15 July 2010 / Published: 27 July 2010
Abstract: It takes more than 20 years before the human brain obtains its complex, adult configuration. Most dramatic developmental changes occur prenatally and early postnatally. During development, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) such as doxosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) are accreted in the brain. Since breastfeeding is associated with a better developmental outcome than formula feeding, and human milk in contrast to traditional standard formula contains LCPUFA, the question arose whether LCPUFA supplementation of infant formula may promote the neurodevelopmental outcome. The current paper reviews the evidence available in full-term infants. It concludes that postnatal supplementation of formula with LCPUFA is associated with a beneficial effect on short-term neurodevelopmental outcome. However, no evidence is available that LCPUFA supplementation enhances neurodevelopmental outcome in full-term infants beyond the age of four months. Nevertheless, it should be realized that very limited information is available on the effect of LCPUFA supplementation on neurodevelopmental outcome at school age or later. It is conceivable that effects of LCPUFA supplementation first emerge or re-emerge at school age when more complex neural functions are expressed.
Keywords: LCPUFA; docosahexaenoic acid; arachidonic acid; full-term; infant; neurodevelopment; cognition; breast feeding
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MDPI and ACS Style
Hadders-Algra, M. Effect of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Full-Term Infants. Nutrients 2010, 2, 790-804.
Hadders-Algra M. Effect of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Full-Term Infants. Nutrients. 2010; 2(8):790-804.
Hadders-Algra, Mijna. 2010. "Effect of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Neurodevelopmental Outcome in Full-Term Infants." Nutrients 2, no. 8: 790-804.