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Review

The Influence of Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid, Docosahexaenoic Acid, on Child Behavioral Functioning: A Review of Randomized Controlled Trials of DHA Supplementation in Pregnancy, the Neonatal Period and Infancy

1
Women and Kids, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, 72 King William Road, 5006 Adelaide, Australia
2
School of Psychology and Discipline of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, 5005 Adelaide, Australia
3
School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, 5005 Adelaide, Australia
4
Discipline of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, 5005 Adelaide, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreas Hahn
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020415
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 22 January 2021 / Accepted: 25 January 2021 / Published: 28 January 2021
This is a review of randomized controlled trials using docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) interventions in the first 1000 days of life with assessments of behavioral functioning in childhood. Electronic databases were searched for trials with a DHA intervention (compared with a placebo group that received no or less DHA) at any time to either women or infants during the first 1000 days, with a subsequent assessment of child behavior. There were 25 trials involving 10,320 mother–child pairs, and 71 assessments of behavior in 6867 of the children (66.5% of those originally enrolled). From the 71 assessments administered, there were 401 comparisons between a DHA group and a control group, with most reporting a null effect. There were no findings of a positive effect of DHA, and 23 instances where the DHA group had worse scores compared with the control group. There was limited evidence that DHA supplementation had any effect on behavioral development, although two of the largest trials with behavioral measures detected adverse effects. Future trials, and future follow-ups of existing trials, should make an effort to evaluate the effect of DHA intervention on behavioral functioning. View Full-Text
Keywords: DHA; omega-3 fatty acids; supplementation; behavior; behavioral problems; prenatal; postnatal; neonatal; infant DHA; omega-3 fatty acids; supplementation; behavior; behavioral problems; prenatal; postnatal; neonatal; infant
MDPI and ACS Style

Gould, J.F.; Roberts, R.M.; Makrides, M. The Influence of Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid, Docosahexaenoic Acid, on Child Behavioral Functioning: A Review of Randomized Controlled Trials of DHA Supplementation in Pregnancy, the Neonatal Period and Infancy. Nutrients 2021, 13, 415. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020415

AMA Style

Gould JF, Roberts RM, Makrides M. The Influence of Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid, Docosahexaenoic Acid, on Child Behavioral Functioning: A Review of Randomized Controlled Trials of DHA Supplementation in Pregnancy, the Neonatal Period and Infancy. Nutrients. 2021; 13(2):415. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020415

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gould, Jacqueline F., Rachel M. Roberts, and Maria Makrides. 2021. "The Influence of Omega-3 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid, Docosahexaenoic Acid, on Child Behavioral Functioning: A Review of Randomized Controlled Trials of DHA Supplementation in Pregnancy, the Neonatal Period and Infancy" Nutrients 13, no. 2: 415. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020415

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