Effects of diet on the lipid and fatty acid status of full-term infants at 4 months

Carlo Agostoni, Enrica Riva, Roberto Bellù, Sabina Trojan, Diego Luotti, Marcello Giovannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare the effects of the exogenous supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCP) and cholesterol on the lipid and fatty acid status in full-term, 4-month old infants. Methods: Twenty-three infants received a standard infant formula while twenty-one were given a formula enriched with LCP and cholesterol in a prospective, randomized study. The composition of the two formulas differed only in fat quality. A group of fifteen breastfed infants fed was used as reference. No one was complemented with solid foods before blood sampling at 4 months of life. Results: Differences in total-cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels between feeding groups were mainly gender-related. Dietary cholesterol tended to increase LDL-C plasma levels. The breastfed and the enriched formula-fed groups had higher levels of circulating LCP than the group that received the standard formula. In the erythrocytes of infants fed the standard formula, C22:6 n-3 levels were less than 50% those of the breastfed and the enriched formula-fed ones. Higher C20:4 n-6 levels were found in the erythrocytes of the enriched formula-fed group. Conclusions: Formula-fed, full-term infants maintain a lipid and fatty acid status close to that of breastfed infants when supplied with dietary LCP and cholesterol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-664
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1994


  • Cholesterol
  • Human milk
  • Infant formula
  • Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Food Science


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