Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: Food for thought(s)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty, acids (LCPUFA, or LCP) are bioactive compounds that include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid. DHA has received the greatest attention, because it appears to be necessary for normal growth and development of the infant brain and visual system. For preterm infants there is wide agreement over the neural functional benefits of LCP, whereas for term infants the results are more controversial. There is growing interest in the practice of supplementing pregnant and breastfeeding women with DHA. LCP may be used in the presence of functional and/or organic brain impairments as well as some inflammatory states, but caution is warranted to prevent false expectations. Therefore, pediatricians should be aware of the present scientific evidence concerning dietary LCP supplementions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-322
Number of pages4
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Long-chain Polyunsaturated fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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