Neurodevelopmental quotient of healthy term infants at 4 months and feeding practice: The role of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A direct influence of dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUHA) on the developmental quotient (DQ) of the healthy term infant remains unexplored. To test this hypothesis, we designed a prospective study of three types of diet. Twenty-nine infants received a LC-PUFA-supplemented formula, 31 received a standard infant formula, and 30 infants were breastfed exclusively. Neurodevelopmental response was measured by the Brunet-Lezine psychomotor development test at 4 mo. The fatty acid status was also assessed among three diet subgroups (59 subjects) at 4 mo. Formula-fed infants who received LC-PUFA supplementation scored significantly higher (p <0.01) on the Brunet-Lezine scale than infants who received the standard formula. Breast-fed infants also performed better than those fed the standard formula. Arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid levels in circulating lipids and erythrocyte phospholipids were higher among breast-fed infants and among the group fed the arachidonic- and docosahexaenoic acid-supplemented formula. These findings are suggestive that formula supplementation with one or both of these fatty acids can benefit term infants in neurodevelopmental performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-266
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Research
Volume38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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