Schuchardt JP, Huss M, Stauss-Grabo M, Hahn A. Significance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the development and behaviour of children. Eur J Pediatr 169: 149-164

Institute of Food Science, Nutrition physiology and human nutrition unit, Leibniz University of Hanover, Am Kleinen Felde 30, 30167 Hanover, Germany.
European Journal of Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.89). 09/2009; 169(2):149-64. DOI: 10.1007/s00431-009-1035-8
Source: PubMed


omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play a central role in the normal development and functioning of the brain and central nervous system. Long-chain PUFAs (LC-PUFAs) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5omega-3), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6omega-3) and arachidonic acid (AA, C20:4omega-6), in particular, are involved in numerous neuronal processes, ranging from effects on membrane fluidity to gene expression regulation. Deficiencies and imbalances of these nutrients, not only during the developmental phase but throughout the whole life span, have significant effects on brain function. Numerous observational studies have shown a link between childhood developmental disorders and omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid imbalances. For instance, neurocognitive disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism spectrum disorders are often associated with a relative lack of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to a high omega-6 fatty acid intake and, in many cases, an insufficient supply of omega-3 fatty acids among the population, evidence is increasing to suggest that PUFA metabolism can be impaired in individuals with ADHD. In this context, PUFA imbalances are being discussed as potential risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders. Another focus is whether the nutritive PUFA requirements-especially long-chain omega-3 fatty acid requirements-are higher among some individuals. Meanwhile, several controlled studies investigated the clinical benefits of LC-PUFA supplementation in affected children and adolescents, with occasionally conflicting results.

Download full-text


Available from: Manuela Stauss-Grabo,
    • "immature exocrine pancreas function combined with a very low bile output, consequently reducing the fatabsorption [2] [3] [4]. In addition of the high energy demand is also the requirement for a relatively large amount of longchain-polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) for appropriate brain development in infants [5]. Human milk is the preferred nutritional source for all infants. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A high energy supply and appropriate amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids is crucial for proper growth and development in neonates. The capacity for fatty acid absorption in newborns is however hampered due to an undeveloped pancreatic function combined with a low bile output. This seems in particular to limit fatty acid absorption in babies given infant formulas. Since interaction between the lipid droplet and the gastric and duodenal lipases occur through the hydrophobic/hydrophilic interface, the composition of the emulsifier may be crucial for efficient hydrolysis. We therefore determined hydrolytic rate of gastric lipase and pancreatic lipase, on their own or pancreatic lipase after gastric lipase on TAG droplets of similar size emulsified in either soy lecithin (SL) or in bovine milk phospholipids (MPL), more similar to human milk globule membrane lipids than soy lecithin. Gastric lipase activity was substantially higher on MPL-emulsified particles, while SL emulsification caused a higher rate of pancreatic lipase hydrolysis, on particles that had not been pre-treated with gastric lipase. MPL emulsification did however cause higher pancreatic lipase activity, when the particles had been pre-treated with gastric lipase. The attenuating effect of MPL-emulsification on pancreas lipase activity was validated in vivo in mice.Practical application Our results show that the activity of gastric lipase, a key enzyme in lipid absorption in neonates, is highly dependent on the phospholipid composition of the surface layer on the emulsion droplets. We furthermore show that increasing gastric lipase activity by modifying the phospholipid composition on the droplet surface, also enhance the subsequent activity of the pancreatic lipase acting in the duodenum. This implies that it is possible to strategically design the surface layer of lipid droplets in infant formulas to maximize gastric lipase activity, and that this could improve total fatty acid absorption in formula-fed neonates. This is of particular importance in the development of formula aimed at pre-mature babies, but is also highly relevant for formulas for term-born infants.
    European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 08/2015; 117(10). DOI:10.1002/ejlt.201400505 · 1.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "LCPUFA are incorporated in membrane-based phospholipids of neural tissue modifying membrane integrity and fluidity (Stubbs and Smith, 1984; Suzuki et al., 1998). Functioning of transmembrane proteins, such as receptors and transporters, is affected by membrane fluidity (Schuchardt et al., 2010; Chalon, 2006). Monoaminergic neurotransmission, in particular mesocortical dopamine, was reported to alter upon changes in nutritional composition of fatty acids (Delion et al., 1994). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Allergy is suggested to exacerbate impaired behaviour in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. We have previously shown that food allergy impaired social behaviour in mice. Dietary fatty acid composition may affect both the immune and nervous system. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) on food allergy-induced impaired social behaviour and associated deficits in prefrontal dopamine (DA) in mice. Mice were fed either control or n-3 LCPUFA-enriched diet before and during sensitization with whey. Social behaviour, acute allergic skin response and serum immunoglobulins were assessed. Monoamine levels were measured in brain and intestine and fatty acid content in brain. N-3 LCPUFA prevented impaired social behaviour of allergic mice. Moreover, n-3 LCPUFA supplementation increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) incorporation into the brain and restored reduced levels of prefrontal DA and its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, 3-methoxytyramine and homovanillic acid in allergic mice. In addition to these brain effects, n-3 LCPUFA supplementation reduced the allergic skin response and restored decreased intestinal levels of serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in allergic mice. N-3 LCPUFA may have beneficial effects on food allergy-induced deficits in social behaviour, either indirectly by reducing the allergic response and restoring intestinal 5-HT signalling, or directly by DHA incorporation into neuronal membranes, affecting the DA system. Therefore, it is of interest to further investigate the relevance of food allergy-enhanced impairments in social behaviour in humans and the potential benefits of dietary n-3 LCPUFA supplementation.
    Neuropharmacology 11/2014; 90. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2014.11.001 · 5.11 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "It is especially disconcerting in case of boys, since it is well recognised that males are at higher risk for atherosclerosis than females and the studied boys’ intakes of both total fat and saturated fatty acids (g, % of energy, g/1000 kcal) were significantly higher in comparison to girls. Moreover, inadequate intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids observed in almost all of the studied 6-year-olds may have adverse effect on their neurodevelopment [52]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background The studies on dietary intake in Polish children are sparse and the information about dietary intake in 6-year-olds in Europe is limited. The published studies on dietary intake in children rarely provide information on the intake of animal protein, plant protein and water. The purpose of the study was to analyse energy and macronutrient intakes in 6-year-old children from southern Poland. Methods The studied population comprised 120 children, 64 girls and 56 boys. Energy and macronutrient intakes were estimated from a three-day food record. Weight and height were measured, and body mass index was calculated. Results Intakes of energy (kJ, kcal), plant protein (g), total fat (g), saturated fatty acids (g, % of energy, g/1000 kcal), monounsaturated fatty acids (g) and starch (g, % of energy, g/1000 kcal) were significantly higher in boys, while intakes of sucrose (% of energy, g/1000 kcal) and total water (g/1000 kcal) were significantly higher in girls. The children’s diets were characterised by excessive intake of total fat, saturated fatty acids, sucrose, and by inadequate intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids, available carbohydrates and starch. Conclusions The observed adverse characteristics of the children’s diets are similar to those observed in the diets of children in other European countries and show the need to work out a common educational programme to improve nutrition in young European children. It is also important to provide the lacking information about the intake of animal protein, plant protein and water in young children.
    BMC Pediatrics 08/2014; 14(1):197. DOI:10.1186/1471-2431-14-197 · 1.93 Impact Factor
Show more