Serum lipid fatty acids, phonological processing, and reading in children with oral clefts.
ABSTRACT Reading skill is suggested to be related to phonological processing ability and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Here we investigated whether fatty acids (FAs) are related to phonological processing, whether the relations between PUFAs and reading generalize to other FAs, whether these relations are mediated by phonological processing, and whether relations of FAs are specific for language-related functions. Blood samples of 49 ten-year-old children with oral clefts were collected for FA proportion analysis in serum cholesteryl esters and phospholipids. On the same day, they performed tasks of phonological processing, reading, and both verbal and nonverbal intelligence. Sequential regression analyses (adjusted for age, gender, and cleft type) showed that phonological processing was inversely related to myristic acid in phospholipids and positively related to eicosapentaenoic acid in cholesteryl esters. Reading was inversely related to palmitoleic and gammalinolenic acids in phospholipids. The relations between FAs and reading were not mediated by phonological processing and FAs related only to language-related functions.