Role of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Neurodevelopment and Growth

Women's and Children's Health Research Institute and University of Adelaide, S.A., Australia.
Nestle Nutrition workshop series. Paediatric programme 02/2010; 65:123-33; discussion 133-6. DOI: 10.1159/000281154
Source: PubMed


There has been intense interest in the role of the n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), in growth and development of infants. In 2009, there are at least twelve published randomized controlled trials (RCT) assessing the effects of LCPUFA supplementation of infant formula for preterm infants and seventeen RCTs involving formula-fed term infants. In addition, at least five RCTs have investigated the effect of DHA supplementation during pregnancy and/or lactation on infant and early child development. Collectively, the published literature has demonstrated no harm of dietary LCPUFA for infants regardless of whether they are born preterm or at term. However, developmental benefit is more consistently observed in infants born preterm. This may be explained by the fact that DHA accretion to neural tissues peaks during the fetal brain growth spurt in the last trimester of pregnancy. Infants born preterm are denied the full gestation period to accumulate DHA and are at risk of incomplete DHA accumulation. New research is focused on the timing and dose of DHA supplementation needed to optimize developmental outcomes.

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    • "This finding is consistent with the results of other studies. Some lines of evidence demonstrated that fatty acid compositions of human breast milk such as docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid have an important role in brain development [33] [34]. The results of our study may be due to the role of fatty acids in brain growth during neonatal and infancy stages [35]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among children. The aim of this study was to evaluate risk factors for ADHD in children. Method. In this case-control study, 404 children between 4 and 11 years old were selected by cluster sampling method from preschool children (208 patients as cases and 196 controls). All the participants were interviewed by a child and adolescent psychiatrist to survey risk factors of ADHD. Results. Among cases, 59.3% of children were boys and 38.4% were girls, which is different to that in control group with 40.7% boys and 61.6% girls. The chi-square showed statistically significance (P value < 0.0001). The other significant factors by chi-square were fathers' somatic or psychiatric disease (P value < 0.0001), history of trauma and accident during pregnancy (P value = 0.039), abortion proceeds (P value < 0.0001), unintended pregnancy (P value < 0.0001), and history of head trauma (P value < 0.0001). Conclusions. Findings of our study suggest that maternal and paternal adverse events were associated with ADHD symptoms, but breast feeding is a protective factor.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · International Journal of Pediatrics
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    • "We completed a computerized literature search of MEDLINE (1950–June 2010), EMBASE (2010), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINALH) (from inception to June 2010), and the Cochrane Library (2010). We supplemented this search by investigating relevant references from published reviews [2–4, 14, 15]. There was no limit on the language of publication. "
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Obstetrics and Gynecology International
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    • "Because of the importance of VLCPUFAs as components of human diet, their demand is constantly increasing (e.g. being now standard components of infant formula milks) (Calder, 2004; Napier, 2007; Shapira, 2009; Agostoni, 2010; Makrides et al., 2010). Plant oils represent an important renewable resource from nature, and oilseeds provide a unique platform of low costs for the production of high-value fatty acids that can replace nonsustainable oceanic sources (Damude and Kinney, 2007, 2008; Napier, 2007; Napier and Graham, 2010). "
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