The role of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) in the early development of the human nervous system was put forward by the better cognitive development observed in breast-fed than in formula fed infants in parallel with the presence of LCPUFA in human milk but not in formula. The role of LCPUFA in early human neurodevelopment can be investigated by comparing data obtained in formula fed infants randomly assigned to receive formula with or without LCPUFA. Investigations in preterm infants indicate that the presence of LCPUFA in the formula offers benefits for the early postnatal development of visual and cognitive functions. The unequivocal results obtained in preterm infants led to the recommendation of LCPUFA supplementation to formulae for preterm infants. In several studies in full-term infants, enhanced dietary intake of LCPUFA was accompanied with better visual acuity and better results in various cognitive tests. However, other studies did not show visual or cognitive differences between full-term infants fed formula with or without LCPUFA. It is a question under current debate whether supplementation of LCPUFA to formulae for full-term infants is required to lessen the difference between the intellectual development of breast-fed and formula fed infants.
|Translated title of the contribution||Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the early development of the human nervous system|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 17 2000|
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