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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Growth and Development in Term Infants Fed Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: a Double-Masked, Randomized, Parallel, Prospective, Multivariated Study

Authors
item Auestad, Nancy - ROSS PRODUCTS DIV, ABBOTT
item Halter, Robin - ROSS PRODUCTS DIV, ABBOTT
item Hall, Robert - UNIV OF MISSOURI, CMH
item Blatter, Mark - PITTSBURGH PEDIATRIC RESE
item Bogle, Margaret
item Burks, Wesley - UAMS & AR CHILDRENS HOSP
item Erickson, Julie - UNIV OF ARIZONA
item Fitzgerald, Kathleen - UNIV OF MISSOURI, CMH
item Dobson, Velma - UNIV OF ARIZONA
item Innis, Sheila - UNIV OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
item Singer, Lynn - RAINBOW BABIES&CHILD HOSP
item Montalto, Michael - ROSS PRODUCTS DIV, ABBOTT
item Jacobs, Joan - ROSS PRODUCTS DIV, ABBOTT
item Qiu, Wenzi - ROSS PRODUCTS DIV, ABBOTT
item Bornestein, Marc - NICHD, NAT INSTITUTES HEA

Submitted to: Pediatrics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2001
Publication Date: August 1, 2001
Citation: Auestad, N., Halter, R., Hall, R.T., Blatter, M., Bogle, M.L., Burks, W., Erickson, J.R., Fitzgerald, K.M., Dobson, V., Innis, S.M., Singer, L.T., Montalto, M.B., Jacobs, J.R., Qiu, W., Bornestein, M.H. 2001. Growth and development in term infants fed long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids: A double-masked, randomized, parallel, prospective, multivariated study. Pediatrics. 108(2):372-381.

Interpretive Summary: This study evaluated the effects of feeding two long-chain fatty acids, arachidonic acid (AA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on growth and development of term infants. 239 infants were fed formulas with or without AA+DHA for 1 year. Reference groups were 165 breastfed infants weaned to formulas with and without AA+DHA. 77 infants in the formula groups were randomized to a control formula with no AA or DHA or 1 of 2 identical formulas containing AA+DHA from either egg or fish oil and fungal oil at levels similar to the average in breast milk samples of the reference group. All formulas contained 50% of calories from fat with the essential fatty acids contributing 22%. AA and DHA levels in blood were higher in AA+DHA-supplemented groups than in the control formula group and comparable to those in the breastfed reference groups. No growth or developmental test results distinguished these groups. These findings do not support adding long-chain fatty acids to infant formulas to enhance growth, visual acuity, information processing, general development, language, or temperament in healthy, term infants during the first 14 months after birth.

Technical Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of dietary intake of long-chain fatty acids, arachidonic acid (AA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on multiple indices of infant growth and development. A double-masked, randomized, parallel trial was conducted with term infants fed formulas with or without AA+DHA for 1 year (N=239). Reference groups were breastfed infants (N=165) weaned to formulas with and without AA+DHA. Infants in the formula groups were randomized to a control formula with no AA or DHA (n=77) or 1 of 2 identical formulas containing AA+DHA from either egg-derived triglyceride (egg-DTG [n=82]) or fish oil and fungal oil (fish/fungal [n=82]) at levels similar to the average in breast milk samples of the reference group. All formulas contained 50% of energy from fat with the essential fatty acids at 22%. AA and DHA levels in plasma and red cells were higher in AA+DHA-supplemented groups than in the control formula group and comparable to those in breastfed reference groups. No developmental test results distinguished these groups. These findings do not support adding AA+DHA to formulas containing 10% energy as linoleic acid and 1% as alpha-linolenic acid to enhance growth, visual acuity, information processing, general development, language, or temperament in healthy, term infants during the first 14 months after birth.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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