Are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids essential nutrients in infancy ?
We investigated whether the disparity in neural maturation between breastfed and formula-fed term infants could be corrected by the addition of fish oil, a source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22 : 6oméga3), to infant formula.
Healthy, term infants were randomised at birth to receive either a supplemented or placebo formula if their mothers had chosen to bottle feed.
Breastfed term infants were enrolled as a reference group.
Infant erythrocyte fatty acids and anthropometry were assessed on day 5 and at 6,16, and 30 weeks of age.
Visual evoked potential (VEP) acuity was determined at 16 and 30 weeks.
VEP acuities of breastfed and supplemented-formula-fed infants were better than those of placebo-formula-fed infants at both 16 and 30 weeks of age (p<0.001 and p<0.01).
Erythrocyte DHA in breastfed and supplemented-formula-fed infants was maintained near birth levels throughout the 30-week study period but fell in placebo-formula-fed infants (p<0.001).
Erythrocyte DHA was the only fatty acid that consistently correlated with VEP acuity in all infants at both ages tested.
Although no adverse effects were noted, with growth of all infants being similar.
DHA seems to be an essential nutrient for the optimum neural maturation of term infants as assessed by VEP acuity.
Whether supplementation of formula-fed infants with DHA has long-term benefits remains to be elucidated.
Mots-clés Pascal : Acide gras polyinsaturé, Chaîne longue, Influence, Maturation, Système nerveux, Potentiel évoqué visuel, Nutrition, Allaitement, Durée, Nourrisson, Lipide, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Polyunsaturated fatty acid, Long chain, Influence, Ripening, Nervous system, Visual evoked potential, Nutrition, Breast feeding, Duration, Infant, Lipids, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0394333
Code Inist : 002B30A02A. Création : 01/03/1996.