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The Role of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Supplementation in Childhood: A Review

Author(s): Marco M. Ciccone, Pietro Scicchitano, Michele Gesualdo, Annapaola Zito, Santa Carbonara, Gabriella Ricci, Francesca Cortese and Paola Giordano

Affiliation: Piazza G. Cesare 11 - 70124 Bari Italy.

Keywords: Cardiovascular risk, childhood, diet, endothelial function, omega-3, PUFAs.

Abstract:

Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) benefits are not clearly defined in childhood although already well-defined in adults. Recent studies have demonstrated their positive effects on bronchial asthma, neuropsychiatric disorders and cognitive brain function in childhood. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated as a relationship between the increased incidence of childhood obesity and the role of ω-3 PUFAs in reducing the metabolic and vascular alterations induced by the fat accumulation since young age. Such relationship could be more important in prevention of future cardiovascular events. In fact, ω-3 PUFAs could improve endothelial function and structure since childhood. By considering endothelial dysfunction as a well-known early marker of atherosclerosis, its amelioration in the beginning years of individuals’ life will certainly reduce the cardiovascular risk profile in adulthood.

Nevertheless, their use is limited by several factors, such as the lack of studies in children and the awful taste of the products enriched with ω-3 PUFAs, although several patents have managed to overcome such defects and developed the use of these molecules.

This paper is a literature study and patents analysis aiming to explore key issues regarding ω-3 PUFAs administration in childhood in order to take into account its routine intake daily. However, it is well-established that further studies are needed to endorse the promising results outlined by literature analysis

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Article Details

VOLUME: 8
ISSUE: 1
Page: [42 - 55]
Pages: 14
DOI: 10.2174/1574890111308010006