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Current Pediatric Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3963
ISSN (Online): 1875-6336

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Human Milk and Neurological Development in Breastfed Infants

Author(s): Carlo Agostoni, Isabella Brunetti and Alessia Di Marco

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2005

Page: [25 - 30] Pages: 6

DOI: 10.2174/1573396052953435


Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are bioactive compounds that include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA). DHA seems to be necessary to optimize growth and development of infants neural functions. For preterm infants there is a wide agreement on LCPUFA benefits, while for term infants results are more controversial. There is presently a growing interest in supplementing pregnant and breastfeeding women with DHA. LCPUFA may act as coadjuvants in conditions of functional and organic brain impairments, as well as some inflammatory states, but caution is urged to prevent false expectations. Therefore, pediatricians should be aware of the present scientific evidence concerning dietary LCPUFA supplementations.

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