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Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status and early growth of low birth weight infants

Authors
  • Woltil, H. A.1
  • van Beusekom, C. M.2
  • Schaafsma, A.3
  • Muskiet, F. A. J.2
  • Okken, A.4
  • 1 Department of Paediatrics, Martini Hospital, Ketwich Verschuurlaan 82, NL-9721 SW Groningen, The Netherlands, Tel.: (31) 50-5246900, Fax: (31) 50-5246909, NL
  • 2 Central Laboratory for Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands, NL
  • 3 Department of Research and Development, Friesland Dairy Foods, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, NL
  • 4 Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital Groningen The Netherlands, NL
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Pediatrics
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Volume
157
Issue
2
Pages
146–152
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s004310050787
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

We correlated arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) status with anthropometric measures and growth rates in a group of low birth weight infants (≤2500 g; gestational ages 30–41 weeks; n = 143). AA and DHA status were measured in erythrocytes (RBC) and plasma cholesterol esters (CE) during days 10 to 42. Infants received preterm formula without long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCP; n = 81), with LCP (n = 29) or maternal milk (n = 33). RBC AA contents on day 10 were correlated (P < 0.05) with birth weight in breast-fed infants and all formula-fed infants, with on day 10 a standard deviation score (SDS) for weight, length and occipito-frontal circumference in all formula-fed infants, and with on day 10 an SDS for length in breast-fed infants. Brain weight was related to RBC DHA and CE DHA contents on both day 10 and day 42 in formula-fed infants. Of the variances of brain growth parameters on day 42, 21–34% were explained by DHA status on day 42 and protein intake from days 10–42. Conclusion We conclude that parameters of early neonatal AA status are related to intra-uterine rather than to post-natal growth. Parameters of post-natal brain growth are related to RBC DHA and CE DHA contents on day 42, and to dietary protein intake. These results point to the importance of dietary DHA for brain growth in the first 6 post-natal weeks.

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