, Volume 27, Issue 11, pp 901-907

First year growth of preterm infants fed standard compared to marine oil n−3 supplemented formula

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Very low birth weight (VLBW) infants (748–1390 g, n=65) were randomly assigned to receive control or marine oil-supplemented formula when they achieved intakes >454 kJ (110 kcal)/kg/d of a formula designed for VLBW infants. Study formulas with or without marine oil were provided until 79 wk of postconceptional age (PCA), first in a formula designed for preterm infants followed by a formula designed for term infants. Infants were studied at regular intervals through 92 wk PCA. Weight, length, and head circumference were determined by standardized prodedures and normalized to the National Center for Health Statistics figures for growth of infants born at term of the same age and gender. Mean normalized weight, weight-to-length, and head circumference were greatest at 48 wk and decreased thereafter. The decline in normalized weight was greater in infants fed the marine oil-supplemented formula. Beginning at 40 wk, marine oil-supplemented infants compared to controls had significantly poorer Z-scores for weight, length and head circumference. In addition, birth order (negatively) and maternal height (positively) influenced weight and length achievement in infancy as shown previously in infants born at term.

Based on a paper presented at the Symposium on Milk Lipids held at the AOCS Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, April 1990.