The Role of Long-Chain Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFA) in Growth and Development

  • Mijna Hadders-Algra
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 569)


It is debatable whether supplementation of infant formula with LCPUFA has an effect on infant growth and development. Up till now, there is little evidence of a negative effect on infant growth. A review of randomized controlled trials in term infants revealed that LCPUFA, in particularly supplementation with ≥ 0.30% DHA, seems to have a beneficial effect on neurodevelopmental outcome up to 4 months of age. The studies could not demonstrate a consistent positive effect beyond that age. However, in the majority of studies neurodevelopmental outcome was assessed between 6 to 24 months, i.e. at an age where there is a ‘latency’ in the expression of minor neurological dysfunction. Thus it is possible that LCPUFA might have a long lasting beneficial effect on neurodevelopmental outcome at school-age and beyond. This hypothesis urgently needs testing.


LCPUFA DHA AA growth neurodevelopmental outcome visual development general movements 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mijna Hadders-Algra
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept Neurology — Developmental NeurologyUniversity Hospital GroningenGZ GroningenThe Netherlands

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