Growth, fatty acid composition of plasma lipid classes, and plasma retinol and alpha-tocopherol concentrations in full-term infants fed formula enriched with omega-6 and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.Acta Paediatr 1995; 84(7):725-32AP
Full-term infants fed formula without dietary long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCF) exhibit significantly lower plasma LCP values than breast-fed infants. We studied prospectively two groups of healthy full-term infants fed conventional infant formula without LCP (F, n = 10) or the same formula enriched with both omega-6 and omega-3 LCP (LCP-F, n = 12). Anthropometric data were obtained and fatty acid (FA) compositions of plasma phospholipids, triglycerides and sterol esters as well as plasma retinol and alpha-tocopherol concentrations were determined at 5 days and 1, 2, 3 and 4 months of age. Gains in weight, length and head circumference did not differ between the two groups throughout the study period. Plasma FA values did not differ at 5 days of age. Between 1 and 4 months of age, plasma phospholipids of infants fed LCP-F consistently had significantly (p < 0.05) higher percentages of arachidonic acid (1 month: 9.7 (0.8) versus 7.0 (1.3) %wt/wt, 4 months: 8.7 (0.5) versus 6.6 (1.0) %wt/wt, median (interquartile range), LCP-F versus F) and docosahexaenoic acid (1 month: 2.9 (0.5) versus 1.6 (0.3) %wt/wt; 4 months: 2.9 (0.4) versus 0.9 (0.3) %wt/wt). Plasma retinol and alpha-tocopherol concentrations did not differ between the two groups throughout the study. We conclude that this form of LCP enrichment of formula for full-term infants effectively enhances plasma LCP contents without detectable adverse effects. The potential effects on functional outcome need to be studied carefully in prospective clinical trials.