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Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: the Case for and Against the Supplementation of Infant Formula

  • Date Submitted: 04/09/2014 06:41 AM
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The following paper investigates the role of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and its effects on infants to determine whether or not there is beneficial to supplement LCPUFAs in infant products. A brief introduction to the topic is provided and the key concepts defined, after which thorough analysis of a variety of studies is conducted.

Word Count: 1024

In neural structure, the specific LCPUFAs, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) can be found. DHA is a component of neurone membranes and external segments of fotoreceptors in the retina. In the brain, liver and intestine, DHA, an omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid is biosynthesized in limited amount in the body from essential fatty acids (EFA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) by successive desaturation and elongation whereas AA (n-6) is synthesised in the body from EFA precursor, linoleic acid (LA). Infants are able to synthesize their own DHA and AA from the precursors found in formula [7]. The aim for this paper is to argue that the use of LCP-supplemented infant formula over non-supplemented formula in infants.

Role of long-chain essential fatty acids in infant development

In the studies shown that LCPUFA influences perception and cognitive functions in infancy. In early infancy, LCPUFA, especially AA affects positively growth and development [7]. The major components of membranes are n-3 and n-6 that play important roles on membrane functions, cell organisation, neuronal growth and development of synaptic processed for neural cell interaction. Moreover, DHA affects positively the neurological development of preterm infants, for instant, mental development for exhibition of anti inflammatory properties [7]. In recent years, the greatest interest is the role of DHA in neural and brain development and function. Dietary n-3 fatty acids are able to affect the...


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