Article Title

Achieving definitive results in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation trials of term infants: Factors for consideration


Numerous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been undertaken to determine whether supplementation with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) in infancy would improve the developmental outcomes of term infants. The results of such trials have been thoroughly reviewed with no definitive conclusion as to the efficacy of LCPUFA supplementation. A number of reasons for the lack of conclusive findings in this area have been proposed. This review examines such factors with the aim of determining whether an optimal method of investigation for RCTs of LCPUFA supplementation in term infants can be ascertained from previous research. While more research is required to completely inform a method that is likely to achieve definitive results, the findings of this literature review indicate future trials should investigate the effects of sex, genetic polymorphisms, the specific effects of LCPUFAs, and the optimal tests for neurodevelopmental assessment. The current literature indicates a docosahexaenoic acid dose of 0.32%, supplementation from birth to 12 months, and a total sample size of at least 286 (143 per group) should be included in the methodology of future trials.


peer-reviewed, behavior, dietary supplements, fatty acids, term infants

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