Fatty acids boost development in preemies

May 11, 2005 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Fatty acids boost development in preemies

A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests that formulas containing fatty acids may improve the development of preterm infants.

Researchers from Mead Johnson Nutritionals randomly assigned different types of formula containing DHA or ARA, two types of fatty acids, to preterm infants. The babies were compared to a group of preterm infants not receiving any supplement and over 100 full-term breast-fed infants. Both of the formulas supplemented with the fatty acids were linked to better mental development and higher scores on movement coordination tests than the unsupplemented formula. In fact, infants who received the DHA formula had a body weight comparable to that of the full-term infants.

While these results are promising for pre-term infants, further studies are needed before widespread recommendation can be made.

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