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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, M.J.M.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, MD, PhD, HonD, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, MD, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

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The roles of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnancy, lactation and infancy: review of current knowledge and consensus recommendations

Berthold Koletzko1 / Eric Lien2 / Carlo Agostoni3 / Hansjosef Böhles4 / Cristina Campoy5 / Irene Cetin6 / Tamas Decsi7 / Joachim W. Dudenhausen8 / Cristophe Dupont9 / Stewart Forsyth10 / Irene Hoesli11 / Wolfgang Holzgreve12 / Alexandre Lapillonne13 / Guy Putet14 / Niels J. Secher15 / Mike Symonds16 / Hania Szajewska17 / Peter Willatts18 / Ricardo Uauy19

1Department of Pediatrics, University of Munich, Germany

2Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, USA

3Department of Pediatrics, San Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Italy

4Department of Pediatrics, University of Frankfurt, Germany

5Department of Pediatrics, University of Granada, Spain

6Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, IRCCS Policlinico, Mangiagalli and Regina Elena, University of Milan, Italy

7University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary

8Department of Obstetrics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

9Hopital St Vincent de Paul, Paris, France

10Department of Pediatrics, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK

11Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Basel, Switzerland

12Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Basel, Switzerland

13Rene Descartes Paris 5 University, Paris, France and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

14Department of Pediatrics, Hôpital de la Croix Rousse, Lyon, France

15Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidore, Denmark

16Academic Division of Child Health, Center for Reproduction and Early Life, University of Nottingham, UK

17Department of Pediatrics, The Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

18School of Psychology, University of Dundee, UK

19Department of Human Nutrition, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

Corresponding author: Berthold Koletzko, MD Department of Pediatrics Dr von Hauner Children's Hospital University of Munich Lindwurmstr. 4 D-80337 München Germany

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine. Volume 36, Issue 1, Pages 5–14, ISSN (Online) 16193997, ISSN (Print) 03005577, DOI: 10.1515/JPM.2008.001, January 2008

Publication History

Published Online:
2008-01-10

Abstract

This paper reviews current knowledge on the role of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3) and arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6), in maternal and term infant nutrition as well as infant development. Consensus recommendations and practice guidelines for health-care providers supported by the World Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Early Nutrition Academy, and the Child Health Foundation are provided. The fetus and neonate should receive LC-PUFA in amounts sufficient to support optimal visual and cognitive development. Moreover, the consumption of oils rich in n-3 LC-PUFA during pregnancy reduces the risk for early premature birth. Pregnant and lactating women should aim to achieve an average daily intake of at least 200 mg DHA. For healthy term infants, we recommend and fully endorse breastfeeding, which supplies preformed LC-PUFA, as the preferred method of feeding. When breastfeeding is not possible, we recommend use of an infant formula providing DHA at levels between 0.2 and 0.5 weight percent of total fat, and with the minimum amount of AA equivalent to the contents of DHA. Dietary LC-PUFA supply should continue after the first six months of life, but currently there is not sufficient information for quantitative recommendations.

Keywords: Alpha-linolenic acid; arachidonic acid; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; infant nutrition; linoleic acid; maternal health; maternal nutrition; perinatal development

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