Current Information and Asian Perspectives on Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Pregnancy, Lactation, and Infancy: Systematic Review and Practice Recommendations From an Early Nutrition Academy Workshop

Ann Nutr Metab. 2014;65(1):49-80. doi: 10.1159/000365767. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Abstract

The Early Nutrition Academy supported a systematic review of human studies on the roles of pre- and postnatal long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) published from 2008 to 2013 and an expert workshop that reviewed the information and developed recommendations, considering particularly Asian populations. An increased supply of n-3 LC-PUFA during pregnancy reduces the risk of preterm birth before 34 weeks of gestation. Pregnant women should achieve an additional supply ≥200 mg docosahexaenic acid (DHA)/day, usually achieving a total intake ≥300 mg DHA/day. Higher intakes (600-800 mg DHA/day) may provide greater protection against early preterm birth. Some studies indicate beneficial effects of pre- and postnatal DHA supply on child neurodevelopment and allergy risk. Breast-feeding is the best choice for infants. Breast-feeding women should get ≥200 mg DHA/day to achieve a human milk DHA content of ∼0.3% fatty acids. Infant formula for term infants should contain DHA and arachidonic acid (AA) to provide 100 mg DHA/day and 140 mg AA/day. A supply of 100 mg DHA/day should continue during the second half of infancy. We do not provide quantitative advice on AA levels in follow-on formula fed after the introduction of complimentary feeding due to a lack of sufficient data and considerable variation in the AA amounts provided by complimentary foods. Reasonable intakes for very-low-birth weight infants are 18-60 mg/kg/day DHA and 18-45 mg/kg/day AA, while higher intakes (55-60 mg/kg/day DHA, ∼1% fatty acids; 35-45 mg/kg/day AA, ∼0.6-0.75%) appear preferable. Research on the requirements and effects of LC-PUFA during pregnancy, lactation, and early childhood should continue. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arachidonic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Arachidonic Acid / physiology
  • Asia
  • Breast Feeding
  • Consensus
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / physiology
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / physiology
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation*
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Premature Birth / prevention & control

Substances

  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid