Lipids in infant nutrition and their impact on later development

Curr Opin Lipidol. 1996 Feb;7(1):43-7. doi: 10.1097/00041433-199602000-00010.


Numerous studies on infant nutrition show that breast-feeding has a beneficial effect on growth, morbidity, and neurological and cognitive functioning later in life. Moreover, there are indications that a relationship exists between the diet consumed during early childhood and morbidity in adulthood, such as atherosclerosis and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The mechanism causing this advantageous effect of breast-feeding might be found in the fatty acid composition of human milk. The fatty acid content of formula milk is associated with biochemical parameters, cognitive development, and growth. Further research concentrating on randomized trials of 'fatty acid-enriched' formula milks is needed for the sake of children of mothers who opt for bottle-feeding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Breast Feeding
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / blood
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / blood
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Essential / blood
  • Growth
  • Humans
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue / metabolism
  • Visual Acuity


  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Essential