Visual acuity and blood lipids in term infants fed human milk or formulae

Lipids. 1997 Jan;32(1):63-72. doi: 10.1007/s11745-997-0010-7.


This multicenter, parallel group study determined plasma phospholipid and red blood cell (RBC) phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine fatty acids, plasma cholesterol, apo A-1 and B, growth and visual acuity (using the acuity card procedure) in term infants fed from birth to 90 d of age with formula containing palm-olein, high oleic sunflower, coconut and soy oil (22.2% 16:0, 36.2% 18:1, 18% 18:2n-6, 1.9% 18:3n-3) (n = 59) or coconut and soy oil (10.3% 16:0 18:6% 18:1, 34.2% 18:2n-6, 4.7% 18:3n-3) (n = 57) or breast-fed (n = 56) with no formula supplementation. Different centers in North America were included to overcome potential bias due to differences in n-6 or n-3 fatty acids at birth or in breast-fed infants that might occur in a single-site study. Plasma and RBC phospholipid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) and arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6), cholesterol and apo B were significantly lower in the formula- than breast-fed infants. There were no differences in looking acuity or growth among the breast-fed and formula-fed infants. No significant relations were found between DHA and looking acuity, or AA and growth within or among any of the infant groups. This study provides no evidence to suggest the formula provided inadequate n-6 or n-3 fatty acids for growth and looking acuity for the first 3 mon after birth.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apolipoproteins / blood
  • Arachidonic Acid / blood
  • Body Weight
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / blood
  • Erythrocytes / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Humans
  • Infant Food*
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Linoleic Acid
  • Linoleic Acids / blood
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Milk, Human*
  • Phospholipids / blood
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Visual Acuity*
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid / blood


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Lipids
  • Phospholipids
  • Triglycerides
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Cholesterol
  • Linoleic Acid