Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DHA-enriched formula in infancy linked to positive cognitive outcomes in childhood

Date:
August 13, 2013
Source:
University of Kansas
Summary:
While the effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in infant formula on children's cognitive development may not always be evident on standardized developmental tasks at 18 months, significant effects may emerge later on more specific or fine-grained tasks.

University of Kansas scientists have found that infants who were fed formula enriched with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) from birth to 12 months scored significantly better than a control group on several measures of intelligence conducted between the ages of three to six years.

Related Articles


Specifically, the children showed accelerated development on detailed tasks involving pattern discrimination, rule-learning and inhibition between the ages of three to five years of age as well as better performance on two widely-used standardized tests of intelligence: the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test at age five and the Weschler Primary Preschool Scales of Intelligence at age six.

"These results support the contention that studies of nutrition and cognition should include more comprehensive and sensitive assessments that are administered multiple times through early childhood," said John Colombo, study director and KU professor of psychology.

The results of LCPUFA supplementation studies have been mixed according to Colombo, a neuroscientist who specializes in the measurement of early neurocognitive development, but many of those studies have relied mainly on children's performance on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 18 months.

In the randomized, double-blind study, 81 infants were fed one of four formulas from birth to 12 months; three with varying levels of two LCPUFAs (DHA and ARA) and one formula with no LCPUFA. Beginning at 18 months, the children were tested every six months until six years of age on age-appropriate standardized and specific cognitive tests.

At 18 months the children did not perform any better on standardized tests of performance and intelligence, but by age three study directors Colombo and Susan E. Carlson, A. J. Rice Professor of Dietetics and Nutrition at KUMC, began to see significant differences in the performance of children who were fed the enriched formulas on finer-grained, laboratory-based measures of several aspects of cognitive function.

DHA or docosahexaenoic acid is an essential long-chain fatty acid that affects brain and eye development, and babies derive it from their mothers before birth and up to age two. But the American diet is often deficient in DHA sources such as fish.

ARA or arachidonic acid is another LCPUFA that is present in breast milk and commercial formula.

The study was designed to examine the effects of postnatal DHA at levels that have been found to vary across the world, said study co-director Carlson.

The results on the children's development from the first 12 months of this study were published in Pediatric Research in 2011, and showed improved attention and lower heart rate in infants supplemented with any level of LCPUFA. Colombo and Carlson's earlier work and collaborations influenced infant formula manufacturers to begin adding DHA in 2001.

The study was published ahead of print in the June 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kansas. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Colombo, S. E. Carlson, C. L. Cheatham, D. J. Shaddy, E. H. Kerling, J. M. Thodosoff, K. M. Gustafson, C. Brez. Long-term effects of LCPUFA supplementation on childhood cognitive outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013; 98 (2): 403 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.040766

Cite This Page:

University of Kansas. "DHA-enriched formula in infancy linked to positive cognitive outcomes in childhood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813101927.htm>.
University of Kansas. (2013, August 13). DHA-enriched formula in infancy linked to positive cognitive outcomes in childhood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813101927.htm
University of Kansas. "DHA-enriched formula in infancy linked to positive cognitive outcomes in childhood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130813101927.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins