Breastfeeding and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid intake in the first 4 post-natal months and infant cognitive development: an observational study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The aim of this study was to examine infant feeding and the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) concentration of breast milk and formulas in relation to infant development. The prospective Pregnancy, Infection and Nutrition Study (n=358) collected data on breastfeeding, breast milk samples and the formulas fed through 4months post-partum. At 12months of age, infants' development was assessed (Mullen Scales of Early Learning). Linear regression was used to examine development in relation to breastfeeding, breast milk docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) concentration, and DHA and AA concentration from the combination of breast milk and formula. The median breast milk DHA concentration was 0.20% of total fatty acids [interquartile range (IQR)=0.14, 0.34]; median AA concentration was 0.52% (IQR=0.44, 0.63). Upon adjustment for preterm birth, sex, smoking, race and ethnicity and education, breastfeeding exclusivity was unrelated to development. Among infants exclusively breastfed, breast milk LCPUFA concentration was not associated with development (Mullen composite, DHA: adjusted β=-1.3, 95% confidence interval: -10.3, 7.7). Variables combining DHA and AA concentrations from breast milk and formula, weighted by their contribution to diet, were unassociated with development. We found no evidence of enhanced infant development related to the LCPUFA content of breast milk or formula consumed during the first four post-natal months.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Keim, SA; Daniels, JL; Siega-Riz, AM; Herring, AH; Dole, N; Scheidt, PC

Published Date

  • October 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 471 - 482

PubMed ID

  • 21615865

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3617566

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1740-8709

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1740-8695

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2011.00326.x


  • eng