Title

Do infants of breast-feeding mothers benefit from additional long-chain PUFA from fish oil? A 6-year follow-up

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

British Journal of Nutrition

ISSN

00071145

Volume

124

Issue

7

First Page

701

Last Page

708

PubMed ID

32312337

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences

RAS ID

32115

Funders

National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia University of Western Australia

Comments

Meldrum, S. J., Heaton, A. E., Foster, J. K., Prescott, S. L., & AO, K. S. (2020). Do infants of breast-feeding mothers benefit from additional LCPUFA from fish oil? A six-year follow up. British Journal of Nutrition, 124(7), 701-708. https://doi.org/10.1017/S000711452000135X

Abstract

© The Authors 2020. Fish-oil supplements are marketed as enhancing intelligence and cognitive performance. However, empirical data concerning the utility of these products in healthy term infants are mixed, particularly with respect to lasting effects into childhood. We evaluated whether fish-oil supplementation during infancy leads to better neurocognitive/behavioural development at 6 years. We conducted a double-blind randomised controlled trial of supplementation with n-3 long-chain PUFA in 420 healthy term infants. Infants received either fish oil (containing at least 250 mg DHA and at least 60 mg EPA) or placebo (olive oil) daily from birth to 6 months of age. Neurodevelopmental follow-up was conducted at a mean age of 6 years (sd 7 months), whereby 335 children were assessed for language, executive functioning, global intelligence quotient and behaviour. No significant differences were observed between the groups for the main neurocognitive outcomes. However in parent-report questionnaire, fish-oil supplementation was associated with negative externalising (P = 0·035, d = 0·24) and oppositional/defiant behaviour (P = 0·006, d = 0·31), particularly in boys (P = 0·01, d = 0·45; P = 0·004, d = 0·40). Our results provide evidence that fish-oil supplementation to predominantly breast-fed infants confers no significant cognitive or behavioural benefit to children at 6 years.

DOI

10.1017/S000711452000135X

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