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Early Hum Dev. 2007 May;83(5):279-84. Epub 2007 Jan 18.

Visual acuity and cognitive outcomes at 4 years of age in a double-blind, randomized trial of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid-supplemented infant formula.

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Retina Foundation of the Southwest, Dallas, TX 75231, USA. <>



While there is a large body of data on the effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation of infant formula on visual and cognitive maturation during infancy, longterm visual and cognitive outcome data from randomized trials are scarce.


To evaluate docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA)-supplementation of infant formula on visual and cognitive outcomes at 4 years of age.


Fifty-two of 79 healthy term infants who were enrolled in a single-center, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of DHA and ARA supplementation of infant formula were available for follow-up at 4 years of age. In addition, 32 breast-fed infants served as a "gold standard". Outcome measures were visual acuity and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence--Revised.


At 4 years, the control formula group had poorer visual acuity than the breast-fed group; the DHA- and DHA+ARA-supplemented groups did not differ significantly from the breast-fed group. The control formula and DHA-supplemented groups had Verbal IQ scores poorer than the breast-fed group.


DHA and ARA-supplementation of infant formula supports visual acuity and IQ maturation similar to that of breast-fed infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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