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Nutr Neurosci. 2014 Apr;17(3):97-103. doi: 10.1179/1476830513Y.0000000070. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

DHA status is positively related to motor development in breastfed African and Dutch infants.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Docosahexaenoic (DHA) and arachidonic (AA) acids are important for neurodevelopment. We investigated the relation between erythrocyte (RBC) DHA and AA contents and neurological development, by assessment of General Movements (GMs), in populations with substantial differences in fish intakes.

METHODS:

We included 3-month-old breastfed infants of three Tanzanian tribes: Maasai (low fish, n = 5), Pare (intermediate fish, n = 32), and Sengerema (high fish, n = 60); and a Dutch population (low-intermediate, fish, n = 15). GMs were assessed by motor optimality score (MOS) and the number of observed movement patterns (OMP; an MOS sub-score). RBC-DHA and AA contents were determined by capillary gas chromatography.

RESULTS:

We found no between-population differences in MOS. OMP of Sengerema infants (high fish) was higher than OMP of Dutch infants (low-intermediate fish). MOS related to age. OMP related positively to infant age (P < 0.001) and RBC-DHA (P = 0.015), and was unrelated to ethnicity and RBC-AA.

DISCUSSION:

The positive relation between RBC-DHA and the number of observed movement patterns of 3-month old infants might reflect the connection of DHA with motor development.

KEYWORDS:

Arachidonic acid (AA); Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); Fish intake Tanzania; General movements; Neurodevelopment

PMID:
23710566
DOI:
10.1179/1476830513Y.0000000070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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