Background and objective
Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid, have been suggested as a nutrition factor affecting visual and neurobehavioral development of preterm infants. Several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have investigated the effect of supplementation of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids on preterm infants. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the efficacy of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation of formula or breast milk on the neurodevelopment outcomes of preterm infants.
Two authors searched PubMed and Cochrane Library (CENTRAL) for RCTs assessing efficacy of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation on the neurobehavioral and development outcomes of preterm infant. Human RCTs which supplemented long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids during lactation and assessed neurodevelopment were included. The quality of each RCT was assessed, and the results of eligible trials were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis.
We included 11 RCTs with 2272 total participants. Methodologic limitations existed to some extent in most RCTs that were included. Because the age of the participants from different trails was not the same, different scales and indexes had been assessed from different RCTs. Our meta-analysis indicated a significant effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids supplementation on the neurodevelopment of preterm infants assessed by the Mental Development Index of the Bayley Scales at one to three years of age versus the control groups.
Analysis of our consolidated data indicates that long-chain fatty acid supplementation results in a significant improvement in the neurodevelopment of preterm infants as assessed by the Mental Development Index at one to three years of age. The available evidence suggests that long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation during lactation may accelerate the pace of neurodevelopment in preterm infants, although their final developmental outcome may be unchanged.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
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