Longchain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in preterm infants

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On pooling of results, no clear long‐term benefits or harms were demonstrated for preterm infants receiving LCPUFA‐supplemented formula. Infants enrolled in the trials were relatively mature and healthy preterm infants. Assessment schedule and methodology, dose and source of supplementation and fatty acid composition of the control formula varied between trials.

There is some controversy over whether long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are essential nutrients for preterm infants as they may not be able to synthesize sufficient amounts of LCPUFA to meet the needs of the developing brain and retina. This review aims to assess whether supplementation of formula milk with LCPUFA is safe and of benefit to preterm infants, with a focus on the effects on visual function, development, and growth of preterm infants.

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