Supplementation with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) to breastfeeding mothers for improving child growth and development

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Based on the available evidence, LCPUFA supplementation did not appear to improve children’s neurodevelopment, visual acuity or growth. In child attention at five years of age, weak evidence was found (one study) favouring the supplementation. Currently, there is inconclusive evidence to support or refute the practice of giving LCPUFA supplementation to breastfeeding mothers in order to improve neurodevelopment or visual acuity.

Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) are needed for growth and maturation of an infant’s brain and retina, but cannot be synthesized efficiently by the human body and come from the maternal diet. It is controversial whether supplementation to breastfeeding mothers is beneficial for the development of their infants. This review aims to assess the effectiveness and safety of supplementation with LCPUFAs in breastfeeding mothers in the cognitive and physical development of their infants.

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