Are the DHA requirements of preterm infants higher than previously thought?

Lisa G. Smithers, Robert A. Gibson, Maria Makrides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Infants born preterm are at a high risk of developmental delay compared with term bom infants. In part, this may be because preterm infants are denied the rich nutrient supply of a full-term pregnancy to accumulate docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the brain. In the largest trial of Its kind, we showed that preterm infants fed breast milk and formula containing 3-4 times the DHA found in standard milks, performed better in visual and mental tests. However, not all babies responded with improved cognitive development as boys hardly benefited at all. Because DHA-enriched milk raised, but did not saturate the baby's erythrocytes with DHA, we feel that higher doses of DHA might be required to benefit all infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-6
Number of pages3
JournalAgro Food Industry Hi-Tech
Issue number4 SUPPL
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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